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Building a Status Report with Microsoft Project and OnePager Pro

How to build a color-coded status report from your Microsoft Project schedule

If you manage your project plans in Microsoft Project, you need to be able to quickly show the status of your project to executives. Color-coded status reports are a simple way to communicate high-level project status to your project stakeholders. Building a project status report by hand in PowerPoint or Visio is time-consuming and inaccurate.

OnePager Pro is presentation software for Microsoft Project that lets you quickly create and update color-coded project status reports. Don't have OnePager Pro yet? You can download a free trial and try it out today.
OnePager Pro can turn a Microsoft Project plan into a colorful project status report in just a matter of minutes

Start building your project status report with these easy steps:

  1. Start with a Microsoft Project plan. Microsoft Project automatically assigns a status to each task in your plan:
    Microsoft Project plan
  2. To build your project report, double-click the OnePager Pro icon on your desktop. From the Start screen that pops up, choose New.
    OnePager Pro Start screen.
  3. Choose your Microsoft Project plan as the source file for your OnePager Gantt chart.
    OnePager Pro source file selection.
  4. When the import wizard appears, click the Change button that appears in the Starting Template section, and select the “Status (RAG) View” template that comes with the software. This template will quickly and easily color-code your project status report based on the “Status” column in Microsoft Project, though you can choose to color-code by a different status calculation later if you need to.
    OnePager Pro Choices Form, showing how to change the starting template
    Selecting the Status (RAG) View template from your file system.
  5. Give your project view a name, and pick today’s date as your snapshot date, as shown below:
    OnePager Pro import wizard
  6. Clicking the Create New Project View button will build a color-coded project status report like this:
    Microsoft Project status report made in OnePager Pro

Curious how this works? OnePager Pro adds conditional formatting to Microsoft Project, which means you can have OnePager Pro look at your Microsoft Project plan and assign colors, shapes, and fonts automatically based on your data. No more color-coding Gantt charts by hand in PowerPoint.

Going to Home > Project View Properties > Task Bars and then clicking on the Manage Rules button will show you the conditional formatting rules that look at the “Status” column in Microsoft Project to assign the colors automatically. OnePager Pro is flexible, so you can set up other rules to look at different Microsoft Project columns if you track status differently:
Conditional formatting rules in OnePager Pro

Updating

OnePager Pro’s conditional formatting for Microsoft Project becomes even more powerful as your project plan changes. Next week, if the status of your project plan has changed, you can simply refresh your existing OnePager Pro project status report. OnePager Pro will instantaneously redraw your status report, and will update any color-coding that needs to change based on any changes in status. Here’s how:

  1. Save your OnePager project view by clicking the blue disk icon in the upper left-hand corner of the screen.
  2. Make the necessary changes to Microsoft Project.
  3. Launch OnePager Pro from your desktop again, but from the Start screen choose Update this time, and select your saved project view. Then create a New Snapshot. In this case, our second snapshot is on 4/1/2013 instead of 1/1/2013.
    Adding a new snapshot to your OnePager Pro project view
  4. Click the New button to refresh your data from Microsoft Project, and to quickly refresh your color-coded project status report:
    Updated status report using OnePager Pro

Notice that as the status changes in Microsoft Project, OnePager Pro automatically re-formats each task and milestone on the chart based on your conditional formatting rules. Tasks that were previously yellow are now red because their status has changed. This is the quickest and easiest way to create a project status report, because it’s 100% dynamic and data-driven.

OnePager makes it easy to create a color-coded project status report in minutes. If you are already tracking a project plan in Microsoft Project, you already have all the data you need. Simply pull your plan into OnePager Pro, and you will have a color-coded project status report quickly and easily.

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

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