Automatically Hiding Completed Tasks

If you are a regular user of OnePager Pro with Microsoft Project, you already know about Flag20 and how it’s used to bring over tasks with a Yes value. However, there might be instances where you want to filter your tasks further and exclude tasks once they have finished. When this situation arises, you can use Conditional Import Rules to check not only for Flag20, but also for an incomplete status.

Let’s say we need OnePager to know when a task or milestone finishes so that it can be removed from the chart. Right out of the gate, this sounds like a very tedious task as you would need to not only track the status of each task but also mark them as No in your Flag20 field once they finish. Fear not, though, as there is a much faster and easier way to do this.

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Summary Task Percent Complete

When creating a schedule, one thing stands out when presenting to an audience: the percent complete. While it is nice to see the start and finish date for the summary tasks in the schedule, it is essential to show how far along a task is. Most of the time, your project plan’s percent complete values will suffice, but there are other times where the percent complete might seem ahead or behind schedule. In this blog, we will discuss what OnePager has to offer to remedy this issue: a feature called %Complete EV.

Before we begin discussing this exciting feature in OnePager, I want to clarify that this is a OnePager proprietary calculation that only looks at the percent complete for summary tasks. If you find that your issues are with the non-summary tasks, you should check out our blog that covers that issue here.

Microsoft Project averages all the tasks under the summary task, giving you an overall percent complete. However, this calculation can be incorrect due to other factors that Microsoft Project didn’t consider, which is what OnePager %Complete EV fixes. If you look at the example below, you will see that the Summary Task is behind schedule, even though all of its children are right on track.

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Multiple Values in Conditional Formatting

In my view, among the many great features of OnePager, none beat Conditional Formatting. With Conditional Formatting, you can create rules to change the color, shape, fill, and other properties of tasks and milestones based on specific rules that you set. However, what happens when you have multiple values to which you need the same rule to apply? You could create a bunch of separate rules, but that’s a lot of work. In this article, we will go over how you can create a conditional formatting rule that tests for multiple conditions at once.

Imagine with me, if you will, that you have a schedule with individual resources assigned to different tasks. Each resource is part of a specific team in your organization, and you would like to be able to color tasks based on the team that the people belong to, not based on their individual names.

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Conditionally Displaying Baselines

OnePager’s baseline display is a great way to compare your original project plan to the way things are now. But what if you want to only show baselines where there has actually been a change in the underlying schedule? This blog article will show you how to conditionally display Baseline Markers when there is variance between Start/Finish and Baseline Start/Baseline Finish.

To display Baseline Markers conditionally, we first need to have our data set up correctly in our Microsoft Project file. We assume you already have a Task Name with Start/Finish dates. You will also need to have Baseline Start and Baseline Finish entries.

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Timeline without Dates

With a Gantt chart, you can display Start/Finish dates that show exactly when a task starts and finishes. However, in this blog, we will be creating a dateless chart to show a graphical representation of your schedule without any specific dates displayed. 

We will start at the top of the chart with the Time Axis representing different tic units. In the example, we utilize the Month and Week units of the Time Axis.

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Identifying Late and Very Late Tasks with Finish Variance

In Microsoft Project, a field called Finish Variance shows how many days there are between the Finish and the Baseline Finish fields. Using this data can be helpful when trying to determine if your tasks are finishing on, before, or after their planned finish dates.

If you want to use the Finish Variance field in your OnePager Conditional Formatting Rules to show visually if your tasks are late, you’ll run into an issue: Microsoft Project treats Finish Variance as a string field instead of a number.

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Highlighting Estimated Tasks

The Estimated field in Microsoft Project lets you identify tasks for which dates aren’t yet set in stone:

Simply place a “Yes” next to tasks that are estimated, and leave everything else alone. If you want to make a distinction between estimated and firm tasks in your OnePager chart, you can do so with conditional formatting.

To launch conditional formatting, go to Home > Chart Properties > Task Bars, and then click the Manage Rules button in the bottom. We’re starting out with some conditional formatting rules that assign different colors based on the Status field:

A lot of beginner OnePager users assume that conditional formatting can only used for color, or that conditional formatting can only look at one Microsoft Project field at a time. Both of these assumptions are incorrect. Even though we already have a set of rules that assign color based on status, we can add a separate rule that looks for tasks where the Estimated flag field is true:
Once you’ve set up the condition, scroll to the right and assign a dotted border, like this:
Click OK on the border selector, and you’ll see the dotted border appear in the conditional formatting grid:

Click OK to close the Conditional Formatting Rules screen, and then click OK again to close Chart Properties. Your chart will update so that all estimated tasks appear with a dotted black border, while still retaining their main colors that are based on status:

Displaying Only Deadlines in a Chart

Those of you who are seasoned users of OnePager know that you can show deadline markers in your OnePager chart, which appear (hopefully) to the right of your main task bars:

Traditionally, deadline symbols don’t appear without their associated task, and even if they did, their formatting options are pretty limited, since they’re not something that is controlled by conditional formatting, or even really very easy to edit by hand.

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Fixing Individual Text Collisions

If you’re using OnePager 7.0, you probably know that there is a new set of algorithms that automatically optimize the text in your chart to minimize text collisions.

These algorithms work very well, but every so often, you may find a text collision that sneaks through. In other cases, you might have moved text or shapes around by hand and created a text collision that wasn’t there originally.

If your chart looks good overall, but you have a couple of lingering text collisions, you don’t have to re-optimize your entire chart to fix it. Instead, you can select the pieces of text that are in trouble and re-apply the optimization just to the area of your chart that needs it. In this example, we have three pieces of text that are hard to read. So we can select all three with a Ctrl+Left-Click, and then right-click on any one of the three selections to choose the Re-Optimize Text Collisions option from the context menu:

OnePager will re-run the optimization algorithm only for the selected tasks. So if you’re happy with the layout of the rest of your chart, you don’t have to worry about messing it up while you’re fixing a collision elsewhere.