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Project Portfolio Stoplight Status Report

Build a color-coded status report showing multiple projects in a portfolio

Successful project managers use color to indicate which projects in a portfolio are in good shape, and which are in trouble. This is often called a stoplight chart because the colors red, yellow, and green are used to show status.

Portfolio stoplight chart created in OnePager Pro for Microsoft Project.

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Reporting tools like OnePager Pro for Microsoft Project allow you to import information about multiple projects in a portfolio, apply color-coding, and quickly create a portfolio-level status report based on your data. Don't have OnePager Pro yet? You can download a free trial and try it out today.

Here's how to get started:

  1. Begin with your portfolio of projects. They can either be consolidated into a single Microsoft Project plan, as shown below, or can be tracked in separate Microsoft Project files. The end result is the same.
    Microsoft Project plan showing multiple projects in a master portfolio.
  2. Select the key milestones for each project by placing a "Yes" into a flag column. In this case, we'll use "Flag 20" to choose which key milestones will be included in the portfolio stoplight chart.
  3. Now double-click the OnePager Pro icon on your desktop to start building your portfolio stoplight chart. From the Start screen that pops up, choose New.
    OnePager Pro Start screen.
  4. Choose your Microsoft Project plan as the source file for your OnePager Gantt chart.
    OnePager Pro source file selection.
  5. When the import wizard then appears, go to the Starting Template section, click Change..., then BROWSE..., and then select the "Status (RAG) View" template that comes with the software. This template will automatically color-code tasks and milestones based on their status. You can always re-configure your report later, but this will be a good starting point:
    Change your template before creating your OnePager Pro portfolio stoplight chart.
    Select a preloaded template before creating your OnePager Pro portfolio stoplight chart.
  6. Type in a name for your portfolio report, and pick today’s date as your snapshot date, as shown below:
    OnePager Pro's import wizard from Microsoft Project makes project reporting easy.
  7. Click the Create New Chart button, and OnePager Pro automatically creates a portfolio stoplight chart for the selected milestones in each project:
    Portfolio stoplight chart showing key milestones color-coded by Microsoft Project status.
  8. For a tighter view, go to Home > Chart Properties > Rows/Swimlanes, and tell OnePager Pro to put all milestones for a given project in a single row:
    OnePager Pro lets you group key milestones in your portfolio by project.
  9. Click OK, and OnePager Pro will rebuild your portfolio stoplight chart with each project's milestones lined up left-to-right, and color-coded in red, yellow, and green:
    Portfolio stoplight chart using red, yellow, green color-coding, and with all milestones lined up in the same row for each project in the portfolio.

Conditional Formatting

Want to know how these colors and shapes were automatically assigned? One of OnePager Pro's key capabilities is that it adds conditional formatting to Microsoft Project. This means that OnePager Pro looks at your Microsoft Project plan and assigns colors, shapes, and fonts automatically based on your data. You don't have to spend time building reports by hand in PowerPoint.

You can see how OnePager Pro's conditional formatting for Microsoft Project works by going to Home > Chart Properties > Milestones and then clicking on the Manage Rules button. This particular example is simple; it assigns a different color and shape for each value in the Microsoft Project "Status" column, which is automatically populated for you.

OnePager Pro is the only project reporting tool that offers conditional formatting for Microsoft Project.

OnePager Pro's conditional formatting feature is very flexible; if you need something more complex than the simple example shown here, OnePager Pro can handle it for you.

OnePager is the most professional way to create a portfolio stoplight chart, and is used worldwide by industry-leading PMOs for this very reason. If you are using Microsoft Project to track your portfolio, you already have all everything you need. Just import your portfolio from Microsoft Project into OnePager Pro, and you will get a portfolio stoplight chart in a matter of minutes.

Get started today by downloading a free trial.

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