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Project Timeline Excel Template: In Excel, a project timeline can be produced by linking charts to data tables, such that the chart updates whenever the data table is modified.

The first design on this page makes use of a stacked bar chart method and also includes up to four milestones represented by vertical lines in the form of horizontal lines. In this template, I’ve combined elements from both my project schedule and task list templates.

I’ve pre-populated the template with some general product development language, but the template is intended for you to fill in the blanks with your own activities and deadlines as needed.

The second template, which creates a more typical sort of timeline, makes use of a scatter chart with data labels and leader lines to construct a chronology.

Download Project Timeline Excel Template

The Project Timeline Template is being used.

Different Colors for the Bars in the Timeline: One of the most useful aspects of this template is that it allows you to choose different colors for each bar on each row of the time line by using a drop-down box located in the Color column. This makes it simple to distinguish between the various phases or categories of tasks that must be completed. You can add and delete tasks by simply inserting or deleting rows in the spreadsheet’s data table, as seen below.

Several steps in the product development cycle are illustrated in the diagram above (Concept Development, System Design, Detail Design, Testing and Refining, Production, and so on), with different colors representing various periods of the cycle. However, there are a variety of different applications for this form of timeline. Organizing tasks inside a project timetable according to important organizational functions, such as marketing and design; testing; manufacturing; finance; sales; quality assurance; and legal; is another frequent method of grouping work.

Milestones: When creating a project timetable, you will almost certainly want to include at least a number of significant milestones. Three milestones are depicted as vertical lines in the preceding illustration. The data table allows you to make changes to the milestone labels and dates. The design allows you to display up to four milestones at a time. It is feasible to add more milestones, but doing so would necessitate the creation of a new data series from scratch (you cannot just insert rows for additional milestones like you do with tasks).

Is it possible to add more colors? This project timeline has been designed to accommodate up to six distinct color options. It is feasible to add additional colors, but doing so would necessitate more Excel skill. Following are some general actions to take in order to attempt to add more colors:

Add a new column to the right of the current data table to make it more organized.

Delete the formulas from the previous column and paste them into the new column.

When you choose the timeline and drag the range marker to the right, the new column will be included.
In order to determine what color the new column uses, enter some data and then edit the column label.
To incorporate the new label, update the list that is used for the data validation drop-down box in the Color column to include it.

When are the dates in the chart not changing? It is necessary to alter the Minimum and Maximum boundaries of the horizontal axis in order to change the range of dates displayed in the chart. Format Axis can be selected by right-clicking on the axis.

Do you want greater flexibility and ease of use? If you aren’t concerned with automation and are looking for a straightforward method of creating a high-level project timeline, the Project Schedule Template can be a good choice. Colors can be changed in a spreadsheet by simply changing the background colors of the cells within the spreadsheet.

Description – Project Timeline Excel Template

This project timeline makes use of two separate scatter chart series to represent milestones above the timeline and tasks with durations below the timeline, as shown in the image below. It is necessary to use X Error bars in order to produce the durations. The user can specify the length of the leaderlines for the tasks, which will be used to illustrate task relationships.

Related: Family Excel Budget Planner (Download Free)

The user has the ability to change the vertical placements of the tasks and milestones on the screen. However, if you have more than 20 activities to display, a Gantt Chart may be the preferable choice.

Originally produced for Excel, this template is based on the Resourcefuldev Excel Timeline Template, which was one of the first timeline templates to be created for the program, employing the technique of leaderlines and error bars to display durations. Because of a new feature in Excel that allows you to select a range of cells for Data Labels, this new project timeline will only work in more current versions of Excel (2013 or later), according to the developers.

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