To begin, set up an Excel spreadsheet to track your key phase gates. Your spreadsheet doesn't have to be identical to this one, though this example is nice because it shows you how to track phase gates across multiple projects at once:
You can build your phase gate timeline using your entire spreadsheet, or you can include an "Show It" column as we did to select only the key phase gates we want to report on:
To convert your spreadsheet into a phase gate timeline, double-click the OnePager Express icon on your desktop. When the Start screen appears, click the NEW button. Then, choose your Excel spreadsheet as the source file for your project timeline.
Then, on the import screen, click the Change button to select our "Multi-Project Milestone Chart" template as a starting point. Then give your phase gate timeline a name and a snapshot/status date:
Click Next > and then the Create new chart button, and you'll start out with a milestone report like this:
Now, we'll make a few cosmetic changes. First, we'll turn the diamond symbols into numbered milestones for each phase gate. To go this, go to Home > Chart Properties > Milestones and click on the Manage Rules button at the bottom. We'll add a rule to assign a unique symbol and color for each type of phase gate:
Back on the Milestones tab, we're going to turn off milestone labels (they're repetitive) and show the dates for phase gates instead. To change the font, format, or position of date labels, you can click the Date Label Properties button.
Click OK. The new symbols, colors and dates are in place, but are a little hard to read, so we'll make one more edit.
Our final change will be to align all of the phase gates up by project so that we have multiple milestones on one line. To do this, go to Home > Chart Properties > Rows/Swimlanes. We want to change the Rows setting at the top to Timeline (multiple tasks per row) and choosing "Project Name" in the Align tasks on dropdown. This will put all of the phase gates for a single project in one row:
Click OK one final time and you'll see everything lined up correctly:
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