In the next version of SharePoint and Project Web App, we’ve brought Microsoft Project’s Timeline view to the web. Now, it’s easier than ever to communicate a high level view of your project to team members, stay focused on your upcoming personal tasks, and provide insight into all of your organizations work.
Communicate the high level plan to team members and stakeholders
In SharePoint 2013, you can add task management capabilities to enhance any team site. This includes an interactive timeline to give you a visual representation of the most important tasks and milestones. This allows you to easily communicate the high level plan to team members and key stakeholders that don’t necessarily care about all the details.
You can quickly create a beautiful timeline from the Task List. Select any task with a date and click “add to timeline” from the task callout.
Alternatively, you can select multiple tasks and then click “Add to Timeline” from the Tasks tab of the ribbon. After your tasks are on the timeline, you can click on any task in the timeline to get more information about it or further customize it using the Timeline tab in the Ribbon.
By default, tasks with a single date display as a milestone (i.e. Final Checkpoint in the picture below), while tasks with a different start and due dates display as a bar (i.e. Planning and Marketing). Tasks with different start and due dates can also be displayed as callouts outside the bars (i.e. Phase 1 and Phase 2) by clicking “Display as Callout” in the Ribbon.
To make the timeline look even better, you can re-arrange tasks by dragging and dropping or change the colors and font from the Ribbon. By default, the timeline’s color scheme will fit the theme of your site. For example, if you change you change the site theme to Blossom, it would look like this:
If you use Microsoft Project to manage your SharePoint Tasks List, your timeline will always be kept up in sync. Any changes you make to the look and feel of your timeline in Microsoft Project will be updated on the Timeline in SharePoint when you save. You can also use Microsoft Project to share your timeline by copying and pasting it into other Office applications such as PowerPoint and Outlook.
Stay focused on what’s most important
If you’re like us, you’re assigned tasks on five to seven projects at a time. Rather than drilling into each site individually to see your assignments, you can use the new My Tasks feature in the My Site to simultaneously see all the work you need to do across those projects, in addition to any personal tasks you’re tracking. My Tasks provides a special view called “Important and Upcoming” that includes a personal timeline to help you stay focused and prioritized.
By default, each task on the timeline will be color-coded by project. To change the color for a particular project, click Settings from the Task tab in the ribbon and then edit the Color in the Projects section.
Like the task list timeline, you can customize the look and feel of your timeline from the Timeline tab of the ribbon (i.e. Market analysis plan is blue and in larger font in the picture below).
This is a self-cleaning view, meaning that it continually changes content to prevent your task lists from becoming overwhelming. By default, your personal timeline will show tasks that were due in the last 7 days or in the next upcoming 21 days. To customize this data range, click Settings from the Task tab in the ribbon and then edit the Default Timeline Range.
Provide visibility into all of your organizations work
The Project Center in Project Web App provides visibility into all the work that’s planned as well as ongoing in an organization. You can see summary information about multiple projects and review detailed information about specific projects. In addition, you can also add those projects onto a timeline view to create visual summary of the organization’s schedule.
To add a specific project to the timeline, select the project in the grid and click ‘Add Project’ from the Projects tab of the Ribbon
You can also add specific tasks from the selected project by clicking ‘Add Tasks’ from the Projects tab of the Ribbon. This will open a dialog where you can select the tasks you want to add. This is great for calling out important milestones for the organization.
Just like the other timelines, you can fully customize the look and feel by selecting tasks in the timeline and using the Timeline tab in the Ribbon.
If you want to get more details on a specific project, you can click on the project from the Project Center. For Enterprise Projects, this will take you to the Project Detail Pages. Just like Microsoft Project, you’ll notice that the Schedule Webpart now includes a timeline view.
To add tasks to your project’s timeline, you can right click in the left column of the grid or select a task and click ‘Add to Timeline’ from the Tasks tab of the Ribbon.
Try it out and let us know what you think.