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Excel Product Development Plan

How to create an new product development plan from Excel using OnePager

When planning a new product, product managers need to keep track of all of the different milestones and deliverables in a way that makes it easy to communicate with suppliers, distributors, and management. If your product development plan is being tracked in Excel, then OnePager Express can help you summarize and share your product development plan in a visual Gantt or timeline format.

High-Level New Product Development Plan 15-Day
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This article will show you how to create a two lean product development plans in OnePager Express: one detailed and the other high-level. Don't have OnePager Express yet? Download a 15-day trial and follow along with either our simple or our more detailed instructions:

Simple Instructions

These instructions are designed for people don't already have a product development plan in Excel. You can use our example Excel plan as a starting point and follow these abbreviated steps to create your chart in a matter of minutes.

  1. Start by downloading these two sample files to your downloads folder or to your desktop. The Excel file contains the product development plan data, and the *.tat file is the OnePager template that will drive the formatting of the chart you're about to create.

      Product Development Plan.xlsx (Excel File)
      Product Development Plan.tat (OnePager Template)

  1. Open the Excel file that you just downloaded. From Excel's Add-Ins tab, click the OnePager Express button:

    OnePager Express add-in launch from Excel.

  2. On the Start screen, click NEW to begin building a new chart:

    OnePager Express start screen.

  3. On the next screen, locate the Starting Template section, and go to Change > BROWSE FILES. Browse to your desktop or downloads folder and select the Product Development Plan - Excel.tat that you downloaded in step #1:

    Change your OnePager template.

  4. With your Excel file loaded and your OnePager template selected, click Next, and then on the following screen, click Create new chart. OnePager will import the data from your Excel file and create a product development plan in just a few seconds:

    Excel Product Development Plan

Now that you've done this, you can go back to Excel and adjust the spreadsheet to match the dates and deliverables of your real-world product development plan. Once you've done this, follow the same steps again with your updated Excel sheet, and you'll be well on your way! 15-Day
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Detailed Instructions

These instructions are designed for people who have already built a product development plan in Excel and need to import what they already have into OnePager. These instructions also provide more details about customization along the way.

  1. Open your Excel file. In the example below, you will notice that the project is broken into the standard product development phases. There is also an "Add to OnePager" column, which allows you to select which tasks and milestones you want to import into OnePager Express. The plan we will create will show lots of detail, so we'll flag most of the key aspects of the plan, but you can change your own filtering to suit your needs:

    Product development plan created in Microsoft Excel.

  2. Double-click the OnePager Express icon on your desktop. When the Start screen comes up, click New. Choose the Excel file containing your product development plan, and the following wizard will appear:

    Import data from Excel into OnePager Express.

  3. Click Next to make sure that OnePager is selecting the correct fields from Excel to use in your chart. Once that looks good, click Create new Chart to build your first report:

    Excel product development plan created in OnePager Express.

    In this detailed example, each major phase of the product development plan gets its own color.

  4. Now, let's say that we want group the roadmap into swimlanes based on the phase, and then assign colors by resource instead of by phase. To do this, go to Home > Chart Properties > Rows/Swimlanes. Check the Group By box, and set your swimlanes to group based on the phase of the roadmap:

    Add swimlanes to your product development plan that are grouped by phase.

  5. Now, go to the Task Bars tab of the same settings form and change your color assignment to look at "Resource Names" instead of "Phase":

    Color code your product development plan by resource instead of phase.

  6. Finally, click OK and your chart will be refreshed so that it has swimlanes grouped by phase and colors assigned by resource:

    Excel Product Development Plan

OnePager Express is the easiest way to create a product development plan from an Excel spreadsheet. OnePager is flexible, easy to use, and creates charts that are easy for anyone to understand.

Get started today by downloading a free trial.

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