Conditionally Displaying Baselines

OnePager’s baseline display is a great way to compare your original project plan to the way things are now. But what if you want to only show baselines where there has actually been a change in the underlying schedule? This blog article will show you how to conditionally display Baseline Markers when there is variance between Start/Finish and Baseline Start/Baseline Finish.

To display Baseline Markers conditionally, we first need to have our data set up correctly in our Microsoft Project file. We assume you already have a Task Name with Start/Finish dates. You will also need to have Baseline Start and Baseline Finish entries.

Once all of the required entries are in your Microsoft Project file, we can create two custom Date fields. One custom Date field will hold the formula for the Start, while the other will have the Finish.

Insert the Date1 field in your Microsoft Project file and right-click on it. Go to Custom Fields > Formula and then copy/paste the formula below into it.

IIf([Finish Variance]=0,"NA",[Baseline Start])

Insert the Date2 field in your MS Project file and right-click on it. Go to Custom Fields > Formula and then copy/paste the formula below into it.

IIf([Finish Variance]=0,"NA",[Baseline Finish])

You will see an auto-populate in the fields with our Start and Finish formulas. In cases where there is a variance, the formula will display a date. In cases where there isn’t any variance, it will display “NA” instead:

The example above assumes that the baseline should show whenever there is any finish variance, but you can fine tune the formulae so that a baseline only displays if there is only significant finish variance (a week, a month, etc.)

The next step is to create the chart in OnePager. Click on the Add-ins tab in Microsoft Project and select OnePager followed by New. On this first screen of OnePager Choices, we want to confirm that all the options are correct for our chart creation. Once we have that established, check the box for Show field mappings and click Next.

On the second OnePager Choices screen, OnePager shows us which fields are going to be used in the initial chart. To make use of the custom baseline field created above, change the Baseline start mapping to Date1 and the Baseline finish mapping to Date2. Once you’re finished, click Create new chart.

After changing the mappings for the two baseline fields, you will see that the baseline is now conditionally displayed, because it’s looking at the custom fields driven by the two formulae instead of the full baseline. When Date1 and Date2 have a NA value from the formulae, they do not create a baseline in the chart. But when Date1 and Date2 have values, the baseline appears.

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About Josh

Josh has over a decade worth of experience in IT. Eight years of that was in healthcare doing IT Security (IAM) and Clinical Application Support. He now brings that experience to OnePager, where he provides support and brings new users up to speed with training sessions. Josh is an avid backpacker and enjoys spending nights deep in the woods outside of work.

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