Timeline Chart in Excel (Milestone)
Project management is one of the key aspects of any project. In our earlier articles, we have published so many project management templates. Tracking and reviewing each step of the project is the key task of the Project Manager. This isn’t the easy task for any project manager because of so many fluctuating parts, long labor hours and consistent reporting of the progress of the project. So, in excel we can track all the stages of the project with a simple but powerful chart i.e. Timeline Chart. In this article, we will show you how to create a Timeline (Milestone) chart in excel right from scratch with example. Read on…
What is the Timeline Chart in Excel?
Timeline Chart is also called a Milestone chart in project management terms. This is the chart used to track all the stages of a project in a visual way. As a project manager deliver the project to the end-user as committed before the start of the project.
So in order to help out a project manager to visualize things in excel, we can create Milestone Chart or Timeline Chart.
How to Create Timeline (Milestone) Chart in Excel?
Below is the example of a timeline (milestone) chart in excel.
The first thing to create a timeline chart is to get the data ready. You need a task list with an estimated time of the task. Below is the data I have prepared for this example of a milestone chart.
Let’s create a timeline chart in excel by following the below steps.
Step 1: First thing we need to do is to create a modified data table. Insert a helper column and insert the number 10 with one positive number and one negative number.
Step 2: Select the data and go to INSERT tab and insert Line Chart with Markers.
Now we will have a chart like below one.
Step 3: Now, Right-click on the chart and choose “Select Data” option.
Step 4: In the below window remove the legend entries.
Step 5: Now click on the “Add” button.
Step 6: In the below window for “Series Name” enter “Date” and for “Series Values” select task list.
Step 7: Now click on “OK”. In the same window click on “Edit” option on the right-hand side i.e. “Horizontal Axis Labels”
Step 8: In the below selection window choose date values.
Step 9: Click on OK. Now in the same window again click on “Add” button.
Step 10: Now in the next window enter “Helper” for Series Name and for “Series Values” choose helper column values.
Now the chart looks like the below one.
Step 11: After all this, we need to do some formatting touches. Now click on the line chart and press the shortcut key “Ctrl + 1” to open “Format Data Series” option to the right of the chart.
Step 12: Go to “Fill & Line” option and under “Line” option select “No Line” option.
Step 13: Now with the same selection click on the Design tab. Under the Design tab, go to Add Chart Elements.
Step 14: Under Add Chart Elements go to “Error Bars” and choose “More Error Bars Options”.
Step 15: As soon as you click on “More Error Bars Options” it will open up a formatting option to the right side again.
Step 16: Click on “Error Bar Options”, select direction as “Minus” and Error amount percentage as 100%.
Now we have a chart like this.
Step 17: Now select the horizontal flat line chart and make this as “Secondary Axis”.
Step 18: Now delete the Secondary Axis vertical values.
Step 19: Next “Add Data Labels” to the chart.
Step 20: By selecting data labels press Ctrl + 1 to open formatting window. From the formatting window select “Category Name”.
Step 21: Select the chart and click on the “Select Data” option. In the below window choose “Helper” and click on “Edit” option.
Step 22: For “Axis Labels” choose an Estimated Date.
Step 23: Select “Dot” data labels and make this data label as Values from cells choose values from A2 to A9.
Step 24: Now select the “Dot” and choose “Marker Option” make this as delta shapes marker with black color.
Now our Mile Stone chart is ready to rock.
Things to Remember
- Timeline chart isn’t the built-in excel chart, so we need to follow all the above steps to create our own chart.
- This is the simple visualization technique to track all your project schedules.
- Seems difficult because of formatting techniques but the more time you spend on this the more comfortable you will be.
This has been a guide to Timeline Chart in excel. Here we discuss how to create Timeline (Milestone) Chart in Excel with the help of an example and downloadable excel sheet. You can learn more from the following articles –