The Project Management Baselines

There are three major baselines in project management. They are: cost baseline, schedule baseline, and the scope baseline. They correspond to the three elements of the triple constraint: cost, time and scope. First off, lets the start with Project Management Body of Knowledge’s (PMBOK) definition of a baseline. A baseline is ‘the approved version of a work product that can be changed only through formal change control procedures and is used as a basis for comparison.’

The cost baseline is ‘the approved version of the time-phased project budget, excluding any management reserves.’ The management reserves are excluded because management not the project manager controls this money. The project manager controls the contingency reserves.

The schedule baseline is ‘the approved version of a schedule model.’ Most people do not know what a schedule model is. Here is the its definition. The schedule model is the model built based on the scheduling activities to create the project schedule.

The scope baseline is ‘the approved version of a project scope statement, work breakdown structure (WBS) and the WBS dictionary.

These three baselines along with the other subsidiary management plans (cost management plan, schedule management plan, scope management plan, etc.) are parts of the overall project management plan.

Source: Project Management Institute, Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK)

Visit, the premier project management blog for all things project management.

Originally published at on March 12, 2016.