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Interim Plan vs. Project Baseline
Saving a project's interim plan is often confused with setting a project baseline. Although there are some similarities between a baseline plan and an interim plan, there is one key difference. An interim plan saves only the project's start and finish dates. (A baseline plan saves original data related to costs, dates, duration, and work—a feature that can significantly increase your total project file size.)
Note: In MS Project 2007, you can save up to 11 interim or baseline plans. Project 2010 allows 10 interim plans.
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Save an Interim Plan
One of the benefits of using interim plans is that you can use them to compare your project data against your project baseline data, giving you the ability to assess your project progress in relation to your project plan. Interim plans are not as useful as baselines, but the benefit is that they give you the opportunity to save additional points in time, stored in the start and finish fields.
To save an interim plan in 2007, follow these steps:
- Choose Tools, and choose Tracking.
- Choose Set Baseline.
- Select the Set Interim Plan and Entire Project options.
- Click OK.
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Although baseline plans can significantly increase your project file size, it is nice to have the option of saving smaller bits of project data through the use of interim plans. The key difference between these two plans is that baseline plans store costs, dates, durations, and work. This is very handy when you want to save the result of the planning phase of your project. Baselines also work well for saving your project data at each major planning milestone. Baselines are best saved after your project has actual data. However, to save only task start and finish dates after the project begins, you can use interim plans. Interim plans work well when saved throughout the project, such as on a monthly or quarterly basis. At its core, an interim plan is a scaled-down version of a baseline.
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With permission from Microsoft Press, this article content was excerpted from the book, Managing Projects with Microsoft Office Project 2007 (Self-Paced Training Kit for Exam 70-632).
Saving a Project Interim Plan in MS Project 2007
A step-by-step guide to saving and updating a project interim plan in Microsoft Project.