Filtering your Task Links (1/3): Critical Path

We will be doing a three-part blog series that explores smart ways to filter your task links in a OnePager chart. This first article will discuss how to display dependencies for only the tasks that are on the critical path. We will use the Microsoft Project example below, where Site 1 and all of its subtasks are on the critical path, and all of the tasks underneath Site 2 are non-critical:

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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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Color-Coding by a Custom Status field in Microsoft Project

Many of you already use OnePager’s conditional formatting to automatically assign colors to your charts based on Microsoft Project’s Status field. But what if you need status calculated differently than how Microsoft Project does it out of the box?

In this article, I’ll show you how to create your own custom status field in Microsoft Project, and then bring that into OnePager to drive the color-coding of your timeline.

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Endpoints: How to not lose track of dates on a timeline

Endpoints are a little-known feature of OnePager that allow you to assign special symbols to different dates in your schedule and have those symbols appear near your main task bar. Endpoints are especially useful if you have several tasks left-to-right in a timeline layout and are worried that the overlap between those tasks will mask the true start and finish dates.

Let’s start with this simple project, which is initially in a Gantt chart layout. You can see that some of the tasks are scheduled back-to-back, but that other tasks are at least partially concurrent:

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Measuring On-time Performance Across a Portfolio with OnePager

So you’ve taken many steps to get to this point: Your firm has launched a PPM tool, and your staff is trained how to use it. You’ve built a base set of standards, and are beginning to reap the benefits of having all your data in one place, reporting your initiatives, and tracking how much they truly cost. You finally have an eye on things.

But now you want to investigate whether or not you have any more deep-seated issues within your organization.

One visual that will help significantly with this is a Stacked Resource Timeline.

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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.

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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!

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