Primavera P6 Professional Baseline Date Added Feature
Written on . By Tracy Mah
For over a decade, during my Primavera P6 online or in-person training courses, I try pass along any industry best practices I’ve encountered from my clients. One piece of advice I consistently recommend is to always re-name the project’s Baselines to include the dates they were added.
Primavera P6 Version 19 and Older – Maintain Baselines Dialog Box
For most versions of Primavera P6 Professional and P6 EPPM Web Access, when a Baseline of the project is created, there isn’t a way to keep track of when that Baseline was added. To be pro-active, I would advise my clients that they should re-name their Baselines with the date. It is common for projects to have more than one Baseline, as there is often a need to re-baseline during the project’s duration. To create a Baseline, select the “Project” Menu item, then select “Maintain Baselines” in the list.
Figure 1, shows the typical Maintain Baselines dialog box of Primavera P6 versions 19 and older. Notice how the Baselines are simply named as the Project Name – B1, -B2, -B3, etc. The only information given about the Baselines are the “Data Date” and the “Last Update Date”.
The “Last Update Date” is not an indication of when the Baseline was added, it is the date when the “Update” button was last used on the project. The “Update” button is a tool in Primavera which theoretically incorporates any changes of selected project level or activity level data to the highlighted Baseline.
As a best practice to keep track of their project Baselines, many organizations make it mandatory to manually date stamp their Baseline names, for instance “MFE Initial Plan (today’s date) in Figure 1.
Primavera P6 Version 21 and Newer – Maintain Baselines Dialog Box
Now in Primavera P6 version 21, Oracle made the enhancement to the Baselines functionality by finally adding a “Date Added” field in the Maintain Baselines dialog box. Figure 2 shows the Maintain Baselines dialog box of P6 version 21 that includes the Date Added column.
I could not confirm if this feature was added in P6 release 20. Oracle’s Primavera P6 Cumulative Feature Overview Tool did not indicate if the Baseline Date Added field was introduced in either version 20 or 21. Learn more about the tool here, https://www.p6consulting.ca/blog/what-are-the-differences-between-versions-of-primavera-p6/
Primavera P6 Version 21 – Assign Baselines Dialog Box
The Assign Baselines dialog box of P6 version 21 was also changed from the older releases of Primavera. To open the dialog box to assign a Baseline to the project, select the “Project” Menu item, then select “Assign Baselines” in the list (Figure 3).
Initially, the Assign Baselines dialog box of P6 version 21 does not look like it was changed from the older releases of Primavera. However, the ability to customize the Assign Baselines dialog box was included in the new release.
In order to see the Date Added field, you will need to add the column in the Assign Baselines dialog box. In Figure 3, at the end of the Project Baseline field name, is a Browse button. Click it to open the Select Project Baseline dialog box.
When the Select Project Baseline dialog box opens, the only information displayed is the Baseline Name. In order to customize the screen, you will need to right-click the mouse in the blank space of the dialog box to open a sub-menu (Figure 3).
Figure 4 shows the steps to add the column. In the sub-menu, select Columns. As with the typical pop-up boxes in Primavera P6, the ‘Available’ options are on the left and you choose the ‘Selected’ options to be moved over to the right. In the left pane, select “Date Added” then use the single Right Arrow button to move it over to the right. Lastly click the Ok button.
Now the Assign Baselines dialog box has the Date Added column next to the Baseline Name as shown in Figure 5. By easily identifying the ‘Date Added’ for each Baseline, project managers no longer need to struggle by accidentally choosing the incorrect Baseline for their project.
The new ability to see when a Baseline was created will make it easier for project managers to monitor the multiple Baselines they have for their projects. Technically it is no longer necessary to manually include the date in the Baseline name in Primavera P6 versions 21 and newer.
However, I still recommend to continue including the date in the Baseline name as a best practice. Since having a descriptive name makes it be easier identify each Baseline with a quick glance.
Another reason to continue including the date in the Baseline’s name is for sharing purposes. If the project and its Baseline needed to be exported and shared with a client, then having a descriptive Baseline name would look more professional.
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