Who can use this capability
Only licensed users can create baselines. Anyone with access to the sheet can view baselines.
Set baselines on a project sheet
With baselines, you can establish the start, finish, and variance of dates for individual tasks and rows on your project sheet.
When you enable baselines, you can view the project baseline summary to see the overall project status. Three non-editable columns appear on the sheet:
- Baseline Start: The date in your Start Date column.
- Baseline Finish: The date in your End Date column.
- Variance: The difference between Actual End Date and Baseline End Date.
Additionally, you can see visual Gantt bars for baseline dates and actual dates. If you change your preferences to display or hide baseline bars in the Gantt view, the change appears for your user only, and it does not affect other users.
Baselines appear as read-only cell data. Because of this, baselines surface in reports, dashboards, and other Smartsheet items, but you cannot modify them.
Keep the following notes in mind:
- You can only add one baseline to a project sheet. If there are multiple Start Date and End Date columns, you can only associate one set of Start Date and End Date columns with baselines.
- You can't add a baseline to a row that doesn't have a start and end date or to a row with a start date after the end date. The cell data must also be in an acceptable date format. For example, text values, such as TBD or July don't work.
- The activity log does not track historical baseline modifications, but they are available in the cell history.
- Baselines do not appear when you print your Gantt view.
Set up your project sheet to use baselines
To enable baselines on your project sheet:
- Add Start Date and End Date columns to start creating baselines.
- Switch to Gantt View, then select the Baselines button in the toolbar. You can see the current, earliest, and latest days in the sheet’s start and end dates.
- To enable, select the Set button.
You have now enabled baselines.
View the baselines summary
Once enabled on your project sheet, you can use the baselines summary to view, edit, and remove baselines information.
To open the baselines summary, switch to Gantt view, then select the Baselines button in the toolbar.
In the baseline summary view, you can see:
- Show baseline in Gantt: Toggle for enabling baseline in Gantt view.
- Actual: The earliest actual start and latest end dates in your columns.
- Baseline: The earliest and latest baseline start and end dates in your columns, established at the time when you enabled the baseline originally.
- Variance: The difference between Actual End Date and Baseline End Date calculated in decimal days according to the working schedule defined for your project. Variance displays the overall status of your project as Days behind, Days ahead, or On schedule.
- Reset: Establish a new baseline start and end date.
- Remove: Remove the baseline from your sheet.
Edit or remove baselines from your sheet
To view, edit, or remove baselines, switch to Gantt view and select the Baselines icon.
As dates change, the variance values update automatically. You can view the complete variance with the baselines summary view.
You can't modify baseline start and end dates. Updating actual project dates triggers Variance column recalculation.
If you want to remove the baseline bars from Gantt, you can toggle them on and off. While the Variance, Baseline Start, and Baseline Finish columns are visible in a report, baseline bars from Gantt view don't appear in reports or dashboard widget reports.
You can remove the baselines by selecting Remove and confirming your selection. This removes the baselines, but doesn't delete the custom baseline columns.
You can also convert these columns to date (Baseline Start and Baseline Finish) and text/number (Variance) columns, and the cell data remains unchanged.
To reset your baseline, select Reset. This resets the variances to 0 and sets the values in the baseline columns to the current values in the Start Date and End Date columns. This creates a new snapshot of project dates, and the Variance displays as On schedule.