Resource Usage Across Multiple Microsoft Project Files

Hello again to all my fellow OnePager users! I have a question for you today. Have you ever wondered what an easy way would be for you to track resource usage across multiple schedules? If you have ever asked yourself that, you are in for a treat. If you have not, you are still in for a treat. This article will discuss using Conditional Formatting Rules (CFR) to display available resource hours within your OnePager chart.

The first thing to do here is to ensure you have a schedule with hours entered into the Work field. This is the field we will use in the OnePager chart to create rules and track resource hours.

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OnePager 7.2 Beta Program

Our team has been hard at work on OnePager 7.2 and is pleased to announce it will be ready for broader testing before too long. A lot of users have already reached out and asked to be a part of our Alpha program for version 7.2. But if this is the first that you’re hearing about it, you can still join the Beta, which will be starting soon.

While there are hundreds of improvements between versions 7.1 and 7.2, these are the major enhancements that you will see across all three editions (Pro, Express, and Bundle) of OnePager:

  • Advanced Conditional Formatting of Tasks & Milestones: Conditional formatting now goes beyond colors and shapes. Now you can control the formatting of percent complete, baselines, and other decorations.
  • Conditional Formatting of Rows & Swimlanes: For the first time, the formatting of your swimlanes and rows can also be controlled by conditional formatting. Automatically color a row red when it contains late tasks, or set up a custom color scheme for the different phases of your project.
  • Stoplight Charts (Symbol Columns): Text columns can now be repurposed to display colorful symbols, again, all based on the data in your project plan.
  • Statistical Columns: Text columns can also summarize information about multiple tasks when they are grouped together into a timeline layout. Find the earliest start date or the average cost of all of the tasks in a single row.
  • Change Tracking: Visually compare two versions of the same project to determine when dates have slipped.
  • Presentation Mode: Present your live project without exporting to PowerPoint.
  • Time Cursor Upgrades: The time cursor can now be extended into the time axis, can include shading that follows it as time progresses, and can also feature a pointer at the top to make it more visible.
  • Visual Effects: New task bar styles can help your chart really pop.

In addition, we’re thrilled to offer integrations with four new PPM and CWM partners:

  • Planisware Enterprise (Available in OnePager Bundle)
  • Project for the Web (Available in OnePager Pro & OnePager Bundle)
  • Asana (Available in OnePager Bundle)
  • Wrike (Available in OnePager Bundle)

If one or more of these new features or new integrations sound exciting to you, then we’d love to have you as one of our 7.2 Beta testers. If you’d like to participate, please e-mail [email protected] and let us know which features or integrations you are most interested in. Based on your request, we’ll help you determine eligibility and next steps.

Baselining and Variance Analysis

If you are someone who regularly reads our blog, you will know that most of the time, our articles cover OnePager and how to use it more efficiently. However, here at OnePager we like to keep things fresh and exciting, so instead of discussing OnePager, this article will cover Baselining and Variance Analysis in your Microsoft Project file.

The best way to get into this discussion is to review what a Baseline and Variance are and what they represent in your schedule.

The Baseline in your schedule can be a kind of snapshot of your project. This snapshot has five categories from which it captures data for every task: start, finish, duration, cost, and work. With this data, you can compare actual vs. planned progress, allowing you to identify areas where the project could use extra attention.

The Variance depends on the baselines as it represents the difference between your original and current schedule. Microsoft Project calculates this by using a formula that I have placed below. Within your project are five types of Variances: start, finish, duration, cost, and work.

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Weekend Work on an Hourly Scale

Most schedules show work that takes place during the work week, but in this article, we will explore creating a Gantt chart that displays, on an hourly scale, work done over the weekend.

Below is a schedule with tasks for Saturday and Sunday between 8:00 am and 3:00 pm.

The next step is to launch OnePager and create the chart by going to Add-ins > OnePager > New. After clicking New, you should see the “OnePager choices” window; we will select an out-of-the-box template designed for an hourly view. To do this, click Change… and then Browse, which will bring you to the template folder. Select the “Hourly View” template, and then finish creating your chart.

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Milestone Types using Project Online

If your project has lots of different milestones, you may benefit from defining a Milestone Type in Project Online so that different families of milestones are easier to distinguish.

Examples of different milestone types include major, minor, payment, and review, to name a few. In this article, we will share how to create enterprise custom fields and lookup tables in Project Online to catalog our milestone types and how to use them in your OnePager chart. 

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Percent Complete Color Coding

For anyone who has created a schedule, one of the essential things to know is percent complete. Users of OnePager know we already offer ways to show percent complete via a yellow bar, text, or a checkmark. However, we will dive into another method: color coding different tasks based on a percent complete range.

We will first want to determine what percent complete ranges we want to create rules for and what color will represent them. In this example, I will be using the following ranges.

0% – 25% | 26% – 50% | 51% – 75% | 76% – 100%

Once you have decided on your rules, create a chart from your source file.
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Filtering your Task Links (3/3): Key Milestones

Welcome to part 3 of the task link filtering trilogy! Through our task link journey, we have covered how to display dependencies that are on a Critical Path (Part 1) and also dependencies that are set for Future Dates (Part 2). If you missed either of those two blog posts, I highly suggest you treat yourself to the wealth of knowledge it offers regarding task link filtering.

We will discuss how to filter your task links so that only ones with a milestone as a successor are displayed. To do this, we will first need to create a chart with task links enabled. You can enable the task links by going into Chart Properties > Task Links and checking the box “Show data-driven links.”

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Filtering your Task Links (2/3): Future Tasks

Welcome to part 2 of the task link filtering trilogy! Our last blog article discussed how to show task links on a Critical Path (Part 1). This portion will explore how you can filter your task links in two more ways, both relating to future dates. The first will go over how to filter task links with a status of “Future Tasks,” while the second will be how to filter task links to only show when they are to the right of your Time Cursor, which is another way of looking at future dependencies.

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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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Resource Usage Gantt Chart

Projects are comprised of many moving parts, but one of the most important aspects are the resources. Many would argue that you cannot complete a project without resources, since they are the ones doing the work. Managing work hours for your resources can be crucial to a project. In this blog post, we will go over how to create a view that allows you to show resource usage.

In Microsoft Project, a resource usage view will show you each resource and the hours associated with each of their tasks. However, this view is very limited in its visual effectiveness.

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