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Multi-Project Timeline from Microsoft Project

How to combine several Microsoft Project plans into a single timeline

Most project managers track individual project plans in separate Microsoft Project files. But what happens when you want to create a summary-level timeline of multiple projects so that you can see the schedule for the entire program?

This article describes how to use OnePager Pro to create a multi-project summary timeline using the Microsoft Project data you already have:

Multi-Project Timeline

You can watch a video tutorial on this topic or continue reading for step-by-step instructions:

  1. First, to select which individual tasks and milestones you want to import into OnePager Pro, insert a Flag column into your each Microsoft Project file you want to use. To insert a Flag column, simply right-click on any column heading and then select "Insert Column." In this example, we'll use Flag 20. Simply place a Yes in the flag column you chose to indicate which tasks you want to pull in to your OnePager document.

  2. MS Project file with Flag field.
  3. Double-click the OnePager Pro icon on your desktop. (Don't have OnePager Pro yet? You can download a 15-day free trial to see how it works.) From the Start screen that pops up, choose New.
    OnePager Pro Start screen.
  4. Select one of your .mpp files as the first Microsoft Project plan. Then, click the Add/Remove button to Add more project plans to your timeline. Hit OK.
    Import multiple Microsoft Project files into your OnePager multi-project timeline
  5. Notice that OnePager now shows that five Microsoft Project plans are going to be imported into your multi-project timeline. Give your timeline a name, make sure that your flag field ("Flag20") is selected as your filter, and then click the Create new project view button to continue:
    Multi-project timeline wizard.
  6. Out of the box, OnePager gives you a clean, colorful multi-project timeline like this:
    Multi-project timeline created from several Microsoft Project plans.
  7. From here, you can customize the formatting and layout of your timeline. For example, if you want to color-code your timeline so that the same types of tasks (e.g. Design) share a common color, you can go to Home > Project View Properties > Task Bars and change your color-coding from the Project Name to the Task Name:
    Change color-coding of your multi-project timeline.
  8. Once you apply this change, OnePager redraws your multi-project timeline and assigns a different color for each task type:
    Multi-project timeline color-coded by task type.
  9. Continue fine-tuning the look and feel of your multi-project timeline until it's perfect, and then save it as a PDF or PowerPoint presentation to share with the rest of your team.

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