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Tutorials and tips

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Our Power-Up features many alternative ways users can display data on their Gantt chart. Data can be added, shifted, edited, grouped or set in certain modes. In this article we will learn how exactly can we display and edit specific chunks of information on our chart.

Card Editing Mode

Probably first and foremost, we'd like to know how we can edit Trello Cards issues using the Gantt view. There's actually a couple of ways to do so. We can access the Card by clicking on its name on the Work Breakdown Structure (Waterfall) Panel or its name on the Taskbar. In both cases though, we will be forced to leave BigPicture Power-App and return to a dedicated Board to which that specific Card is bound.




Task Bar

Each Task on our Gantt chart is displayed in the form of a Task Bar. It can have a few forms (either a bar or a double-sided hook when it comes to Parent Tasks). Regular Task may have the color of our choice picked from the Task Context Menu, a color of its label (if we select this option) or be a grey-ish plank. The parent task is always gray so the color of the bar can not be changed. Tasks have circles on both sides which can be grabbed to create dependencies with other Tasks. It has a Label which is a Card's Title. When Smart Labeling is used and Task's Label cannot fully fit into the Task Bar, it will be displayed on the side to the right of it.

Tasks Grouping

Application's Task Grouping feature allows us to sort our tasks list on both: Gantt's WBS and the Gantt chart, by a value of an attribute present in WBS Columns. Once we select Task Grouping menu from Data tab, a menu with selection of attributes (values for the grouping purpose) will appear. We can easily change the order of our attribute bars and populate desired checkboxes in these interactive planks.

It is possible to group tasks using only one attribute, yet as the Task Grouping feature is based on Gantt's WBS Columns mechanism, tasks in this mode can be grouped by multiple criteria at the same time. As we already know, it is possible for these grouping criteria to be arranged using drag and drop mechanism, which sets the group order on our chart. 

Once we use this feature and our Tasks are divided into groups, we will be able to see a number on each groups tab. This number is of course a number of Tasks within each group category.

Expanding and Collapsing

A self-explanatory, yet very useful feature especially in projects which are flooded with tasks in Parent-Child relations. 

As we've already learnt in this and other articles, our Power-Up is capable of displaying multiple PM components and relations between them in form of tasks and sub-tasks. In widespread Programs, an amount of these relations may be uncountable. That's why it may come in handy to 'Expand' or 'Collapse all' data displayed on our Gantt's WBS and Gantt chart. This way we will either see the whole range of our Cards in form of a Waterfall or only these issues which are the highest in the hierarchy of 'Parents' and their 'Children'.

Milestones

Milestones help us to accurately determine whether a project is on schedule. When we add a Milestone to our chart we have a better insight into our project 's key dates.
When any Task (which is not a parent to another Task) is converted into a Milestone, it is placed on the Gantt chart in form of a rectangular - diamond-shaped figure, in the position of that Task's End Date (its both fields for Start and End Dates will now have its End Date's value).

In order to convert a task into a Milestone, we have to highlight our Task on the Gantt's WBS and select the 'Ellipsis' (three dots vector icon) menu to the right of our task and select 'Task Type' → 'Milestone'. We can convert Milestone to its original form by selecting a 'Regular Task' mode from the same menu.

Markers

Markers are entities which we can add to the Gant chart by clicking on the Date Square located at the top of the diagram's calendar once 'View' - 'Show' - 'Markers' option is enabled. We can Name it, set its Date and Description. They can mark bullet-points of our ongoing projects, events, project related happenings etc. Markers can also be successfully used to create additional "baselines" on our Gantt chart or to mark important events and dates on our chart while using the Export functionality.

Task Modes

Different Task Modes allow users to switch tasks' recalculation methods once dragged and dropped in different positions on the chart.

There are 3 different task modes which can be set for all Tasks globally (per Program) and individually (per Card):


TASK MODE

FUNCTIONALITY
AUTO

This mode is always set by the default. When enabled, all related (linked) tasks will be impacted depending on the link type used.

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MANUAL

When enabled all related (linked) tasks will not have an impact on dates.

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LOCK

Once locked, tasks cannot be moved on the chart.

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This feature can be either selected from the 'Data' Tab on the BigGantt or BigPicture Menu Panel (Header) for the global Program setting, as well as from the 'Context' (Ellipsis) Menu located to the right of each Task on the Gantt's WBS for an individual Parent Task, a Child Task or the whole Group. It can be used in a variety of situations. 'Lock' on a Task, for example, can be used as a 'Read-only' setup on a file. It can prevent other users from moving an important Task around on the Gantt chart or editing it with drag and drop actions. 'Manual' setting, on the other hand, makes link dependency between tasks not to take power over a Task in this mode which can help us to see how far on the Gantt chart can we move that Task without affecting the dependency logic between Sibling and Parent tasks. 

Gantt Scaling

We can change the scale of our Gantt chart by clicking a double-arrow icon located at the top of Gantt module next to the 'View' settings. This will bring down a menu which will allow us to determine number of days, weeks, months or even years displayed on our diagram's calendar. This option is very useful in long-running projects and allows us to take a different perspective on the chart itself in the time period of our selection. We can switch the Gantt chart to display only one Day, a Week, a Month, a Quarter, Half of a year, a full Year, Three years, and a Bird's-eye view in order to display large Projects in the longer perspective.

Gantt Re-sync

Re-synchronizing BigPicture's Program will rebuild its structure. It can be accessed from 'Data' drop-down menu or by double-hitting 'r' on a keyboard. This functionality, whenever trigged once again pulls all Tasks to the Gantt chart based on information gathered on Boards which belong to the Program and completely rebuilds Gantt's WBS. In larger projects and Programs this may be a bit time and memory consuming, therefore, should be used once our Program parts do not synchronize correctly or seem to be out of place. Sometimes a simple browser Refresh (F5 or Ctrl+R) should do the trick.

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