Sharing HCM Cloud Project Plans Effectively

Posted on Updated on

One thing that’s different in the world of Oracle HCM Cloud is that there are more, quicker projects than in the ‘old world’. Instead of an 18-month upgrade we have shorter initial implementations, often with a smaller scope, and then return for subsequent phases where extra modules are added. Frequently these are fixed price projects too. A result of this is that the projects have to be much more tightly controlled.

In the ‘old world’ the Project Manager wouldn’t dream of sharing their project plan as it was a monstrously complicated beast of gargantuan proportions and wouldn’t be understandable or useful to anyone outside of the PMO (Project Management Office). Instead, they’d carve up smaller work packages and share those instead.

In the ‘new world’ – with smaller, shorter projects – it seems that it’s increasingly common for Project Plans to be shared around as they’re far more comprehensible. MS Project is expensive, so few people have it installed and, as a result, the Project Manager exports the plan to PDF and emails it around.

The problem is that MS Project’s export to PDF is horrible. Any project with even a small level of detail spans multiple pages and it’s impossible to line up the project items on the left with any of the Gantt chart lines, and working out dependencies is impossible.

The solution is an easy one, and it is to export to an image instead. It only takes a few minutes and exports the complete view to something that’s easily readable by everyone.

  1. Select Copy Picture:2015-09-03 21_03_12-Project Professional - Data%20Migration.mpp [Compatibility Mode]
  2. On the resulting dialog leave the top radio button selected as ‘for screen’2015-09-03 21_06_06-Copy Picture
  3. Choose ‘Selected Rows’ (this allows you to control whether a segment of the plan or the whole plan is output). It is best to select the rows you want before choosing ‘Copy Picture’
  4. Choose the timescale that you need. This sets the left and right edges of the Gantt chart so it’s best to choose the start and end of your project.
  5. Click OK.
  6. If your project is massive you might get the option of whether you want a large image, or just to zoom out the on the Gantt chart.
  7. The image is on your clipboard, so you can paste it somewhere. Maybe in a graphics package, or a Word Doc. If you want it to go straight to a file then select GIF in the top box of the dialogue above.

The resulting image file for a 250 line project might look something like this:


Everyone’s computer contains an image viewer of some kind so it’s accessible to all. It’s a single file so people can scroll around it easily, and zoom in and out as required (the text looks blurry as I’ve deliberately obscured it).

If only more people would do this then MS Project wouldn’t get such a bad name …