We are a B2B service provider. Many of our potential customers want to see a Gantt chart in the proposal. These are created based on a broadly estimated start date.

Our problem: our clients aren't understanding (or reading in our proposal) that the Gantt was only based on an example start date with the caveat they sign the proposal promptly and send us the necessary items to allow us to start our work.

I've figured out how to print a Gantt with durations and numbered days across the top (in MS project), however I am wondering if there was a prettier way to do this? Can I make a new project with no actual dates and starting on Day 0? And having a milestone as Day X?



Whilst David's answer is the right one in an ideal world, it is possible to achieve what you want by:

  1. Removing all the columns depicting start and end times (or moving the Gantt chart margin over them so they don't show), and
  2. Modifying the timescale appropriately- For example if you double-click on the timescale headings and remove all but one tier, then set that tier to show, say, Weeks and further set the Label for that Tier to be "Week 1, Week 2... (from Start)" then you will get the Gantt with just Week 1, Week 2, Week 3 etc. at the top.

You can then use the snapshot tool (Copy -> Copy Picture) to cut an image into the cut and paste buffer for subsequent pasting into your slide, document or whatever.

It's a bit of a misuse of the tool, but it does work quite effectively.

  • Thanks Marv. That's looking good enough for my purposes. I'm having a bit of trouble with Project aligning the timescale correctly, but I think it just needs more fiddling. – Lisa Nov 26 '13 at 15:19

Use a different tool. Use a spreadsheet, or visio using its timeline templates, or powerpoint using its symbols and graphics. Proposals are usually notional, high-level durations. MSProject is a scheduling tool designed for serious scheduling, not for pretty graphics.

  • Thanks David. We use Project because it avoids duplication of work when it comes time to schedule and use Project properly. – Lisa Nov 26 '13 at 15:23
  • Removing duplication of work is commendable. However, there's a cost to this that you might want to reconsider. Your proposal needs to sell. It needs to resonate. It needs to present with that salesy, glossy appearance. Packaging sells. The output from a scheduling tool is to be used by those controlling the schedule. It is not pretty. Be careful not to be penny wise but pound foolish here. – David Espina Nov 27 '13 at 12:18

You can easily select generic days and hours on the timeline. Just open up the timescale and look for options. It doesn't have to rely on an actual calendar for durations.

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