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7 Examples of a Baseline

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A baseline is the state of something at a point in time. It is common for things to be in a constant state of change. A baseline is a frozen state that captures a particular moment for purposes such as control, comparison, benchmarking and forecasting. The following are common types of baseline.

Budget Baseline

A budget that was approved at a point in time. Used for purposes such as controlling change to a budget or forecasting future costs. For example, a government might use the current year's annual budget as a baseline and apply inflation projections in order to forecast future budget deficits.

Project Baseline

The approved schedule, budget and scope of a project at a point in time. Project baselines are a basic tool of project change management.


The approved configuration of something such as a software service at a point in time.

Functional Baseline

An approved version of requirements or specifications.


An approved version of a document. For example, an operations manual may undergo many revisions but frontline employees may continue to work from the baseline. At some point, the new document becomes the new baseline and employees are trained in the changes. This provides stability to working procedures.

Product Baseline

A releasable product at a point in time often marked by a version number.


A measurement of something at a point in time that may be used as a starting point for comparison. For example, in order to improve customer satisfaction you need to know what your baseline customer satisfaction is today.
Overview: Baseline
Project Management
Configuration Management
The state of something at a point in time used as a basis for control, calculation and comparison.
Related Concepts
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Project Management

This is the complete list of articles we have written about project management.
Acceptance Criteria
Acceptance Testing
Actual Cost
Basis Of Estimate
Behavioral Requirements
Burndown Chart
Change Control
Change Control Board
Change Fatigue
Change Request
Concept Note
Cone Of Uncertainty
Corrective Action
Cost Baseline
Cost Contingency
Cost Control
Cost Overrun
Cost Variance
Defect Density
Definition Of Done
Document Control
Earned Value
Estimate At Completion
Estimate To Complete
Feasibility Analysis
Fudge Factor
Full-Time Equivalent
Human Factors
Issue Management
Lead Time
Lessons Learned
Level Of Effort
Opportunity Study
Out Of Scope
Parametric Estimate
Phased Implementation
Planned Value
Program Management
Project Charter
Project Communication
Project Complexity
Project Concept
Project Controls
Project Failure
Project Goals
Project Management
Project Metrics
Project Planning
Project Productivity
Project Proposal
Project Risk
Regression Testing
Requirements Quality
Return On Investment
Risk Register
Schedule Baseline
Schedule Chicken
Scope Baseline
Scope Creep
Set Up To Fail
Smoke Testing
Stakeholder Management
Statement Of Work
Story Points
Use Case
User Stories
Variance Analysis
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