In this blog series, we’ll be highlighting some of the new features that are now available with OnePager 7.0. One of the most exciting upgrades is the new support for multiple swimlane levels. In prior versions of OnePager, we supported a single level of swimlane grouping, but have had numerous requests over the years to support grouping by multiple fields at once, in a hierarchical format. Some users have referred to this as parent swimlanes and child swimlanes, or just sub-swimlanes for short.
Here’s an example of a OnePager chart with three levels of swimlanes, that are grouped first by Program, then by Project, and finally by Phase:
When multiple swimlanes are used, the largest grouping will always be in the left-most swimlane, and smaller groupings will nest inside it from left-to-right. In the example above, the Left #1 swimlane is the Program, the Left #2 swimlane is the Project, and the Left #3 swimlane is the Phase. A lower-level child swimlane will never extend past the border of a higher-level parent swimlane. So, in this example, none of the Project sub-swimlanes at Left #2 would ever straddle two Program swimlanes at Left #1.
To add multiple swimlane levels to your chart, go to Home > Chart Properties > Rows/Swimlanes. There is a separate tab to control each of the three swimlane levels. If you’re updating a chart that was created in a previous version of OnePager, your original parent swimlanes will be on the Left #1 tab, and any new sub-swimlanes will be to the right of them on the Left #2 and Left #3 tabs, though you can certainly rearrange the hierarchy differently to suit your needs.
Each swimlane level can group based on a different field from Microsoft Project, Project Online, or Excel. While it’s not required, we usually recommend grouping different swimlane levels by a set of fields that have a natural hierarchy. For example, you could group first by “Project Name”, then by “Level 1 Summary Name”, and finally by “Level 2 Summary Name”. This works nicely because these fields are already set up in a way that is conducive to nesting. This way, the biggest parent swimlane at Left #1 corresponds to the highest outline level of your project schedule.
If you need to customize the formatting of your swimlanes, you can do that by clicking on one of the Swimlane Formatting buttons. Note that there is a separate Swimlane Formatting button for each of the three swimlane levels. If you have multiple swimlanes turned on, make sure that you’re clicking the button that corresponds to the swimlane level that you actually want to edit.
Once clicked, you’ll have a lot more options to configure the look and feel of your swimlanes, including background color, font, text rotation, and custom swimlane headings: