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SharePoint Blog

November 20
Make Your Timeline Count!

In today’s world, timing is everything.  Whether it’s the timing of your train pulling into the station, the traffic lights on your drive into the office or the opening and closing of the elevator doors, making sure you’re on schedule, or even better, ahead of schedule is critical.  With the timeline feature in SharePoint 2013 you can ensure that all of your project team members are aware of the deadlines that are approaching so deliverables are completed on time. 

Upon configuration of your team site you’ll likely be asked if you are working on a deadline and the answer is almost always going to be yes!  

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After selecting ‘Add Them’ you’ll see the timeline feature added to your team site landing page. You will then select ‘Edit’ to begin organizing and documenting all of the deliverables for the project.  
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You’ll want to be sure to include not only a due date but also a start date.  This will allow you to see the full duration of the task in the timeline view.  If you don’t include the start date the item will not appear in the timeline on the team site homepage.  There are two ways in which you can add an item to your timeline.  The first way is through the ‘Quick Edit’ mode and the second is through the ‘Add a New Item’ functionality.  

     1.       Quick Edit:

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     2.       Add a New Item:

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These modes will give you the same result but the Quick Edit mode allows you to add more items at the same time whereas the Add a New Item mode only allows you to add one item at time.  After creating your core project deliverables to the timeline you can add subtasks below them.  Upon viewing the list of tasks you will hover over the ellipses (…) for a specific task and select ‘Create Subtask’.

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You can then add the subtask, ensuring to add both the start and end date and you’ll be able to view that subtask in the timeline view on the team site homepage. Claire 11.20.146.PNG

In order to differentiate the various types of tasks in your timeline you can color code the tasks to create visual differences between the phases of the project.  To do this you’ll go to the ribbon in at the top of the page and select ‘Timeline’.  Select the task that you want to change the color for and then select the paint can.  A variety of colors will appear for you to choose from: 

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You can differentiate the various phases or types of tasks in the project timeline by updating colors of as many tasks as you’d likeNot only will it help you see what phase of the project you’re in, it will also add some depth to the timeline and make it visually interesting. 

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You’ve now helped steady an often rocky world of deadlines and deliverables.  By making the project phases prominent, including duration of each phase and highlighting the various tasks associated with those phases you’ll help all the individuals on your team easily see the project timeline and know exactly where they are in the overall project schedule.  While it’s not rocket science, the ability to stay on track and within the stated timeline does play a key role in the health of the project and the happiness of the client. 

If you're interested in learning more about Project Management for SharePoint, consider attending our SharePoint Project Managment Symposium​ in June. Hope to see you there! ​

About Claire Cupps: Claire lives and breathes project management and has a dream that someday all projects would be under-budget, ahead of schedule and over delivered.  When she’s not busy dreaming she helps clients improve communication, processes and collaboration through SharePoint.

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