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From long time, baseline has no sense in all type of projects, Agile based or not. By the way, you can apply Agile with predictive life cycle models.
Agree with Sergio! I don't think we can use baseline in Agile projects. In waterfall it is quite common, but can be changed based on the scope change.
This is a very interesting question, I look forward to the responses as well.
My take from what I know I would say no,simply because as you mention agile and scrum projects are adaptive and flexible, embrace changes so the need for a firm baseline may be unnecessary. This takes me back to one of my work during graduate program when I did a research paper on hybrid project management. Arguably scope, schedule and cost management can be implemented in some scrum or agile projects based on its deliverables.
I am looking forward to more insight.
You are using baselines whether you know it or not. The word comes from land surveying dating back into the 1700s. It is the first line drawn that forms the reference system for other lines. The ancient Egyptians probably had a symbol for it when they built pyramids that did not fall over. If you are not doing civil engineering, you are already using the word differently than it was meant.
There are many kinds of baselines in projects and different teams use different references. The project often has an expected timeline of some kind. You have some idea of how much money and when you expect to spend it. If you are making an improvement, there is some performance baseline to judge your changes. An individual design team might use a previous project as the baseline for their design or development plan.
Unless you are not tied to any reference point whatsoever for time, cost, performance, approach, etc. there are probably multiple significant baselines to your project. If not, there is no point in measuring anything because there is no reference system for measurement.
Answering to Haresh, in Scrum we don't have defined the use of baselines, but in my point of view in both senses, traditional and agile, every agile project needs traditional management but in a high level, not inside the development team but externally. Because agility and if we want to say Scrum, does not include the whole project management, just the management for development teams.
In scrum projects you "baseline" your sprint scope through the selected and agreed product backlog items in order to keep the team focused.
I find value in baselines with Agile. When a round of release planning is completed, that defines the plan (baseline) for the next X weeks. Story points have been determined, velocity is accounted for and the team(s) have committed to what they will produce. That for me defines a baseline for tracking progress. It can identify if a team is mis-estimating story points or velocity or if requirements were not well-defined. And if the plan does change midstream, then it changes... but you have something to measure against vs. "whatever gets done, gets done."
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