Saving and using Baselines
You should save the baseline when:
You have developed the project plan as fully as possible. (However, this does not mean that you cannot add tasks, resources, or assignments to the project after work has started, for this is often unavoidable.)
You have not yet started entering actual values, such as a task’s percentage of completion.
You can set up to 11 baselines in a single plan. (The first one is called Baseline, and the rest are Baseline 1 through Baseline 10.) Saving multiple baselines can be useful for projects with exceptionally long planning phases in which you might want to compare different sets of baseline values. For example, you might want to save and compare the baseline plans every month as the planning details change. To clear a previously set baseline, click Clear Baseline on the Tools menu, Tracking submenu. To learn more about baselines in Project’s online Help, type create baseline.
Three ways to update project progress
Overall Project Progress
The simplest approach to tracking progress is to report that the actual work is proceeding exactly as planned. For example, if the first month of a five-month project has elapsed and all of its tasks have started and finished as scheduled, you can quickly record this in the Update Project dialog box.
Task updates using % Complete and Actual Start
After work has begun on a task, you can quickly record its progress as a percentage. When you enter a completion percentage other than 0, Project changes the task’s actual start date to match its scheduled start date. It then calculates actual duration, remaining duration, actual costs, and other values based on the percentage you enter.