In our two most recent posts, we’ve been looking at symbol columns, which are one of the new capabilities of OnePager 7.2. Specifically, we learned how to assign symbols based on status and how to use Harvey Balls to display percent complete.
Both of these examples used a Gantt chart layout with one task per row, making it very straightforward to determine which symbol to apply because each symbol only represents one task. When you have a timeline layout, there are multiple tasks in each row, and they all share a single symbol. In other words, your rules will need to look at all of the tasks in a row before assigning a symbol.
To illustrate this concept, let’s return to Harvey Balls. OnePager’s conditional formatting rules are already set up to assign a specific Harvey Ball based on a range of percent complete values. If you have multiple tasks in a single row, you can ensure that your rules have a Function that first computes the Average percent complete of all of the tasks before assigning the symbol:
This will ensure that the percent complete Harvey Ball accurately represents all of the tasks in your timeline, not just one of them.
For the symbols based on status, computing an average isn’t an option, because the status values aren’t numeric. Instead, statuses appear as text with values like:
- On Schedule
- Future Task
We can still take advantage of statistical functions with our rules to assign symbols. We just need to use different ones:
Here, we’ve taken a hybrid approach. If even one task on a row is late, we’ll treat the entire timeline is late by setting the Function to At Least One Value. Conversely, in order to consider a timeline complete, all tasks must be complete, which we indicate by setting the Function to All Values. These two rules may seem a little extreme, but it’s a clear and consistent way to handle timelines that have tasks of varying statuses.
For the other two intermediate statuses, we can be a little more forgiving. If most tasks are on schedule or in the future, we’ll indicate one of those statues. These two rules set the Function to Mode, which is OnePager’s default for non-numeric values.
Here’s the end result:
Looking at the first row for “Phase 1”, notice that the Harvey Ball is around 90% complete. This passes the sniff test, since two of the tasks are 100% complete and the third task is 75% complete.
For the second symbol column that looks at Status, the first row gets a red X. This is correct: Even though the first two tasks are complete, the third task is late, and our rules are set up so that one late task spoils the status for the entire row.
In our next blog post, we’ll continue our introduction to OnePager 7.2. We’ll move on from Symbol Columns and take a look at Statistical Columns, which enable you to display statistically-computed values in a text column as opposed to a symbol.