Filtering OnePager Using Enterprise Custom Flag Fields from Project Online

Everybody knows that OnePager can use local flag fields (Flag 1-20) from Microsoft Project to filter the tasks and milestones that make it into your report. Did you also know that OnePager can make use of flags in Project Online and Project Server that are set up as enterprise custom fields? Continue reading

When is a Summary Task on the Critical Path?

Short answer: Never.

Long answer: Summary tasks are a collection of one or more child tasks. By definition, a summary task doesn’t represent any real work, resources, or deliverables, so summary tasks are neither on nor off the critical path of a project. Children of summary tasks can be on the critical path, assuming those children are not summary tasks themselves.

Continue reading

Storytelling With Your Gantt Chart In OnePager

The marketing industry has played a large role in figuring out how to best get information across to audiences. I realize we’re in the planning-world here…so bear with me, folks.

storytime-600x400“Storytelling” is something marketing experts have been talking about for years, as a better way to communicate brands, products, and what sets businesses apart. It’s now a recognized, tried and true approach, and one that has taken a firm foothold due to its effectiveness. Our customer experiences online are, in large part, shaped by “stories” that marketers have set up for us to more easily get to know what they’re selling, and eventually buy it.

Because of this success, storytelling is now quickly making its way into business vernacular, specifically with respect to data. With so much data being collected over the course of doing normal business, we need better ways to communicate that data (the stuff we’re “selling”), in such a way that it can be easily consumed (“buying it”). Continue reading

Create OnePager Gantt Charts Directly from Project Online or Server!

We posted a video about this feature back in January, but wanted to make sure everyone clearly understands what this means: OnePager users no longer need Microsoft Project on their desktop in order to create OnePager visuals using their data on Project Server or Project Online!

direct-to-onepager-from-server_2

Continue reading

Showing Checkmarks on a Gantt Chart

Traditionally, Gantt charts depict progress by showing a progress bar, or by color-coding an item green when it is complete. However, some project managers prefer to show a checkmark next to each task to indicate completion, more like a task list.

gantt-chart-checkmark4

OnePager makes this easy. You only need to make a few simple changes to your Microsoft Project plan to have OnePager automatically check off tasks when you’ve completed them. Here’s how: Continue reading

How the OnePager Community is Defining Plan Communications

From the outset of anyone’s career in project management they will hear that good communications are critical to success…your own, in your role as a project manager, and to the initiative itself. This makes inherent sense, right? So why hasn’t there been any significant work to help us understand how to communicate better when it comes to the world of planning?

Continue reading

Thanks for Helping Us #FixProjectServer

Back in April, we asked for your help in lobbying Microsoft to complete the technology that allows OnePager to import data from Project Server and Project Online. We are pleased to say that with your help, we have succeeded in convincing Microsoft to change course.

Our petition has to date received 298 votes, making it the top vote-getter among the petitions posted for all editions of Microsoft Project (Project Server, Project Online, and Project Desktop). A number of OnePager users left comments alongside their signatures, telling Microsoft of the importance of OnePager to their business and the criticality of the needed fix. We can’t thank you enough for your help. There is no doubt that this unprecedented outpouring of support from our user community got Microsoft’s attention and elevated the priority of our request.

We are now pleased to announce that beginning with OnePager Pro version 5.3.11, OnePager will be able use the following custom fields to create timelines in Microsoft Project Server and Online. Previously, these fields were available only if Project was installed on the desktop.

  • Flag1 – Flag20
  • Text1 – Text30
  • Number1 – Number10
  • Date1 – Date20
  • Start1 – Start10 (Start itself was always available)
  • Finish1 – Finish10 (Finish itself was always available)
  • Cost1 – Cost10
  • Outline Code1 – Outline Code10
  • The Project Summary Task (aka Task 0)

We will send a separate notification to everyone as soon as 5.3.11 is available for download, which should be very soon.

If you’re a frequent user of OnePager, many of these fields will look familiar. For instance, many users employ these fields to filter which tasks from their Project plans they want to display in OnePager — it’s how you turn a 1,000-line Project plan into a 25-line OnePager. The Text fields are also crucial, because they allow users to import custom data for use in OnePager’s conditional formatting feature. For instance, if I was collaborating with ABC Pharma and I wanted all tasks in the ABC Pharma workstream called out on my chart, I would put “ABC Pharma” in the Text30 field, then conditionally format all tasks with ABC Pharma in Text30 to be red.

Microsoft’s omission of these fields left a gaping hole in our usability that could only be worked around by installing Project on the user’s desktop — which, of course, defeats the purpose of using a cloud app like Project Server or Online in the first place. We are delighted that Microsoft listened to our customers and closed the gaps, which will make for a better user experience not only in OnePager but also in Project, and in other apps that integrate with Project.

We continue to work with Microsoft on a small number of fields that are still inaccessible to OnePager in Project Server/Online, including Baseline1 – Baseline10 (Baseline Start and Baseline Finish can be read), and Duration1 – Duration10 (likewise, Duration can be read). If you are having difficulty because of an inability to use these fields from Project Server/Online, please reach out to us at support@onepager.com and we will pass your concerns on to the appropriate Microsoft engineers.

Once again, we truly appreciate your support, and we hope you are as inspired as we are about what a few (hundred) good project managers can do! Please keep the feedback coming.

Gantt Charts by the Hour

Most project managers work with medium-to-long-range projects, and use OnePager to manage tasks on a day-by-day basis. But not all projects work this way. In the IT space, many release management projects take less than a day to complete, and have many important details in between.

Microsoft Project–and yes, OnePager–has a tendency to treat shorter-duration tasks as milestones, which can fail to give you the hour-by-hour or minute-by-minute detail that you might need in your project report. However, by changing a few simple settings in OnePager, you can create a very clean Gantt chart displaying times instead of dates:

hourly-gantt-chart4

Continue reading

Critical Path: It’s not “the most important stuff”

Critical Path comes up frequently in our interactions with our customers. Most executives we speak with still use the term Critical Path to describe “the most important stuff.” But those of us who are trained project managers and schedulers know that’s not exactly right.

Pert_chart_colored Continue reading

Why do Summary Tasks Always Appear Behind Schedule?

Have you ever walked into a project status meeting, proud of how all of your deliverables are on track, only to have someone ask you why the phase or project-level summary task shows that you are behind schedule? Everything you’ve been tasked with doing is on time, but for some reason, the summary shows that you are weeks or months behind.

Here’s why:

Continue reading