Project contains another tool that you can use to show the progress that you're making on your project — if you have saved a baseline of your project. If you add progress lines to the Gantt Chart of your project, as shown in Figure 12-22, Project draws a line that connects in-progress tasks. The progress line creates a graph of your project with peaks pointing to the right for work that is ahead of schedule and peaks pointing to the left for work that is behind schedule. The distance between the peaks and the line indicates the degree to which the task is ahead of or behind schedule.
To add a progress line, follow these steps:
1. Choose View O Gantt Chart.
2. Choose Tools O Tracking O Progress Lines to open the Progress Lines dialog box and display the Dates and Intervals tab.
3. Select the Display selected progress lines check box to activate the Progress Line Dates list.
4. Click once in the Progress Line Dates list. Project displays a list box arrow.
5. Click the list box arrow, and a small calendar appears, as shown in Figure 12-23.
6. Select a date for the progress line.
7. Select either Actual plan or Baseline plan in the Display progress lines in relation to panel.
Project adds the progress line to your Gantt Chart, which looks like the progress line shown previously in Figure 12-22.
As you can imagine, a progress line on a project with a large number of tasks can begin to look messy. But if you decide that you like progress lines, you can display them at varying intervals, as shown previously in Figure 12-23. You also can add specific dates to the Progress Line Dates list on the right side of the Progress Lines dialog box to display multiple progress lines on the Gantt Chart. If you decide to display more than one progress line, you may want to use the Line Styles tab of the
Progress Lines dialog box to format the lines so that you can tell them apart (for example, you can change their colors).
To stop displaying progress lines, reopen the Progress Lines dialog box and deselect any check boxes on the Dates and Intervals tab.
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What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.