Series on Earned Value Management: Taking the Guessing out of When to Rebaseline


By Mojtaba Zarei Kesheh


Ray Stratton, PMP, EVP



Currently, schedule predictors in earned value management (EVM) and earned schedule (ES) are based on the performance measurement baseline (PMB) data and single point CPI and SPI values at the time of reporting period. This paper introduces the concept of Re-baseline Factor (RBF) as a quantified basis for triggering a new (not revised) PMB.


Modification of the EVM baseline (PMB) is a continuous process is keeping the PMB current with current knowledge and the promotion of planning packages to work packages. But a complete replanning and rebaselining of an entire project is disruptive and politically charged. To admit to needing to do a rebaseline is to admit the current plan is not achievable. It’s full of political consequences for the PM, the project organization, the customer, and potentially their stakeholders. The use of a Rebaseline Factor (RBF) has the potential to take the politics out of “is it time for a rebaseline?”

Rebaselining a project can be a political minefield. Should we rebaseline? Should we wait a little longer? Can we recover to the current plan? How will a rebaseline play politically? Will it affect my career? Is there a way to use EVM data as a basis to trigger a rebaseline?

The PMB provides a reference point for measuring variance and calculating EV metrics. It is a reference level against which the project is monitored and controlled. Creation of a new PMB should be regarded as a significant event in complying with a proper PMB management process. Currently, the common re-baseline process has no quantified basis and it is just a matter of managerial decision.

As a project progresses we will have to make adjustments to the schedule and the budget. A new performance measurement baseline should be created when specific criteria are met. Project planners need a quantifiable factor as the basis for discussion leading to the best time for re-baseline.


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Editor’s note: This series of articles, some previously published in The Measurable News, is provided by the College of Performance Management (CPM), the world’s leading professional organization devoted to integrated project and program performance management.  More information about CPM can be found at www.mycpm.org.

About the Authors 

pmwj22-may2014-Kesheh-AUTHOR1 KESHEHMojtaba Zarei Kesheh flag-uk


Mojtaba Zarei Kesheh is Director of EVMS Consultants Ltd., a consultancy focused on earned value management system and earned schedule implementation. He has published several papers and presented internationally at the EVA and EVM Europe Association in Switzerland (CERN), Belgium and Spain. He has a BSc in Construction Management with First Class Honours Degree from London South Bank University. He received the Construction Youth Trust Prize, The Charted Institute of Building Prize and The CIOB Certificate of Excellence for outstanding performance on the CIOB Accredited Course of BSc (Hons) Construction Management at London South Bank University. Mojtaba Zarei-Kesheh can be reached at [email protected].

pmwj22-may2014-Kesheh-AUTHOR2 STRATTONRay Stratton flag-usa


Ray Stratton, PMP is founder and president of Management Technologies, an earned value management training and consulting firm. He is past Executive Vice President of the College of Performance Management (CPM).  Ray Stratton is the author of “The Earned Value Management Maturity Model®“, published by Management Concepts, and “Ray Stratton’s Earned Value Professional (EVP) Exam Study Guide.” Mr. Stratton is also the editor of the monthly “The EVM Newsletter™.  Ray W. Stratton has over twenty five years’ experience as a software program manager with a major aerospace defense firm. While there he managed the development of radar, communication, and command and control systems.  He can be reached at [email protected].