Cost Performance Baseline

Posted on August 3, 2009 by


The Cost Performance Baseline is an “authorized time-phased budget-at-completion (BAC) used to measure, monitor, and control overall cost performance on the project” (PMI’s fourth edition PMBOK®). All the minor budgets are added together to create the overall Cost Performance Baseline, which is displayed as a graph of cumulative funds to be spent over time. The periods of time are on the x-axis and the funds are on the y-axis. The periods of time could be days, months, years, etc. Because spending is generally less at the beginning and end of the project, the line on the graph representing cumulative funds tends to be in an S-shaped curve.

The Cost Performance Baseline, also called the Performance Measurement Baseline (PMB), is one of the project baselines that are incorporated into the Project Management Plan. It is developed in the PMBOK’s Determine Budget process which adds up the estimated costs of the project activities in order to create the budget. The Cost Performance Baseline is then used an input to the Plan Quality and Plan Procurements processes. Also see the earlier posting of Determine Budget Process (posted March 13, 2009).