OnePager 6.1: Percent Complete Based on Working Time

In our last post, we discussed OnePager’s new working time calendar. Defining working time is useful if you want to format working and non-working hours differently, but it’s also required if you want more precise reporting on percent complete.

Most project managers update percent complete in Microsoft Project on a task-by-task basis as work is completed. However, others like to “force fit” percent complete to a certain status date, essentially stating that their projects are current through a certain date, and asking Microsoft Project to back into whatever percent complete calculation makes that status date line up:

For now, I’ll refrain from getting on my soapbox about how inaccurate it is to declare that a project is current through a certain date when the numbers don’t back that up.

If you’ve already made that declaration, you want your progress bars in OnePager to match the percent complete values that you’ve asked Project to calculate. Most of the time they do, but if you are displaying your OnePager chart based on a 24-hour clock and are asking Project to calculate percent complete based on an 8-hour working day, there are going to be cases where the numeric percent complete that Project has calculated won’t perfectly line up with the status date of your project:

OnePager 6.1 enables you to address this by giving you the option to display progress based on working time instead of the standard 24-hour clock. This doesn’t change the numeric percent complete values that Project has calculated; rather, it asks OnePager to display those same values based on a working time. Here’s how to turn it on:

  1. Go to Home > Project View Properties > Task Bars > Percent Complete Properties
  2. Check the box to Honor Non-Working Time, and then click OK

OnePager will take a second look at all of the percent complete values from Microsoft Project and will nudge them so that they align with the beginning of the next working day, like this:

To make sure that your progress bars in OnePager precisely match what you’ve computed in Microsoft Project, you may need to go to Data > Replace Snapshot to ensure that your percent complete values are completely up-to-date. You’ll also want to make sure that the working calendar in Microsoft Project matches the working calendar in OnePager. If you missed last week’s blog post on how to define working time, it will tell you how to make any necessary adjustments.

OnePager 6.1: Hide or Shade Weekends, Weekdays, and Non-Working Hours

In our previous post, we discussed how to stretch and hide specific date ranges on the time axis. In OnePager 6.1, we also let you apply special formatting to repeated timespans in your schedule, namely days of the week and working/non-working time.

Days of the Week

When you create a project plan, it’s common for your tasks to span weekends. For tasks that are months or years in duration, weekends become roundoff error, but if you have a two-day task with a weekend in the middle, the task can look a lot bigger than it actually is.

With that in mind, OnePager 6.1 now supports special formatting for different days of the week. The most common way that people use this feature is to distinguish weeks from weekends.

To get started, go to Home > Project View Properties > Time Axis > Format. There are settings for each day of the week. If you want to make weekends more obvious, you can start by shading them in a different color:

After applying the change, Saturday and Sunday will still be on the time axis, but they’ll be highlighted in gray to make them stand out better:

Highlighting weekends is a good choice when you have a relatively short-term project without too many weekends. If you’re running a multi-year project, highlighting every weekend is going to make for a chart that is very busy and hard to read, since the background will keep alternating between white and gray in rapid succession.

For these longer project plans, it’s best to simply remove weekends from the time axis. You can do this by unchecking the corresponding box, as we’ve done here with Saturday and Sunday:

Once applied, OnePager will hide all Saturdays and Sundays from the time axis so that only Monday through Friday remain:

Working & Non-Working Time

We’ve found that most users are pretty happy with the ability to format weekends separately and leave it at that. But if you want to get technical, merely addressing Saturday and Sunday doesn’t give you a completely accurate view of when work is taking place, unless you plan on working 24-hours a day during the week.

For a more precise display of when work is taking place and when it isn’t, OnePager 6.1 lets you take things a step further and look at working time. By default, OnePager defines working time as Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. If that’s close enough, you don’t need to change it. But you could make the argument that lunch is not working time, so you might want to divide each day into a morning work schedule and an afternoon work schedule.

To re-define working hours, go to Home > Project View Properties > Time Axis > Format and then click the Define Working Hours button:

To add a lunch hour, change the first working time block to end at 12:00 noon instead of 5:00 p.m., and then click the Add button to add a second working time block in the afternoon from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. The hour in the middle becomes lunch, and is now considered non-working. You can add a lunch hour for all five workdays at once, assuming Monday through Friday are all highlighted on the left-hand side of the screen before you start changing the hours on the right.

Click OK to update your working hours. If you then want to hide non-working time, uncheck the box to Show Non-Working Hours, and OnePager will compress the time axis down so that only working hours remain:

Keep in mind that there are 24 hours in a day, and typically only eight working hours, so if you choose to hide non-working time, you can expect your OnePager chart to shrink in width by about 2/3.

Your other option is to shade non-working time, just like OnePager does with days of the week. Again, this can get a bit busy if you’re showing a long-range plan, but it does give you a good level of precision as to when work is scheduled to occur:

If you shrink the overall duration of your OnePager chart down to a single week with an hourly breakdown, you can see how it’s a useful way to get an in-depth view of your work week:

OnePager 6.1: Non-Linear Time Axis

OnePager 6.1 now supports a non-linear time axis, allowing you to show different sections of time at different scales in the same chart. For example, you might want to zoom in on a given week to give it added focus, while hiding another entire month when nothing important is taking place:

You can either make these adjustments by editing the time axis directly with your mouse, or you can set up a series of rules to do the work for you.

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OnePager 6.1: Upgrades to Task Link Formatting and Geometry

In our previous post, we talked about OnePager’s new ability to import and filter links directly from Project or Excel. This is a powerful capability, but it’s only useful if the links look good and don’t overpower the rest of your project timeline.

In this article, we are covering OnePager 6.1’s new improvements to how links actually look. These upgrades fall into two categories:

  • Link Formatting covers things like the line color, thickness, dash style, corner radius, and arrowhead shapes.
  • Link Geometry applies to the path that a link takes to get from the predecessor to the successor. Does the link attach to the top of bottom of the task? Does it go in a straight line, or does it have to zig and zag to get from A to B? All of this is now configurable.

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OnePager 6.1: Data-Driven Task Links

Over the next several weeks, we’re going to provide an overview of everything that is new in OnePager 6.1. This week, we’ll start with something that our users have been requesting for quite a while: Data-Driven Task Links.

OnePager has always supported the ability to show relationships between tasks, but we had always shied away from importing a whole pile of links from the project plan, because there was no good way to filter which links to show, and showing all links looks so cluttered.

With OnePager 6.1, we’ve designed a powerful filtering tool so that you can import your tasks directly from the project plan, but so that you also have control over which links should show, and which links shouldn’t. Continue reading

OnePager Pro & Express 6.1 are Here!

OnePager Pro 6.1 chart, featuring data-driven dependencies and a stretched time axis.

We’re pleased to announce that OnePager 6.1 is now available to the general public! OnePager 6.1 has been over a year in the making, but the sheer number of new and improved features make it well worth the wait. Here is an overview of some of the most important upgrades that are now available:

  1. Data-Driven Task Links (Dependencies): Import predecessors and successors directly from Microsoft Project, Project Online, or Primavera P6, if you’re a OnePager Express user.
  2. Upgrades to Task Link Formatting: Format predecessors and successors with a new palette of line styles, arrowheads, rounded corners. Smart link routing plus drag and drop editing helps show links without cluttering the chart.
  3. Non-Linear Time Axis: Stretch or hide one or more periods on the time axis to add or remove focus.
  4. Floating Time Axis: Insert one or more time axes in the middle of the chart, adding an important visual reference for larger reports.
  5. Hide or Shade Weekends, Weekdays, and Non-Working Hours: Define working and non-working hours, then automatically highlight or hide non-working time (or even entire days) from the time axis.
  6. Percent Complete Based on Working Time: More accurately represent project progress with an improved percent complete calculation based on working and non-working hours.
  7. Custom Date Formats: Create user-defined date formats for labeling the time axis, tasks/milestones, or text columns.
  8. New Shapes and Color Palettes: Modern colors, gradients, shapes, and borders add a fresh look to Gantt charts created in OnePager 6.1.
  9. Auto-Save: Automatically save a backup of the user’s project report to protect from data loss during power outages and unexpected Windows restarts.

Please see the below links to determine whether or not you qualify for this upgrade at no cost, to find out where to retrieve it, and to watch a video about the new changes. Continue reading

OnePager Goal: We Want You as a Lifetime-Customer

In case you didn’t get the feeling at any point in your previous business exchanges with us, I’d like to tell you now: We’d like your business for as long as you live and work.

We realize this isn’t something a product alone can achieve; it’s something that we humans under the hood must commit to daily in order to earn it.

It’s something we talk about regularly during our meetings, and every now and then we get a little pat on the back from a customer who is momentarily inspired to share their appreciation for the attention we’ve given them.

No application is perfect, but our development team works hard every day (weekends too!) to make OnePager better.

Given this customer-centric focus, your feedback is enormously important to us. Negative, or positive, or even if you just have a wish list for what you want the application to do, please find a minute to send us your thoughts.

Your input drives what we do and how we do it.

Thank you!

If OnePager is Catching On at Your Company, You’re Not Alone

Something exciting is happening at OnePager: We are seeing tremendous growth in our user base. And, of course, we have you to thank for it.

From September 2016 to September 2017, we grew our user base by 20%. Then, from September 2017 to today, we grew by another 22%. That’s a total growth of 47% over the last two years!

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New Video: Mapping ANY Fields from Project or Excel Into OnePager

In earlier versions of OnePager, we gave you the option to select the fields that you wanted to import when you were first building your report, but didn’t offer the flexibility to change your mind and add new fields later on.

That changed last year with version 6.0.  Take a look at this video to see how to map ANY field from Project or Excel into an existing OnePager Project View:

Help! OnePager isn’t working! – Guidelines for Support Interactions

From the outset, let me state that very early on in the life of our company, we purposefully decided that customer experience would not only a priority, but a tenet of our business.

A part of this was as goal to provide best-in-class support.

We pride ourselves on our accessibility and turnaround time when our customers need help, and for the most part, we hear that our philosophy is working.

Credit: http://davidbressler.com/2017/07/19/are-you-the-one-in-your-family-who/computer-frustration/

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