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Showing a Gantt Chart History

How to create versioned Gantt charts of a MS Project plan using OnePager Pro

OnePager Pro provides an excellent tool to use to create and maintain a Gantt chart history. The purpose of this article is to show you how to create and maintain a Gantt chart history of your project and how to use them as part of your analysis or in project presentations to project sponsors, team members, and customers.

Updated version of a Gantt chart created in OnePager Pro.

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To start, you need to create a Microsoft Project file representing your project that will be used throughout the project’s lifecycle to maintain an up-to-date status. If you don’t already have OnePager Pro, you can download a 15-day free trial to see how it works.

Just follow these steps and we will show you how to create the initial chart in OnePager Pro and how to create periodic snapshots over the course of your project:

  1. After you’ve created your Microsoft Project file, make sure that you’ve inserted a flag field which will control what OnePager Pro brings in to make your chart and periodic snapshots. The figure below shows the Microsoft Project file with “Flag20” used for this purpose:
    Microsoft Project plan. OnePager Pro is a timeline tool for Microsoft Project. The “Flag20” rows with a “Yes” tell OnePager Pro to import the Microsoft Project data and to represent that data in the Gantt chart.
  2. Now just double-click the OnePager Pro icon on your desktop. From the Start screen, choose New. Choose your Microsoft Project plan as the source file for your OnePager Gantt chart. Give your Gantt chart a name, and specify a status/snapshot date as shown below:
    Specify the initial version of your Gantt chart.
  3. Now, click the Create new chart button, and OnePager will create the chart shown below:
    Initial time-sensitive versioned snapshot of a Gantt chart. Note the dashed red line on the Gantt chart that corresponds to the snapshot date. This is an easy way to illustrate the current status date of your project plan.
  4. Save your chart by clicking the blue disk icon at the top left of the screen. Down the line, after you’ve updated your Microsoft Project file with the latest status of your project, you can create the next snapshot of the project with OnePager. To do this, simply launch OnePager from your desktop again. From the Start screen, choose Update and select your saved chart to refresh it with a new snapshot:
    Specify the updated version of your Gantt chart. The snapshot below was taken about two months into the project:
    Updated version of a Gantt chart created in OnePager Pro. Note how the project has changed over time. The red time cursor has moved, the percent complete (yellow bars) have been updated, and several start and finish dates have been repositioned as well. These changes have been refreshed on the Gantt chart based on modifications made to the underlying Microsoft Project plan. Assuming that you’ve been making snapshots with OnePager Pro throughout the project periodically, OnePager Pro will store these snapshots so that you will have a complete Gantt chart history of your project from start to finish.
  5. Now, let’s say that you want to build a presentation. On the View tab of the OnePager toolbar, there are two buttons that allow you to rewind to a previous snapshot or fast-forward to a more current snapshot. These buttons are shown on the OnePager toolbar below:
    Navigate between different versions of a Gantt chart, or browse Gantt chart versions.
  6. When you’ve accessed the snapshots you want to use, it is a simple matter to copy and paste the snapshots into a Microsoft PowerPoint or Word document or even to send the snapshots in an email. For subsequent presentations requiring multiple snapshots, it's easy to repeat the steps above to produce your subsequent schedule conversation presentation materials.

This article was directed at showing you how to create, maintain, and access historical Gantt charts during the term of your project. OnePager Pro’s unique database allows you to keep consistently-formatted and useful information for project sponsors, team members and customers. You can easily customize the look and feel of your presentation.

OnePager Pro is extremely useful in conducting schedule conversations during a project’s lifecycle. Also, OnePager Pro's ability to take snapshots during the course of a project enables project managers to monitor actual schedule against baseline and prepare clear and accurate schedule visualizations for project status presentations. Finally, OnePager Pro allows you to create dynamic, informative project presentations with the click of a button, and it eliminates the need to rebuild your presentation by hand every time your project schedule changes.

Get started today by downloading a free trial or attending one of our demonstration webinars.

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