P6 User Tip: Change Setting for Proper Baseline Comparison

This article provides important tips for developing baseline (target) comparison schedules using Oracle’s Primavera P6.
The article also highlights an issue with administrative preference settings in P6, which can cause incorrect baseline comparisons. Bar charts and baseline comparison tables are useful in showing comparisons between the current plan and the original plan, or between the current project status and a previous update.
These comparisons were previously generated in Primavera Project Planner (P3) by setting the comparison project to be a “target” schedule. In P6, the same features are available through the Maintain Baselines and Assign Baselines features on the Project menu. The names of these features are somewhat counterintuitive—baselines must be maintained before they can be assigned. In addition, projects that are converted to baselines using the Maintain Baselines command are not available for viewing or manipulation, except by using the baseline features available in the project to which the baseline is assigned. The baseline schedule itself will no longer appear in the Projects view.
Once baseline schedules have been created using the Maintain Baselines command and they have been assigned as the primary, secondary, or tertiary baseline using the Assign Baseline command, comparison layouts can be generated. However, one critical step is necessary. Select the Earned Value tab on the Admin Preferences dialogue available from the Admin menu. At the bottom of the dialogue, under the heading, “Earned Value Calculation,” “When calculating earned value from a baseline use,” select “Budgeted values with current dates.”
The setting, “Budgeted values with planned dates,” will not result in a correct comparison unless the user has specifically set the planned dates using a global change and intends to compare the current schedule to the planned dates in the baseline schedule, as opposed to the normal dates that populate the Start Date and Finish Date data fields most commonly displayed in P6. In other words, if you want to compare the schedule to a previous schedule or baseline in a typical situation, change this setting. There would be few situations where you would want to generate a comparison to a set of planned dates that differ from the start and finish dates in the baseline (or target) schedule.
Oracle Knowledgebase users can refer to the following articles for additional information on baselines:
Bulletin: How Baseline Dates Are Calculated in Project Management. [ID 893342.1].
Problem: Why is the BL Actual Start date not being reflected on the BL Start date in the current project? [ID 894735.1]