One way to visualize different project scenarios is to group each scenario into a swimlane so that all for the tasks for each scenario are visible in one place:
Another option is to group each task into a swimlane so that you can compare different scenarios on a task-by-task basis:
This article will show you how to set up your spreadsheet and to create both types of scenario maps.
- To begin, set up an Excel spreadsheet to track your different project scenarios. In this example, we have a simple project consisting of five tasks, with each task repeating across three different project scenarios. Each scenario models different durations for each task, which drives the final project outcome:
You can download our example project scenario planner and customize it to fit your own needs.
The next step is to import the Excel scenario plan into OnePager. Do this by going to Excel's Add-Ins tab and click the OnePager Express button. If you don't have OnePager Express yet, you can get a free trial.
When the start screen appears, click New to build a new timeline. On the import wizard, give your project plan a name, and then click on Next >:
Double-check that the fields from your spreadsheet look reasonable. In this example, we might want to assign a different color to each project scenario, so we can set that up here:
Click Create New Project View. OnePager will import the three different project scenarios from your Excel spreadsheet and give you an initial visual that looks like this:
Based on our earlier selection, each scenario gets its own color, so it is easy to see that "Scenario C", in green, will finish a full month earlier than "Scenario A" in blue.
Grouping Each Scenario into a Swimlane
The example above gives us a nice, clean scenario map, but what if we want to call out each scenario more clearly? Swimlanes are a great way to do this:
To add a swimlane grouping, go to Home > Project View Properties > Rows/Swimlanes. Change your swimlane grouping to look at the "Scenario" field from your Excel spreadsheet:
When you click OK, OnePager will add a swimlane grouping down the left-hand side of your timeline. Now each project scenario is grouped into its own swimlane:
Reviewing Scenarios Task-by-Task
Another view of the same data lets you review each scenario on a task-by-task basis. This is good if you want to mix and match scenarios to achieve an even better project outcome. To do this, we change our swimlanes to look at each task individually.
Return to Home > Project View Properties > Rows/Swimlanes. Change your swimlane grouping to look at the "Task Name" field from your Excel spreadsheet:
We can also change the text on each of the task bars to depict the scenario instead of the task name. To do this, navigate to the Field Mappings tab and change your Task Labels to use the "Scenario" field:
Now, click OK, and OnePager will realign the chart so that you can see all three scenarios for a given task in one swimlane:
Get started today by downloading a free trial.15-Day