Gantt Chart in Project Management
Gantt chart in Project Management is basically a visual view of the tasks that are scheduled over time. They are needed for planning of all projects of all sizes and they are quite a useful way of displaying which work is scheduled to be executed on a specific day. Gantt charts help you in viewing the start and end dates of the project in a single simple view.
Once computers have introduced new working methods, project managers discovered that they could save time in creation as well as updating their Gantt Charts. Gantt Chart software is also referred to as project planning, project management or even project scheduling software. It was basically created in order to automate the process so as to support advanced Gantt requirements such as the creation of task dependencies, the addition of milestones or even identification of the critical path of a project.
On a Gantt Chart you can see various things like the start date of the project, the finish date of the project, what are the project tasks, who is working on each task, how long would each task be,when the tasks start and finish and how tasks are grouping together, overlapping and linking with each other.
Imagine that people are having a plan on a paper or with the help of colored blocks. Prior to the advent of Gantt Chart software, magnetic blocks and Lego became quite popular Gantt planning tool. However, today, most of the Gantt Charts are created in Excel or with the help of project management software which is often called as Gantt Chart software.
Earlier, project managers traditionally used local desktop applications such as Microsoft Project and even today many still do. However, nowadays, Gantt Chart software has moved online thus enabling almost anyone to create collaborative and shareable Gantt Charts as well as projects plans.
Role of Gantt Chart in Project Management
Gantt Charts are quite useful in planning and scheduling of projects. They also help you in assessing as to how long a project should be taking and determining what are the resources needed, and also in planning the order in which you should be completing tasks. They are also quite helpful in the management of the dependencies between tasks.
How to Use Gantt Chart for Project Management
It is easy to manage the Gantt Chart. You can follow these steps to set up a Gantt chart of your project:
Step 1: Identification of Essential Tasks
Gantt Charts do not provide useful information until they include all the activities required for a project or project phase to get completed.
Firstly, you need to list all activities with the help of a work breakdown structure in case you have to establish what actually the tasks are. After that, for each of the task, you have to note its earliest start date and also its estimated duration.
Imagine that your organization has got a tender wherein they have to create a software of a Service product and you are the in charge of the project and you thought to use a Gantt chart in order to organize all the work along with calculating the overall timescale for this delivery.
You’ll have to start by listing all activities, and then you need to estimate how long would each task be taking to complete. The list should be looking like this:
|Analysis of high level||1 week|
|Server hosting selection||1 day|
|Server configuration||2 weeks|
|Core modules detailed analysis||2 weeks|
|Supporting modules detailed analysis||2 weeks|
Step 2: Task Relationships Identification
Now, the 2nd task is the relationship between the work in a project. You’ll also notice that some of the work needs to be completed earlier than you can start the next one, and other tasks can’t end until earlier ones have ended.
For your reference, consider that you are creating a brochure and you need to finish the design of the brochure before you can proceed to get it printed.
Step 3: Activities to be inputted Into Software
Now, thirdly, you have to draw charts either by hand or you can use specialist software, like Ganto or Microsoft Project. Some of the tools are cloud-based, which means that you, as well as the team, can access it simultaneously, from anywhere in the world.
Many of the Gantt templates have been designed for Microsoft Excel and you can also find free templates online.
Step 4: Chart Progress
As and when your project will move along, it will of course evolve. For example, let’s imagine a scenario you may have to delay the training and stop the development of a management information system until and unless the issue is resolved.
You should update your chart so as to reflect changes as and when they occur. This would help you in keeping your plans, your team, and also your sponsors up to date.
Benefits of Gantt Chart in Project Management
Many people in today’s world are quite used to creating lists of tasks in Excel or different spreadsheet tools. They might also have created a simple Gantt Chart. It works fine whenever you are creating a list of things for anyone to view. However, when you add more people to that activity, at that time it becomes very much easier to create the Gantt Chart in an online manner.
The benefits of the Gantt Chart are many. We have listed the most important benefits down below :
- Planning & Scheduling of Projects
- The Planning & Scheduling of tasks
- Planning & Scheduling of tasks across multiple projects
- Viewing tasks Over Time
- Planning in Sprints
- Team Collaboration
- Scheduling Team’s work
- Determining Planned Timelines Vs Actual Timelines on Project
After all this discussion, we can conclude that the Gantt Chart concept can be thought of as well-known as well as the successful approach of project management practices. It can be accepted as an effective and also useful way for scheduling, following and controlling of projects wherein different tasks are aimed to be completed in a restricted time durations.
This has been a guide to Gantt Chart in Project Management. Here we discussed the Concept, How to Use it, Role and Benefits. You can also go through our other suggested articles to learn more –