Creating a Microsoft Project Gantt Chart for Multiple Projects using OnePager Pro

How to create project schedule presentations summarized by phase

Many complex projects are broken into smaller phases, which make it easier to track tasks, deliverables, and costs. The Microsoft Project documents that outline these projects are often lengthy and complex, making it difficult to summarize each project phase for presentation purposes.

This article describes how to use OnePager Pro to create a multi-phase project schedule summary - we call it Gantt Art - using the project plan you have already created in Microsoft Project. OnePager Pro is a Microsoft Project add-in that creates dynamic project summaries and Gantt charts. Don't have OnePager Pro yet? You can download a 15-day free trial to see how it works.

  1. Start with your Microsoft Project plan. In this example, we'll use a simple project plan with three major phases, and several tasks in each phase:

  2. A multi-phase project plan created in Microsoft Project.
  3. Next, we'll create a template that you can use for this project and other projects in the future. Locate the Templates... button next to the OnePager Pro button in Microsoft Project. For Project 2007 and earlier, the Templates... button will be on your top toolbar. In Project 2010 and 2013, you'll find it on your Add-Ins tab:
    OnePager Pro's user template button allows you to create templates for future projects.
  4. Go to the Rows/Swimlanes tab. This is where you will define how the tasks in your project plan are automatically grouped and sorted.
    In the Swimlanes section, select Group rows into swimlanes by the value of "Level 1 summary name," which will group our tasks by the top level in our project plan, which in our case is phase.
    The user Templates screen of OnePager Pro, where users can specify formatting choices for project presentations and Gantt charts.
  5. Finally, go to the Task Bars tab, and modify the Gantt Bar/Milestone Fill Color to "Resource Names." This will automatically color-code each task based on the resources assigned in the Resource Names column of your MS Project document. Click Save and Use to continue. In this example, the template is named "Multi-phase Project Template".
    The user Templates screen of OnePager Pro, where users can specify formatting choices for project presentations and Gantt charts.
  6. Now you're ready to create your multi-phase project chart. Click the OnePager Pro button, and choose New from the Start screen that appears. Then, ensure that the Starting Template is set to the template you just created, Multi-phase Project Template. If it is not, click the Change... button to browse for the template in your file system.
    Verifying your template selection in the OnePager Pro Choices form.
  7. Next, give your project view a name that will be easy to remember. In this example, we'll use "Sample Multi-Phased Project". OnePager Pro allows you to filter a subset of tasks so that you can summarize your project without giving too much detail. In this example, we used the Flag 20 column to place a "Yes" next to tasks that we want to present. As a result, we'll choose the second option in the Task Selection section and specify "Flag 20". Specify a snapshot (status) date. Later on, you can refresh your project view with a different snapshot date, and retain historical copies of your project at different points in time. Click the Create new project view button to import your Microsoft Project plan into OnePager Pro:
    OnePager Pro's Choices Form allows users the ability to import as much or as little project data as desired.
  8. Out of the box, you'll get a multi-phased project view that is color-coded by resource names. You can export this project plan to PowerPoint, SharePoint or e-mail to share with others:
    Multi-Phased project plan summarized in OnePager Pro.
  9. Everything in OnePager Pro is fully-customizable. For example, what if you wanted to visually highlight certain period of resource overlap between the phases? This can be done with curtains. Start by adding a little space at the top of the chart, which you can do by right-clicking on one of the swimlane titles and choosing the Add Swimlane Above menu option:
    Add a swimlane to the top of your project chart.
  10. Now, go to Insert > Curtain... to insert the curtain for your first period of resource overlap. Give the curtain a label to describe the overlap, specify the dates for the beginning and ending, and format the text as shown below (if you don't get this 100% right, you can drag and drop the borders of the curtain once it's been created):
    Curtain controls allow visual separation of your project schedule into phases.
  11. Repeat the previous step for other areas of time that you'd like to highlight, possibly creating them in different colors like this:
    Project schedule example: A multi-phase Gantt schedule created in OnePager Pro, featuring vertical curtains marking each project phase.

It's that easy! Once you try OnePager, you'll see how much flexibility it gives to you easily design your own project schedules, while remaining consistent with your underlying Microsoft Project data.

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

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