How to Establish a Cost & Schedule Performance Measurement Baseline

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Project managers use the performance measurement baseline (PMB) to determine cost and schedule variances. Commonly known as the performance baseline, PMB is established during a project's initial planning phase. The PMB can be viewed as a graph or spreadsheet. It compares incremental and cumulative spending projections against the project time line.This information is derived from project management software that's used to construct and track work breakdown structures.

Things You'll Need

  • Project management software
  • Define the work. The work breakdown structure (WBS) defines the work, and is used to manage the project's price, estimation, scheduling and performance. It's a hierarchical arrangement that breaks the project down into a list of tasks. Work breakdown schedules determine the resources needed to complete project phases. Resources consist of materials, labor, costs and contracts. This structure should be detailed so the work can be categorized into individual elements of work. These integral pieces help in producing the Budgeted Cost for Work Schedule (BCWS).

  • Schedule the work. Assign work responsibility to the owners who are accountable for managing resource allocation and cost baseline. Resource allocation originates from project scope and available resources. This establishes the cost baseline and allows you to spread the budget across the project's length. Scheduling also consists of arranging work packages into logical frameworks that define the project milestones.

  • Allocate the budget. Develop and balance the Budgeted Cost for Work Schedule (BCWS) across the project. Establish a time-phased budget baseline for each work package and the project. Budgets that have been created for performance measurement will focus on management goals and external customer target costs, including estimates for authorized work.

  • Assign performance objectives. Quantify performance using the zero to 100 percent measurement of completion. Summarize the performance objectives for the entire project.

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