Configuration Baseline and Performance Baseline

“Walking on water and developing software from a specification are easy if both are frozen.” –  Edward Berard

Baseline means ‘A Line which is the Base’. The word baseline may refer to surveying, typography, budgeting, pharmacology, Configuration Management, calculations etc.

In an IT industry, baseline mainly implies

  • A Configuration Baseline – A configuration of software, hardware or a process that is established and documented as a point of reference
  • A Process Performance Baseline (PPB) – A datum used as the basis for calculation or comparison

Configuration baseline

As and when a work product is created and ready for review, it should be labeled as ‘ready for review v0.9’. (The version number may change based on the project’s strategy). And at the same time the work product should be available in the configuration tool. Once the review, rework and verification are completed the work product is ready for approval. There should be an identified approving authority for each work product. After the approval, the work product is baselined. (The baseline string can be ‘baselined v1.0’). Whenever a change is triggered in the work product, initially an impact analysis is triggered. Impact analysis helps to understand the change in cost, schedule, competency requirements, affected work products etc. The Change Control Board (as defined in the project plan) should approve the change in order to update the work product. After update, the work product undergoes review, approval and baselining process ( If the change is a minor, the review process can be skipped as defined in the project plan). The baseline string can be ‘baselined v1.1’or ‘baselined v2.0’depending on whether the change is a minor or major. All the change requests should be recorded and tracked for future reference.

If there is no configuration management, many people have to work on a work product that is altering. It creates copy-over problem, which causes versions of files to be lost. The number of uncontrolled copies of files makes it difficult to determine where the latest version really exists or not.

A configuration baseline is the configuration of a service, product or infrastructure that has been formally reviewed and approved, that thereafter can be changed only through formal change mechanisms.

Process Performance Baseline

Project data is recorded in the organizational metric repository. And from the data, performance baselines are created, in most cases the center line and upper and lower control limits from a control chart on that process execution. These baselines are used as a benchmark for comparing actual process performance against expected process performance and are revisited over a defined frequency.

These baselines are used

  • In project estimation process
  • While setting Objectives for the project
  • As inputs to the process performance models

Baseline helps to monitor current project performance and also to improve the accuracy of future estimates.

In short

A Configuration baseline shows the current state of a configuration item while a Process Performance Baseline shows the current performance of a process.

 

About

The author is a Quality Assurance professional by experience. Part Quantitative data analyst, part consultant for quality and information security practices, part software tester, she is a writer by passion and blogs at https://wordsandnotion.wordpress.com and http://qualitynotion.com/.

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One thought on “Configuration Baseline and Performance Baseline

  1. Dedicated server

    March 29, 2016 at 12:35pm

    An element of the business case for a program, describing costs and performance levels that would be achieved if those operations continued unchanged over the planned period of the program. The baseline is used to compare the costs and benefits of the options evaluated in the business case.

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    • Author

      Akhila

      March 31, 2016 at 3:17pm

      Appreciate your comment.As you rightly pointed out baseline is used to compare the current performance with the expected range.

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  2. WebMarka

    June 23, 2016 at 1:03pm

    By setting a network performance baseline, network administrators can define what is normal for enterprise networks and identify patterns that indicate signs of trouble down the road. Network performance baselines also enable network managers to plan for growth.

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    • Author

      Akhila

      June 28, 2016 at 3:13pm

      you are absolutely right., baselines are required in every field of operation. it helps us to improve further
      thanks for being here

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