Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Using Timeline View for A Sprint in MS Project Agile

Timeline view is a useful view in MS Project traditional as well as Agile. With this view, you can quickly visualize the complete Sprint, features in a Sprint, tasks along with features, various Sprint events as well as increments as milestones.

In another article, I’ve demonstrated such capabilities. You can read the article here: Adjusting A Sprint in Progress with MS Project Agile.

Do again note that MS Project Agile features are available with MS Project Online Desktop Client. You can install the software with this step-by-step guide.

Now, let’s see how to use the Timeline view. This post is based on a comment received from one of the readers. 

Enable the Timeline View

Of course, first you have to enable the Timeline view. To do so, go to the View tab > Split view and enable the Timeline checkbox. After the Timeline view will be enabled in the top-half of your screen. 

As shown, the Timeline view is on the top half of the screen, whereas the Current Sprint Planning Board view is the bottom-half. 

Add the Features as Bars

Next, you have to take the features from the Current Sprint and add them as bars into the Timeline view. To do so, use Timeline Tools > Format tab > Insert group > Existing Tasks command.

In the popped-up Add Tasks to Timeline, select the features taken for the Current Sprint and click on OK button. It’s shown below. 

When you add the features into the timeline, it’ll come as shown below. Next, you have to perform two quick operations:

  • Adjust the width of the bar:
    • Set the width to 3. 
    • This can be done by going to Timeline Tools > Format tab > Show/Hide group > Text Lines command.
  • Adjust the Date Range:
    • The date range can be set by going to Timeline Tools > Format tab > Show/Hide group > Date Range command. 
    • Set the date range from Current Sprint start to finish. 
    • In our case it’s from September 11, 2023 to September 18, 2023. 

Once you do these changes, it’ll come as shown below. 

Add the Scrum Events as Callouts

Next, add all the Scrum Events such as Sprint 1 Planning, Daily Scrums, Sprint 1 Review, Sprint 1 Retrospective into the timeline. Use the same Existing Tasks commands that we have used before. 

Now all the events will also get added as bars. But we want them as Callouts or Tasks as Callouts. For this purpose:

  • Simply select the Daily Scrum events one-by-one.
  • Use the Callout Task command (highlighted below).

Color Code the Bars

This is the final step and we have to color code the bars. For this purpose:

Select the bar that you want to color code in the Timeline view.

  • Choose the color coding by going to Timeline Tools > Format tab > Font group > Background command.
  • Select different color coding for each bar. 

When you complete, the final Timeline view for the Current Sprint will come as shown below. 

That’s it! If you could have done this far, then I’m sure you would have been able to draw the Timeline view for the Current Sprint in your Scrum project.

A timeline for a Sprint or multiple Sprints is quite helpful to communicate and in fact, a very effective way to quickly know the current status of the Sprint as well. 


[1] Video Course: Mastering MS Project Agile, by Satya Narayan Dash

[2] Video Course: Practical Scrum using MS Project, by MPUG.com

[3] Video Course: Microsoft Project Live Lessons, by Satya Narayan Dash.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Sign- or Log-in and put your name while asking queries in comments. Any comment is welcome - comments, review or criticism. But off-topic, abusive, defamatory comments will be moderated or may be removed.