A couple of months ago I wrote a blog post about Gantt Charts and Timelines You Decide which raised the issue with regards to which views project managers and their stakeholders prefer. While I didn't get a large number of readers to complete the survey-most readers seemed to lean towards using the Timeline View to communicate the status of the project. It would seem that if you are not a professional project manager that reading Gantt Charts could pose a problem. There is a great deal of clarity that can be derived from looking at a Timeline and the information is much more digestible. In the original post I talked about how MindView 3 Business Edition from Matchware enables you to communicate the information in either a Gantt Chart, a Timeline or a Combination Timeline/Gantt Chart View. So depending on your audience you can decide how to share the information visually, that is best suited for your stakeholders.
In light of my July post it was interesting for me to come across the blog post from the Microsoft Project Team Blog that announced that they had added a Timeline View to MS Project 2010. From the post it looks as if there will be lots of ways to customize and format the Timeline. The post also noted that you will be able to copy and past the Timeline information into the other Office Products. It is my understanding that the Timeline will come in as Office Art shapes that will then allow you to format it to your hearts content. So I would like to believe that my post swayed the large Seattle company called Microsoft to add the Timeline view- but who am I kidding! In any case it is great to see that tools like MS Project 2010 will give users a flexible tool for communicating project information and status.