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Phase Gate Timelines in Microsoft Project

Build a phase gate timeline using Microsoft Project and OnePager Pro

If you are a Microsoft Project user and need to track key project milestones or phase gates, OnePager Pro gives you a way to present them in a simple, straightforward report. OnePager Pro imports the key milestones from your Microsoft Project plan and builds a phase gate timeline in just a few minutes.

Project phase gate report created in Microsoft Project

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  1. Begin by opening your Microsoft Project plan (or multiple plans in a portfolio). This example shows several subprojects with the key phase gates underneath:

    Microsoft Project plan with phase gates

  2. You probably don't want everything from Microsoft Project to end up in your timeline, so we're using "Flag 20" to decide which phase gates to include in the report:

    Microsoft Project Plan with filter column

  3. To build your phase gate timeline, double-click the OnePager Pro icon on your desktop. When the Start screen appears, click the NEW button.

  4. Choose your Microsoft Project plan as the source file for your project timeline.

    OnePager Pro source file selection.

  5. When the dialog box expands, find the Starting Template section and click the Change button to select one of our "Milestone View" templates, which we'll use for starters. Give your timeline a name and a snapshot/status date:

    Select a template for your timeline.

  6. Click the Create new chart button, and you'll start out with a milestone report like this:

    Project Milestone Chart

  7. Now, we'll turn the milestone chart into a true phase gate timeline with numbered symbols for each phase. Do this by going to Home > Chart Properties > Milestones and clicking on the Manage Rules button at the bottom. Add rules so that each phase gate gets its own color and symbol:

    Conditional Formatting for Microsoft Project

  8. Click OK once, but stay on the Milestones tab. We'll turn off milestone labels and show the dates for phase gates in their place. To change the font, format, or position of date labels, you can click the Date Label Properties button.

    Show the phase gate dates instead of the names.

  9. Our final edit will be to line all of the milestones up on a single line, project-by-project. To do this, go to the Rows/Swimlanes tab and change the Rows setting to Timeline (multiple tasks per row) "Level 1 Summary Name" (or "Project Name" if you have multiple Microsoft Project files). This setting aligns all of the phase gates for a single project into a single row left-to-right:

    Align phase gates left-to-right by project.

  10. Click OK to see the results:

    Phase gate timeline from Microsoft Project created in OnePager Pro.

Get started today by downloading a free trial.

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