Showing Red-Amber-Green Status in a Microsoft Project Report using OnePager Pro

How to create a red-amber-green (RAG) status report from data in Microsoft Project

When showing the status of a set of tasks in a project plan, we color-code the tasks red when there are definite issues, amber (yellow) when there are potential issues, and green when there are no known issues.

To show project status, many users hand-draw a Gantt Chart in PowerPoint, and then color each task manually. This takes a long time to do, and is tedious to maintain.

OnePager Pro is presentation software for Microsoft Project that lets you automatically add and update RAG status to your project plans without spending any time drawing things by hand in PowerPoint. Don't have OnePager Pro yet? You can download a free trial and try it out today.

OnePager Pro can turn a Microsoft Project plan into a colorful project status chart in minutes instead of hours:
How to create a RAG Report from Microsoft Project using OnePager Pro

You can do this by following these easy steps:

  1. Start with a Microsoft Project plan. Notice that Project is automatically calculating a status for you:
    MS Project file, showing Project Status column
  2. To build your project report, double-click the OnePager Pro icon on your desktop. From the Start screen that pops up, choose New.
    OnePager Pro Start screen.
  3. Choose your Microsoft Project plan as the source file for your project timeline.
    OnePager Pro source file selection.
  4. Next, when the import wizard appears, go to the Starting Template section, click Change..., then BROWSE..., and find the Status (RAG) View.tat template in the folder (it is included by default in your installation of OnePager). This template will quickly and easily color-code your project plan based on the “Status” column in Microsoft Project, though you can customize this later if you want.
    Changing your OnePager Pro starting template
    Setting the OnePager Pro template to Status (RAG) View
  5. Give your project view a name, and pick today’s date as your snapshot date, as shown below:
    Redesigned OnePager Pro Import Wizard
  6. Clicking the Create New Project View button will build a color-coded project status report like this:
    RAG Status shown in a report created using OnePager Pro, an add-in for Microsoft Project

Conditional Formatting

Curious how this works? OnePager Pro adds conditional formatting to Microsoft Project, meaning you can set up special rules to look at your Microsoft Project data and assign colors, shapes, and fonts automatically.

Going to Home > Project View Properties > Task Bars and then clicking on the Manage Rules button will show you the default rules that are set up to assign different styles based on the “Status” column in Microsoft Project. OnePager Pro is flexible, so you can set up other rules to look at different Microsoft Project columns if you’d like:
RAG conditional formatting in OnePager Pro

OnePager Pro’s conditional formatting for Microsoft Project becomes even more powerful as your project plan changes. Let’s say that three months has gone by, and the status of your project plan has changed. You can simply refresh your existing OnePager Pro report, and have it automatically update your dates and status colors based on the revisions you have made in Project. Here’s how:

  1. Make the necessary changes to Microsoft Project.
  2. Launch OnePager again, but this time, from the Start screen choose Update. Select the project view you want to refresh, and then create a New Snapshot. In this case, our second snapshot is on 4/1/2013 instead of 1/1/2013.
    Updating your red-amber-green status report in OnePager Pro
  3. Click the New button to refresh your data from Microsoft Project, and to automatically update your color-coded status report:
    Updated RAG Report from OnePager Pro

Notice that as the status changes in Microsoft Project, OnePager Pro automatically re-formats each task and milestone on the chart based on your conditional formatting rules. Tasks that were previously yellow are now red because their status has changed. This is the quickest and easiest way to create a project status report, because it’s 100% dynamic and data-driven.

OnePager makes it easy to represent a project’s status with compelling graphics. OnePager is available in two versions: one supporting Microsoft Project (OnePager Pro) and the other supporting project plans built in Excel (OnePager Express).

Get started today by downloading a free trial or attending one of our demonstration webinars.

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