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Project 2010 Timeline View

Making the most of Microsoft Project's presentation capabilities with OnePager Pro

If you've ever been asked to present a project schedule to a client, executive, or team member, you know that it can be a tedious and time-consuming process. This article offers a look at Microsoft Project 2010's new timeline view feature and then presents methods of expanding the timeline view's capabilities even further with OnePager Pro from Chronicle Graphics.

Microsoft has taken a giant leap forward in Project 2010 by introducing the timeline view. The timeline view gives project managers and schedulers a way to create basic project presentations using the data they already have in Microsoft Project. Getting started with the timeline view is simple: just right-click on any tasks you want to include in your presentation and select Add to Timeline.

Microsoft Project 2010 will then create a timeline view that looks something like this, which you can access by navigating to the View tab, clicking on Other Views, and then selecting the Timeline option:

Basic output from Microsoft Project 2010's Timeline View

From here, you can make some basic edits to your timeline, just like you would in PowerPoint

  • Manually change fonts and colors
  • Rename tasks
  • Reposition tasks vertically on the page

After you've finished editing, you can copy and paste your timeline view into a PowerPoint presentation or an e-mail, or you can save it as an image file for future use.

Enhancing your Timeline View with OnePager Pro

OnePager Pro, a Microsoft Project add-in from Chronicle Graphics, takes the timeline view much further by letting you build graphs that are rich with vital data and show the changes that occur from week to week.

OnePager Pro lives on the Add-Ins tab of Microsoft Project 2010, and can be launched with a simple button click. Your project presentation can show as many or as few tasks as you want--just use any flag field to indicate which ones:

Easily add tasks to a OnePager Pro project view by using a Microsoft Project flag field.

Once launched, OnePager Pro lets you easily emphasize the most important parts of your schedule:

  • Visually display important project data like percent complete, baselines, and critical path.
  • Create conditional formatting rules to drive the color, shape, border, height and font of tasks and milestones based on your Microsoft Project data.
  • Generate a project legend that makes it easy for your audience to understand your schedule.
  • Group and sort tasks by any field in Microsoft Project.
  • Change task labels without corrupting your original Microsoft Project file.
  • Customize the time axis to show all or part of a project, and to show any time unit (quarters, fiscal years, etc.)
  • Show links between tasks

With a few simple edits, it's easy to create professional-looking project presentations like this:

OnePager Pro lets project managers take their timeline views to the next level with simplified editing, snapshot archiving, and multi-view capabilities.

OnePager Pro is designed for use by individuals or the entire PMO, and offers users maximum flexibility when presenting to different audiences:

  • Save snapshots of your project as it changes (e.g. weekly, monthly) and flip back and forth between old and new snapshots to illustrate important changes.
  • Create multiple timeline views of the same project for each audience (e.g. clients, executives, team members).
  • Standardize your project presentations across your organization with customizable templates.

OnePager Pro is a great way to extend the capabilities of Microsoft Project 2010's timeline view and create professional project presentations with ease. If you haven't yet upgraded to Microsoft Project 2010, you will be pleased to know that OnePager Pro is also compatible with Microsoft Project 2002, 2003 and 2007.

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