OnePager has always supported the concept of a snapshot, where a single chart can have different versions of the project at different points in time. For example, you might create a OnePager chart in July, and then update it again in August after your project changes. After that update, the OnePager chart will contain two snapshots: one in July and another in August. Beginning in OnePager 7.2, we've added the ability to visually compare dates from two different snapshots in the same chart, which will make it easy to track changes for the very first time.
There are now two new ways to track changes across snapshots:
- Conditional formatting can highlight when dates change
- Baselines can look at dates from a previous snapshot instead of a true baseline
Both of these methods of change tracking may be used separately or together, depending on your preferences. Before outlining how each method of change tracking works, we'll provide a refresher on how to create a chart with multiple snapshots in the first place.
Creating a Chart with Two Snapshots
Begin by creating a OnePager chart, which looks like this. Notice that the time cursor is in April of 2024:
Return to your project plan and change the dates of one of the tasks. In this example, we'll extend the duration of "Task G" from 30 days to 90 days. After making that change, go back to OnePager and navigate to Data > Add Snapshot. We'll add a second snapshot to the chart as of May 2024:
OnePager will update the chart to reflect the changes to your underlying project plan. Notice that the time cursor is now in May of 2024, and that "Task G" and all tasks that depend on it have adjusted their dates:
Following this update, the chart now has two snapshots: one in April and one in May. You can navigate between the two snapshots by going to the View tab and clicking the Previous and Next buttons:
Navigating between snapshots gives you an animated view of how your project has changed from one month to the next, but doesn't enable you to see changes across snapshots in a static chart. In the next two sections, we'll walk through the new ways that OnePager can track changes without relying on animation.
Change Tracking with Conditional Formatting
Conditional Formatting traditionally looks at whether a date is equal, less than, or greater than some other value. Beginning in OnePager 7.2, Conditional Formatting tests for whether something has changed since the previous snapshot, and adjusts the formatting of your tasks in cases where they have changed.
To do this, go to Home > Chart Properties > Task Bars and click the Manage Rules button. We'll add a rule that looks at the Finish date, and then uses Has Changed as the operator:
In this example, our rule will add a dotted red border to any tasks whose finish date has changed. After applying the rule, it's easy to spot tasks with new finish dates in the second snapshot:
Change Tracking with Baselines
The second way to track changes between snapshots is to repurpose OnePager's baseline feature to look at dates from the previous snapshot instead of a true baseline from your PPM system. To do this, go to Home > Chart Properties > Task Bars and enable Baseline Markers if they're not turned on already.
To tell OnePager to look at your previous snapshot instead of the true baseline, click on Baseline Properties and then map the baseline dates to Previous Snapshot Start and Previous Snapshot Finish, like this:
If you prefer to compare your current snapshot to the first snapshot instead of the previous snapshot, you can choose First Snapshot Start and First Snapshot Finish instead. In the case of a two-snapshot chart, these are equivalent, but once you have more than three snapshots, you may want to distinguish between the first snapshot and the snapshot immediately prior to your current one. Either way, once you apply the baselines, they will appear, giving you a clear indiciation of how your current task dates compare to the dates from the previous snapshot:
Combining Conditional Formatting and Baselines
An even more effective way to show changes to your project is to only display the previous snapshot's dates when they've changed. We'll create a conditional formatting rule that turns baselines off when OnePager detects that the finish date hasn't changed.
To do this, go to Home > Chart Properties > Task Bars and click the Manage Rules button. We'll add a rule that looks at the Finish date, and then uses Has Not Changed as the operator, similar to before. This time, instead of highlighting changed tasks with a red border, we'll conditionally hide the baseline. Ensure that you are in Advanced conditional formatting mode, and then click on the Baselines cell for your rule. A sub-form will pop up, in which you can disable the baseline:
After applying the conditional formatting rule, baselines will disappear in cases where the finish date is the same as it was in the previous snapshot, leaving only the dates that have changed as visible: