Timeline board

What you can do with timeline boards

A Timeline board represents your items in time. Timeline boards work well in scenarios like:

  • Product roadmap presentations for marketing, R&D, and other stakeholders;
  • Department annual plans for resource managers;
  • Project timelines for project managers and project teams.

You can drag cards and flags in the timeline to change time, duration, and swimlanes of the items.

Here are a few examples of what you can achieve with timeline views:

Timeline board controls

Drag an item horizontally to reschedule.

Drag an edge of an item to resize.

Drag an item vertically to change the swimlane. Shift+Drag vertically to make sure dates are unchanged.

Double click an item to open the editor form.

How to set up a timeline board

How to define timeline swimlanes

You can group your timeline items in swimlanes. To define your swimlanes, please first click Settings, then select the field that you want to group on in the Lane dropdown.

You can define sub-lanes – for this select another field in the Sub-lane dropdown.

Once your swimlanes are defined, you can filter them on the timeline by clicking the filter button in the column header.

How to define lane summaries

Your lanes can show summary data, for example the total Budget of items in the lane, or the average Complexity Score.

This is how it looks like:

To define a lane summary, please please first click Settings, then in the Summaries section click Add a summary button and select any Number field you want to have a summary on.

Show resources

You can display resource load hints under the timeline to help you to schedule the work. Here’s how this can look like:

Start by clicking Settings, and then in the Resources section click the Show Resources checkbox. You will see the resource load swimlane appear under your timeline. It will show available resources that you defined using Resource management, and booked resources that you indicated in the Resource demand for your items.

You can tune this additional swimlane to display just the information you need. Click the gear icon on the resource load swimlane header:

Here you can set up which resources will be shown, what the columns will mean, and also define the “yellow” vs. “red” overload threshold.

The resource load swimlane displays elements, which can consist of a bar and two “caps” – solid and dotted. By default they mean:

  • Bar height represents total resource demand;
  • Solid “cap” represents total available capacity;
  • Dotted “cap” represents budgeted available capacity.

If the total demand is greater than the total resource capacity, the bar will be shown red, otherwise it will be shown grey.

You can redefine what bars and caps mean – for example, you can say that your solid cap represents the budget, and the dotted cap represents capacity. In any case, Portfoleon will highlight bars with red if they exceed the solid cap threshold.

Sometimes you will want to define an extra threshold to differentiate between a minor and a major overload. In this case, you can set the FTE warning level with a percentage that indicates a major overload. For example, if you indicate 10%, any overloads below ten percent will show as yellow, while overloads of ten percent or more will show as red.

Show dependencies

You can display inter-item dependencies on the timeline. Dependencies will look like arrows on your timeline diagram.

To do so, please please first click Settings, then in the Dependencies section click Show Dependencies checkbox. 

In this specific scenario you can set up your timeline board so that it shows your items as lanes and in each lane it will show that item dependencies. This mode is designed to work with Includes / is included in dependencies, but can work with any other dependency type.

For example if you have:

  • An item A, which includes items A1, A2, AB1;
  • An item B, which includes items B1, AB1,

You can show two lanes: 1) lane A displaying A1, A2, and AB1 and 2) lane B displaying B1 and AB1.

You can set this up in two steps.

Step 1. Configure your search as follows:

  • In the Filter Conditions block configure the filter for the top-level items. In the example above you should configure the filter conditions so that they find items A and B.
  • In the Find Related Items block specify Linked items.
    A new block will appear with the link search criteria.
    Specify Link type = Is included in, Direction = Backwards, Depth = 2.
    This means that you are looking for items, which are included in your root items, and you are only interested in two levels: root and first-level dependency.
  • In the Related Item Filter Conditions block configure the filter for the items below the top level. In the example above you could configure the filter conditions to find items A1, A2, B1, AB1.

Step 2. Configure lanes.

Go to settings and specify the Linked Item in the Lane dropdown.
Your board should now show dependencies in timeline lanes.

Overriding start date and scale

Usually Portfoleon will automatically adjust display start date and scale. If you are not happy with the default settings, you can set the desired start date and column scale in the timeline settings.

Start date means the date, which will be on the leftmost edge when you open the timeline. You may want to adjust it if you have a lot of projects in the past, but you want to focus the attention of the viewer on more recent projects.

Column scale defines the time unit that one timeline column will represent: a day, a week, a month, or a year.

To set up the start date and column scale override, please please first click Settings, then update the settings in the Timeline boundaries section. 

How to define what you can see on a card

You can choose to display very simple cards showing just your item name, but you can also choose to display a lot of additional information on your timeline cards.

Here’s how it may look like:

To define what you can see on your card, please first click Settings, then go to the Card tab, and choose the data to display. 

How to color-code cards

You can define card colors based on their field values. To set up color-coding, please first click Settings, then go to the Coloring tab, and define your color schema.