Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Reporting project cost variance with a stoplight view
Next, you focus on creating what is often called a stoplight report . This status report
represents key indicators for tasks, such as schedule or budget status, as a simple red,
yellow, or green light. Such status reports are easy for anyone to understand, and they
quickly provide a general sense of the health of a project. Strictly speaking, what you’ll
create here is not a report in Project, so we’ll call it a stoplight view instead.
TIP This exercise uses custom fields and formulas. These are powerful features in Project
and you’ll find they have applicability for many other needs beyond the stoplight report we
The scenario: At Lucerne Publishing, you conclude that the best way to help the team
working on the new children’s book plan to better understand cost variance is to employ a
red/yellow/green stoplight style of view.
In this exercise, you edit a view using custom fields and formulas to visually focus on the
cost variance of tasks.
On the View tab, in the Task Views group, click Other Views and then click Task
Project displays the Task Sheet view. It currently contains the Cost table.
To save you time, we have customized a field in this Project file containing a formula
that evaluates each task’s cost variance. Next, you will view the formula to
understand what it does and then view the graphical indicators assigned to the field.
On the Format tab, in the Columns group, click Custom Fields .
The Custom Fields dialog box appears.
In the Type box located in the upper-right corner of the dialog box, click Number in
the drop-down list.
In the Field list box, click Overbudget (Number3) . This is the customized field we set
up for you.