I often have users ask me how I would display a level of certainty around a particular milestone or task.
The need exists because the initiative spans many years, and therefore, items in the plan set to begin, or complete, in the near future are fairly certain in terms of their target dates. However, items further out on the timeline need to be interpreted as loose estimates.
This is actually very easily accomplished in OnePager, as long as you have a column with a value that indicates the various levels of certainty you want to communicate.
Prior to using OnePager, you didn’t have to consider how much space your project plan’s task or milestone labels would consume in a chart. Regardless of how long they were, you always had to re-type them anyway into whatever other application you were using to create your reports — and most people shortened labels while retyping. But now that you’re using your actual plan data to drive your visuals, label length is a major consideration.
Take a look at the examples below. The first has very long labels, while the second uses only what is necessary for the audience to understand what the activity or milestone is. (Double-click to enlarge each image.)
When you’re building a plan in Excel, especially with OnePager, automated population of data can be critical to gaining efficiency in the long-run.
Organizing, updating, visualizing, and generally making sense of your plan will all be much faster and easier if you have the data there from the beginning to leverage sorting and filtering capabilities built into Excel and OnePager.
Adding a WBS is another value that can be added to your Excel plan to help in this regard, however, having to do that manually may seem daunting. Luckily, the internet provides when it comes to Excel knowledge and we found a very nice article and template previously posted online that can might provide you an excellent start!