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Improve your Project Portfolio Tracking Spreadsheet with OnePager Express

How to present a portfolio of multiple projects tracked in Microsoft Excel

Are you responsible for a portfolio of multiple projects? Are you using Microsoft Excel to manage individual project schedules within your portfolio? Do you have difficulty making project portfolio reports in Excel? OnePager Express is the answer.

Project management portfolio example: A project portfolio view created from a project tracking spreadsheet in Excel, using the OnePager Express add-in.

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OnePager Express, timeline and Gantt chart software for Microsoft Excel, is the easiest way to track multiple projects. If you don’t already have OnePager Express, you can download a 15-day free trial, and then follow either our simple or our more detailed instructions to get started:

Simple Instructions

These instructions are designed for people don't already have a set of project plans in Excel. You can use our example Excel project plans as a starting point and follow these abbreviated steps to create your chart in a matter of minutes.

  1. Start by downloading these five sample files to your downloads folder or to your desktop. The four Excel files contain the project schedules, and the *.tat file is the OnePager template that will drive the formatting of the chart you're about to create.

      Project A.xlsx (Excel File)
      Project B.xlsx (Excel File)
      Project C.xlsx (Excel File)
      Project D.xlsx (Excel File)
      Project Portfolio for Excel.tat (OnePager Template)

  1. Open the first Excel file that you just downloaded (Project A). From Excel's Add-Ins tab, click the OnePager Express button:

    OnePager Express add-in launch from Excel.

  2. On the Start screen, click NEW to begin building a new project portfolio chart:

    OnePager Express start screen.

  3. On the next screen, under the Selected Files section, click on Add/Remove and then Add the other three Excel files (Projects B, C, and D) that you downloaded earlier:

    Import multiple project plans into a single Gantt chart.

  4. On the next screen, locate the Starting Template section, and go to Change > BROWSE FILES. Browse to your desktop and select the Project Portfolio for Excel.tat that you downloaded in step #1:

    Change your OnePager template.

  5. With your Excel file loaded and your OnePager template selected, click Next, and then on the following screen, click Create new chart. OnePager will import the data from your Excel file and create a project portfolio Gantt in just a few seconds:

    Product Portfolio Roadmap

Now that you've done this, you can go back to Excel and adjust the spreadsheet to match the dates and deliverables of your real-world portfolio. Once you've done this, follow the same steps again with your updated Excel sheet, and you'll be well on your way! 15-Day
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Detailed Instructions

These instructions are designed for people who have already built a few project plans in Excel and need to import what they already have into OnePager. These instructions also provide more details about customization along the way.

  1. Start with a set of Excel spreadsheets, one for each of your projects. Each of your spreadsheets should have columns for Task Name, Start Date, and Finish Date.

    You'll also want to have some kind of unique ID for each of your tasks across the multiple projects. In this example, tasks from Project A are identified as A1-A5, tasks from Project B are identified as B1-B1, and so on. This helps keeps the tasks straight across the multiple Excel files, since OnePager will soon merge them all together into a single Gantt chart.

    Project portfolio being tracked in an Excel spreadsheet.

    If you have a large set of tasks, you can filter them before creating your report, but in this case, we'll import everything.

  2. Now just double-click the OnePager Express icon on your desktop.

    OnePager Express Desktop Icon.

  3. From the Start screen that appears, choose New.

    OnePager Express Start screen.

  4. Select one of your spreadsheets as the first Excel source file. Then, click the Add/Remove button to launch the Data source selection dialog box, from which you can add the other files (as many as you like). Hit OK.

    Import multiple Microsoft Excel spreadsheets into your OnePager Gantt chart.

  5. For the Starting Template, go to Change > BROWSE FILES and change your template to the Multi-Project Gantt Chart - Detailed template that is included with your trial:

    Change your OnePager template.

  6. Then, give your portfolio report a name and type in a status/snapshot date as shown below:

    Redesigned OnePager Express import wizard.

  7. Click Next to decide which columns from your Excel spreadsheet you want to import:

    Redesigned OnePager Express column mapping wizard.

  8. Now, click on the Create new chart button to build the initial version of your chart. We're not quite finished yet, so follow the remaining steps to apply formatting to your chart.

  9. Your chart will look best if you can group each subproject into its own swimlane. To do this, go to Home > Chart Properties > Rows/Swimlanes and turn on a swimlane grouping that looks at the Project Name:

    Add swimlanes to your Gantt chart so that each subproject is grouped separately.

  10. Now, click OK, and OnePager will add swimlanes to your chart with a separate grouping for each subproject:

    Project management portfolio example: A project portfolio view created from a project tracking spreadsheet in Excel, using the OnePager Express add-in.

    In this portfolio view, each project gets its own swimlane, and the tasks for each project are color-coded separately for maximum readability.

  11. You can now take this project portfolio view and copy it into a PowerPoint presentation, email it to the team as a PDF, or upload it to SharePoint as an image file.

Customizable

That's just the beginning! Here's what else you can do:

  • Use conditional formatting to quickly choose different shapes and color based on status, resource, or anything else
  • Update the same report (without starting over) when your portfolio changes to quickly get an updated snapshot
  • Group and sort your portfolio like a pivot chart based on any data in your portfolio (e.g. phase, customer, etc.)
  • Create a standard template for other portfolios so all of your reporting is consistent

OnePager Express is powerful, flexible, easy to use, and has world-class support. Get started today by downloading a free trial.

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