Project Gyan

A T20 match and a Project have a lot of similarities. In both the cases target needs to be achieved with limited resources. In a T20 only 20 overs and 11 players are available for achieving the victory. Similarly in any Project, limited time and budget is available. However in T20, the team is not allowed to exceed 11 players and 20 overs. Consuming 20 overs or 11 players without achieving target means losing the match. Successful captains consistently overcome such constraints.
In Project, consuming more time and cost means project delay and cost overrun i.e  losing our match.

Can we consistently win this match? Follow this series to find out how you can win the match!

24th February

The Baseline Concept

In a T20 match everyone follows one indicator or benchmark which is runs per over. For example, if run rate target set by team playing first inning is 8 per over then team playing 2nd inning should constantly score above 8 runs per over to finally win the match. So entire monitoring happens against runs per over as a benchmark or yardstick.
In a Project also we need such an indicator or yardstick so as to effectively chase it. In project such a yardstick is known as the Baseline. 
There are total 3 baselines against scope, time and cost respectively.

25th February

Scope Baseline

Baseline is a yardstick or reference to measure variance. So what is scope baseline? Scope baseline is derived from 3 elements -Project Statement, WBS and WBS Dictionary.
Let's take example of upcoming T20 World Cup. It is also a project. Scope of this project is decided along with inclusions and exclusions. E.g. rule of DRS i.e. challenging umpire's decision is decided as part of scope. So it is much more than project description.
Project statement is like an essay of entire project with description, features, assumptions, exclusions etc. Project Statement helps in deciding boundaries of the project and hence an important baseline. So what is WBS and why?

26th February

Cost Baseline

Budget session has started and everyone is eager to know about Railway and Union budget. Budget is a pet subject with every industry.
In Project management budget is considered as cost baseline or a reference  to measure cost variance. As a good practice always use WBS to prepare your  budget. Decide the budget at WBS or work categories level and then aggregate it upwards to decide the final project budget. Do not forget to keep some part of the budget to handle exigencies. Monitoring the budget can help you control cost overrun.

27th February

Time Baseline 

For T20 World Cup many activities are being planned. Some activities are going simultaneously and some are dependent. E.g. Activities related to stadium such as pitch preparation, arrangement of food stall etc. will go on simultaneously. But flight booking, hotel booking, pick up arrangement should be done in certain sequence. Every activity should be done within the estimated time. Most important is relation of activities with calendar dates.
This web of dependent activities, time and manpower estimation against calendar is known as schedule. Schedule is considered as time baseline or yardstick. It works as a map for any project. Avoid any project without schedule to avoid delays

Planned Deviation

We have talked about 3 baselines - WBS for measuring scope changes,  budget for measuring cost variations and schedule for checking time progress.
Surprisingly nature is also following baseline concept. Any healthy human being is supposed to have certain body temperature, heart beats, blood pressure etc. Health is monitored by measuring these parameters. In case of deviation treatment is provided by the doctor to bring it back to normal.
How to measure deviation in any Project with respect to baseline?

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