I was cruising the old forum and found these threads re: a “dashboard” or “master view” feature to see the big picture across all project files at once:
The Omni Group has since added shared resource-loading across all projects in a single repository (kudos!). But it is still difficult (impossible?) to get a bird’s eye view of all projects (the whole enchilada!) without placing all projects into a single OmniPlan document.
+1 Add a dashboard, replete with resource reporting across all projects. E.g., hand Bob a list of his activities over the next month across all projects, scheduled/prioritized to optimally complete all projects. Other reports across all projects would be helpful too.
+1 More robust project costing and profitability reports.
Overall, The Omni Group is making good strides in OmniPlan, just slowly. It is a quality application and I’m thankful for it! Keep up the good work, all!
For example: I would like to create a view similar to the attached picture, where each resource (just me, most of the time) knows exactly what he needs to be doing; when he needs to do it; and in what order—across all projects in the repository that he’s participating in. I want to be able to filter/report/get a bird’s-eye view of all the separate project documents in one blessed overview.
The tasks in the picture come from a variety of projects, aggregated into a single document for this purpose. Because of leveling/resource-loading, the resource would receive a (say, weekly) list of tasks, and know exactly what to work on. It would take the guesswork out of it!
But this method of putting all projects into a single OmniPlan document is less than ideal:
- critical-path functionality no longer works well;
- as time goes on, completed projects will linger;
- it’s unwieldy to try to manage a large number of projects in a single document (although sometimes users want to do this for whatever reason—that’s what the Dashboard would be for, thus allowing users to work with individual projects in their own files);
Is the Omni Group able to say definitively whether a similar feature will be implemented (soon)? I’m psyched that resource-loading and leveling across all projects in a repository was finally implemented, and well at that—but, as the fora show, it took several years!
Along with OmniFocus integration, I would think that a dashboard/global overview is one of the top no-brainer additions to OmniPlan. Fingers crossed! :-)
Thanks again for your consideration.
For now, I think if the Omni Group were able to put together a simple AppleScript for us, it would be a workable interim solution. The AppleScript would do the following:
- Open all project files selected by a user.
- Update the project files with the server repository; perform leveling.
- Copy all tasks in each project file.
- Paste the tasks from each project file into a new “Master” project file (local file, not synched with server repository).
- Save the Master project file.
- Close the other project files.
Unless I am mistaken, this would keep each individual project file intact; maintain the critical path functionality for each project; and still give the user a bird’s-eye view of all projects at once, when that is needed. For example, I would then be able to use filters to list upcoming tasks for individual resources across all projects, as described above. Other users could see costs across all projects; etc.
Modifications to the tasks in each project would still need to be made in the individual project files for now (wouldn’t sync back!); but this would be a step in the right direction.
I have never written an AppleScript for OmniPlan before, and am not really sure where to begin (even though this seems like a straightforward thing to do). It seems that the Omni Group had previously made a similar AppleScript available, before adding resource-loading / leveling to OmniPlan. (See old forum posts, linked above.) Is there any chance that someone at the Omni Group could whip up such an AppleScript for us while we wait (and hope) for a Dashboard-style feature?
And if anyone has other ideas about how to accomplish this (say, via Keyboard Maestro, Automator, etc.), please chime in!