Labeling Groups of Repetitive Activities

Linear projects often contain repetitive construction activities that move along the alignment over time. For example, a linear schedule depicting column construction for a new elevated light rail guideway might look something like this:

Let’s say you want to add a label to better describe the activities depicted by this series of bars. You could simply create your own label using a text box and position it on top of the chart. However, a static text box won’t move with the bars when the schedule changes. To create a custom label that’s linked, try adding a line shape and link it to the first and last bars by date and location using Excel formulas, like this:

Now make the line 100% transparent (invisible) and change the label text color to orange, like this:

Looks nice, right? The linear schedule now provides a more complete description of the work, and as an added bonus we’ve given the data table a bit more structure, making it easier to navigate.