Before you begin tracking project progress, you should a project baseline. A baseline so it’s a tool for spotting discrepancy between actual work and scheduled
• work. After you receive status reports on project tasks and update the actual schedule (automatically or manually), you can compare the schedule to the baseline to identify potential problems. If the project scope changes or external factors require you to change the project schedule (for example, a hurricane or a labor strike), you can adjust the baseline. In Project 2000, you can also store up to ten interim plans that you can compare to the baseline or actual work completed.
Protect 2000 includes tools for earned value analysis, also called BCWP (Budgeted Cost of Work Performed) anal measures key performance indicators and compares them to the tiasellne. The gap, or variance, between the baseline and actual performance lndlcates whether the protect Is being implemented as planned. Cost is the difference between a task’s planned cost and its actual cost. Schedule is the difference between the actual progress and the scheduled progress of a task. You can use these variances to, calculate useful ratios that indicate project performance. For more information on earned value analysis, see “Tracking Project Progress.”
Managing Project Schedules
If a project is running as scheduled, schedule management is an easy task. When tasks are completed ahead of schedule, you’ll probably breathe a sigh of relief and move on to other management activities. Problem projects are the projects i~ which critical tasks
start to slip. For a visual representation of project performance against the schedule, you can add progress lines to the Gantt Chart to show the percentage of each task completed as of-a specific date, as shown In Figure 3.3. When a task’s progress line’s peak is
pointed to the left, the task is behind schedule. Peaks that point to the right indicate tasks that are ahead of schedule.
Earned value analysis and progress lines help you identify the performance gap; closing the gap Is the job of the project manager. If other tasks are being completed ahead of schedule, you may be able to reallocate resources and get the project back on track. With Project 2000, you can easily move.resources between tasks. Alternatively, you can
adjust one ‘of the four project parameters:
• TIme: extend the protect fhUsh date
• Scope: eliminate or alter protect activities
• Costs: throw overtime at the problem task
• Performance: lower standards
You’ll find information on all of Project’s schedule-management tools in