October 01, 2020

Do you determine your deadlines or vice versa? How to use the timeline

"Are we on track to meet our deadlines?"
When it comes to communicating important project information to management, visualizations support this significantly.

How to use the Timeline Gantt Chart for your reporting:

Gerald Aquila

Gerald Aquila

418 words • 4 minutes

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Management Reporting in Project Management

Management reporting is the primary source of information for all managers, stakeholders and decision-makers and therefore an essential success factor for every company. Naturally, digitization has also become an integral part of management reporting. Furthermore, communicating project information effectively has become a must-have skill that every project professional needs to have. When it comes to passing on important project information to your management, visualizations support this significantly.

What is the Timeline Gantt Chart?

Timelines are like summarized Gantt Charts, with only the most important dates, milestones, work packages and phases shown.
The power in creating a timeline for reports is that you have more control over the data and can display only what you deem most important. It’s not so easy to filter your Gantt Chart in the same way.

Problems at Project Status Meetings

During project status meetings, every manager or stakeholder will ask the number 1 question:

”Are we on track to meet our deadline(s)?”.
Showing dates and facts is essential to answer this.

Think back to the last project status report you have created or interacted with:

  • Did it have any visual elements?
  • Could you get a clear indication of how the project was progressing?
  • Were there colors used or just black text?
  • Was it easy to understand?


How visualizations can facilitate meetings

Of course, it is possible to copy and paste a Gantt Chart into the report or presentation. But these charts can be quite complex and somehow confusing for your management or stakeholders.

And as the trend toward conveying information visually continues nowadays, there are great tools to help you visually report your project progress and dates on a custom timeline. And some tools make it even possible to show it live.

timeline-gantt-chart-software-by-ONEPOINT-Projects The Timeline Gantt Chart in ONEPOINT Projects

Imagine a project report or presentation with a great timeline that highlights scheduled activities and completed and upcoming milestones in full color!

Adopting a visual method of presenting data to others will make it easier to bring forth detailed data and project information in an organized way. And your management and stakeholders will be pleased to get a comprehensive overview.

With a Timeline live management reporting is facilitated by visualizing selected phases, work packages and milestones at a glance.

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Relevant Project Management Terms

Gantt Chart  

In a Gantt chart (named after Henry Gantt) all work steps within a project are displayed as horizontal bars along a time axis. Thus, duration, overlaps and dependencies of all activities are visible at a glance. Gantt scheduling is one of the most common methods in project management.

Project Controlling  

Project controlling describes all activities that are necessary to control a project over its entire duration. Project controlling is therefore responsible for comparing the project goals, the planned budget and the defined quality with the current project, investigating deviations for their causes and proposing countermeasures.

Project Progress Report  

The progress of the project is documented in a progress report. The progress report contains important information on the status of the project, such as results achieved, (newly identified) risks, and forecasts on the further progress of the project in terms of costs, deadlines, and quality. It is repeated at regular intervals.

Project Status  

The project status represents the current status of the project. Often the project status is visualized by means of the three traffic light colors green (everything in order, no action required), yellow (action required), red (attention, urgent action required).

Status Report  

The status report is an important component of project controlling and is prepared at regular intervals. The project evaluation is often carried out using a so-called status traffic light (green, yellow, red).