In the Beginning
The schedule should provide a variety of ways of measuring success as you monitor your project. You will start off with your baseline, which will be your initial project schedule for a specific time. This baseline schedule remains fixed and is used for comparison against your current project schedule. Baseline dates are, therefore, the initial dates for starting and finishing a task. These will be used with your current schedule for comparison purposes to see if tasks are being performed on schedule. This can also be used to calculate where your project costs are in conjunction with the budget.
As you plan your schedule, there will be several key dates, including your project start date, the start dates of individual tasks, and the completion dates of the tasks and the project. You will see as you build your schedule that there will be some variance regarding when you can start and finish specific activities. You will have designated start and finish dates as well as earliest feasible start dates, which mark the earliest date on which the activity could be scheduled to start based on the scheduled dates of all its predecessors(other activities that need be completed first). This date is also calculated by resource scheduling, meaning that the date cannot be set if resources have not been purchased or set up for this activity. You'll also find an earliest finish date lurking on the other end of the activity. This date is based on the calculated start date.