The baseline variance report compares performance of projects against baselines. By establishing a budget baseline Projector gives you the ability to establish a budget at the start of a project or at various points in time after a project is underway, such as after a major replan. This baseline can then be compared to actual or projected data.
The Topic of the Day: Budgets webinar is a great resource to learn about best practices around creating, tracking and monitoring budgets in Projector. We also talk about the Baseline Variance Report to track budgets (go to 51:00).
A budget can be an overall project-level budget, or configured to be more detailed. For instance, a project manager may choose to subdivide the $100,000 she has for a web redesign effort into portions allocated for creative design, copywriting, development, and testing, and further divide that budget into buckets for each of the three months the effort is expected to take. The Baseline Variance report provides great visibility into how the project is doing with respect to those budgets.
Who is this report for?
Project Managers are the principle consumers of the baseline variance report. They use it to analyze how well a project is conforming to its budget.
Questions this report can answer
Are my projects on time and within budget?
At what point did my project diverge from its budget?
Is there an individual or a task responsible for a project going over budget?
Permissions and Settings
The baseline variance report requires the cost center permission Run Baseline Variance Report.
To view data based upon RDC requires the global permission Resource Direct Cost (RDC) Data set to View.
Your installation may include the following prebuilt reports.
Baseline Variance Report
Looks at scheduled versus actual hours, revenue, and costs for a historical time period and can help managers understand how accurate projections were or the reasons for shortfalls or overruns
If your organization has a need to standardize your budgets so that you can do a consistent end-of-year analysis of your performance, then you should look into setting the default budget type for your engagements. You will then need to manage your PM's to ensure they create their budgets and do not change the active budget baseline type.
My report is using hours as the baseline, but I want to see revenue (or some other baseline type).
Hours, revenue, and other data points are called metrics. Projector can bring different metrics into a baseline variance report, but they first need to be defined on the project. Start by visiting the Project Budget Tab and viewing what the current baselines and metrics available are. If the one you want is not there, create a new baseline that includes it. Note whether your metric is the primary and whether it is on the active baseline.
Once you know your metric and its type - you are ready to bring it into a report. The baseline variance report can bring in just one metric or several metrics. This is dependent on the Include These Metrics setting on the report parameters tab. By comparing these options to the type that was noted earlier, choose the appropriate option.
I see infinity symbols in my budget, budget variance and budget remaining fields
A baseline budget amount has been left blank. A blank has no meaning, and so Projector cannot calculate a real number. We don't just show 'zero', because zero has real meaning in regards to a budget. The infinity symbol shows that something is amiss.
To fix this, make sure a budget amount is entered on the Budget Tab of the project editor. Zero is okay, but blank is not.
If you are still having problems then check the parameters tab of the report. If you have chosen to include both time and cost baselines then they may have been combined. So even though you have specified a budget for time, the cost baseline causes the infinity problem (or vice versa). To fix this there are a few solutions.
- Make sure that there is a budget defined on both the time and the cost tab of the budget editor.
- On the row fields tab, bring in the Baseline Type. This will split time and cost baselines apart, preventing an infinity issue on one from affecting the other.
- On the parameters tab, exclude the problem baseline, either time or cost.