Editor's Note: The following is a guest post by MVP Andrew Lavinsky as part of the MVP Award Program Blog's "MVPs for Office and SharePoint 2010" series. Andrew Lavinsky is a Managing Consultant with Catapult Systems’ Houston office, where he focuses on implementing Microsoft technologies to enable organizational performance improvement.  As a professional trainer and consultant, Andrew has a diverse background providing services in such industries as oil and gas, health care, finance and IT.

This article will demonstrate how to create visual resource swimlanes within the Microsoft Project client.  Our goal is to take this project view:

You can turn it into this in just 4 easy steps:

These instructions assume that the reader has some experience with the Microsoft Project tool, and is capable of creating custom views and fields with little to no extra guidance.  For best results, also note that this technique is ideally for projects with only one resource assigned to a task.

Step 1: Our first step is to populate the Resource Group field in the Resource Sheet.  The Resource Group field is one of the few resource fields that propagate to task data.  Populating this field allows us to group our activities by department or functional group.

Step 2: Add a custom Group to the Gantt Chart View (or more specifically, a copy of your Gantt Chart View). In 2010, the Group options are now located in the View Tab, under Group By > More Groups.  Set the Cell Background to white to avoid the default yellow highlighting.

This results in a view that looks like this:

Step 3: Navigate to the Layout Dialog Box on the Format Tab.  Ensure that Always Roll Up Gantt Bars is checked.  This will roll up any custom detail elements such as baselines or progress bars to the summary bar.

Step 4: Double click on the Gantt Chart and add the appropriate graphical elements to the Bar Styles using the *Rolled Up Task item as a template.

Bar colors may be controlled using custom flag fields.  In this example, I used three flag fields with the following formulas:

Field

Formula

Flag1

IIF([Resource Group]=”Analysis”,Yes,No)

Flag2

IIF([Resource Group]=”Development”,Yes,No)

Flag3

IIF([Resource Group]=”PMO”,Yes,No)

You should now have a view that looks like this.

Feel free to add finishing touches such as Gantt Row lines by right clicking on the Gantt Chart and selecting the Gridlines option.