Updating Excel Gantt Chart Presentations with OnePager Express

How to create a Gantt chart in Excel and update it as the project plan changes

Do you use Excel to as a project scheduling tool? Do you have problems showing your schedule as a Gantt chart in a presentation? Is it hard to update your Gantt chart slide when dates change in Excel?

OnePager Express, presentation software for Microsoft Excel, provides an excellent way to create and maintain Gantt chart presentation slides. If you don’t already have OnePager Express, you can download a 15-day free trial to see how it works.

Just follow these steps and we will show you how to create the initial project view in OnePager Express and how to create periodic snapshots over the course of your project:

  1. Open your Microsoft Excel project schedule. Make sure that you’ve inserted a flag column (as shown below) to filter which tasks and milestones you want to include in your OnePager Express Gantt chart:
    Project schedule created in Microsoft Excel. In the example above, any tasks with the “Add to OnePager” field set to “Yes” will be included in the Gantt chart.
  2. Now just double-click the OnePager Express icon on your desktop. From the Start screen that appears, choose New. Choose your Excel spreadsheet as the source file for your Gantt chart. Then, give your Gantt chart a name and type in a status/snapshot date as shown below:
    OnePager Express' easy import wizard takes Excel schedules and turns them into Gantt charts quickly and easily.
  3. Now click the Create new project view button, and OnePager Express will create a Gantt chart like this:
    Easy Gantt charts from Excel: A Gantt chart presentation created in OnePager Express based on a Microsoft Excel project plan. Note the dotted blue line on the Gantt chart that corresponds to the snapshot date you specified earlier. This is an easy way to illustrate the current status date of your project’s schedule.
  4. Later on in the project, after you’ve updated your Microsoft Excel file with the latest status of your project, you are ready to create an updated snapshot of the project. To do this, simply relaunch OnePager. This time, from the Start screen, choose Update, and select your saved project view as the file to refresh. Then add a new snapshot date as shown below:
    OnePager Express' import wizard makes it easy to refresh your Gantt chart with updated project information. Now, click the New button.
  5. The snapshot below was taken one month from the previous snapshot above:
    Updated Gantt chart created in OnePager Express. Note how the project has changed over time. The blue timeline cursor moved, the percent complete (yellow bars) are updated, and several start and finish dates are repositioned as well. These changes are refreshed on the Gantt chart based on modifications (i.e., updated status data) made to the underlying Microsoft Excel schedule. Assuming that you’ve been making snapshots with OnePager Express throughout the project periodically, OnePager Express will store them so that you have a complete Gantt chart history of your project from start to finish.
  6. Now, let’s say that you want to build a presentation slide. On the OnePager toolbar are two buttons that allow you to go back to a previous snapshot or forward to a more recent snapshot. These buttons are shown on the OnePager View tab below:
    Copy and paste your OnePager Express report into PowerPoint, e-mail or SharePoint.
  7. OnePager Express charts are very easy to share with other people on your team. When you’ve accessed the snapshots you want, it is easy to copy and paste the snapshots into a Microsoft PowerPoint or Word document or even to send the Gantt charts in an email.

OnePager Express is extremely useful for conducting schedule conversations during a project’s lifecycle. Also, OnePager Express' ability to take snapshots during a project enables project managers to monitor the actual schedule visually against the baseline and prepare clear and accurate schedule slides for project status presentations.

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

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