Green and Red Milestones in MS Project
Following on from my recent blog article on baselines which can be read here, I thought I’d continue with an article on how to make the Gantt chart change depending on project progress.
As you can see from the image on the left, it is possible to change the colour of Gantt Bars and Milestones depending on meeting their scheduled baselined dates.
There are three steps to this process:
- Create and Baseline the plan
- Set up Gantt Bar and Milestone Styles
- Enter progress to view the effects.
Step i. Creating and Baselining the Schedule.
I have created a simple project plan with three milestones and 2 tasks. These Tasks/Milestones are all sequentially linked together to form a dynamic plan. (Read the article on Dynamic Plans here!). This plan is then baselined.
Step ii. Set up Gantt Bar and Milestone Styles.
Navigate to the “Bar Styles” Formatting menu either by Using the Format Ribbon, and Pulling down the Format Pull Down, or Right Click the white space in the Gantt Bar area.
Either method should bring up the Bar Styles Dialog:
Now I have customised this menu by adding in new Bar Types with specific Styles.
The additional items are “Late Task”, “Early Task”, “Late Milestone”, and “Early Milestone”. You will need to type all of the information into the next blank line.
Step iii. Enter progress to view the effects.
As we have a baselined plan, we can now enter actual finish dates for the tasks, and see the effects. I have made Task X finish 1 day late, and Task Y finish 2 days early to get this effect.
A plan is of no use if you do not measure your progress against that plan. Baselining is therefore essential, and the use of custom styles allow a quick visual indication of progress.
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