September 28 & 29, 2020 | Virtual
Please login or join to subscribe to this thread
A plan represents the team's current forecast for what will happen whereas a schedule baseline reflects the approved timelines and is used as a basis for performance assessment. In a perfect world, the two would be the same throughout the life of a project, but that rarely happens.
A baseline is a reference system like an axis on a graph, or like how Greenwich Mean Time is the reference for international time zones. It describes the major events, activities, milestones, etc. The release plan defines where specific detail level tasks are completed. The detailed plan is developed based on the constraints in the baseline.
The baseline might have a milestone for Test Plans Complete, while your release plan has 10 different test plans, time-phased based on your available resources, all completed prior to the schedule milestone.
Baselines can change during a project, which then requires everyone to determine if they must adjust their detailed plans in response.
If you use a financial metaphor, baseline is your budget and plan is your forecast.
Your baseline requires a change request to be amended. Your plan is more fluid, not requiring change control. (Though your plan may require a corrective action plan to bring it back in line with the baseline.)
A release plan would focus on the content (features) of a series of product releases, and also mention the intended milestone(s) per release.
The milestones will be part of the schedule, which contains many more dates and activities. A release could be represented as a hammock activity in the schedule.
Consider the baseline the initial approved plan for your project. As your project progresses, the plan may change and you may use the baseline to highlight the variances. If there are enough changes, you may identify a new baseline.
A schedule baseline may include the release plan. However, the release plan may be go into more detail than is needed on a project schedule. Due to the level of detail and timeframes involved, most of my project schedules treat the release as high level steps with very few line items.
The baseline is the plan you and your client agree on. It can't be changed without mutual approval. It is what your team should respect according to the client. If your project is subject to penalties or bonus it is the reference.
Other plans are secondary, they add other pieces of information for specific usage.
The schedule baseline is the approved project schedule that can't be changed without going through the steps defined in the change management plan.
The release plan is the schedule of releases and what features will be in each release.
The release plan would normally be a subset of the schedule baseline, but not necessarily. It could be that you have flexibility to adjust release dates & features somewhat independently of the schedule for developing those features. At least, it could be that you can change release dates without going through change management. Possible, but not likely. More likely, you'd want some change management for the release plan as well.
A release plan is composed by features only. A schedule is composed by activities/tasks (mainly). For both and for any other thing you have (scope, cost, etc) you can create a baseline after the artifact pn which you are creating the baseline are approved.
Please login or join to reply