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When working on a project that demands strict time management and delivery, having a good scheduling system is critical to success. While there are various techniques that allow efficient and effective time management, Gantt charts have been a staple tool for project managers over the past decades.
This allows leaders, along with fellow team members, and their clients to administer a simple plan that allows quick and easy execution of project tasks and deliverables.
In the 1900s, an American engineer and social scientist named Henry Gantt designed a horizontal bar chart to use as a production tool which provides users with a graphical representation of a given schedule. Over the years, Gantt charts have been a common charting method for entities that needed to monitor their progress in completing a project before the said deadline. Some charts are made simple on a standard graphing paper, while others are more complex than most with the automated versions created on project management applications such as MS Excel or Project.
In the past, since these basic charts had to be drawn manually, project managers used actual blocks or pieces of paper as Gantt chart bars to allow adjustments to be made with ease. Approaching the 1980s, personal computers enabled managers to create complex and elaborate versions of these charts effectively. You may also see
Soon after, the chart became a popular feature in various web-based applications that allowed users to import and export data for quick and easy simple chart construction. Modern Gantt charts also demonstrate dependency relationships that may exist between activities. This shows the correct order in which one task must be accomplished to make way for another task.
A Gantt chart is made up of two different axes: the horizontal axis and the vertical axis. The horizontal axis is constructed to represent the time span of a project, which is broken down into specific increments (consisting of the days, weeks, or months) of which certain assignments must be carried out. You may also see price chart examples & samples.
The vertical axis, on the other hand, is made up of tasks that need to be done to finish a given project. The horizontal bars found within the chart, which often vary in length, represent the sequences, timing, and time period allotted for each task. It’s possible for these bars to overlap, especially when certain tasks may be carried out simultaneously. You may also like comparison chart examples & samples.
Gantt charts generally illustrate the current status of a project to make it easier for the project manager, along with members of the team, to track the progress that has been made so far. You can utilize secondary bars, arrowheads, or colored bars to indicate completed tasks, or those that are in process of being completed. The start and finish dates are usually predicted during the early stages of planning, and are subject to change due to various factors that may affect the production process. You may also check out food chart examples & samples.
In project management, simple scheduling is just scheduling, until you realize how important it is to have a proper time management plan in place. It’s not just about being productive, as good project management also involves clear communication between members of the assigned team.
If anything, a Gantt chart serves as a bridge between your project plan and its means of execution. With the chart in hand, you can improve your level of productivity in order to finish the project in a systematized manner.
Using a chart for project scheduling can be beneficial in a lot of ways. Because of this, many entities have considered using Gantt charts to boost their productivity, enhance internal communications, forecast long-term responsibilities, and track results.
Here are other advantages added to the list:
While a Gantt chart offers numerous benefits in project management, this method of charting may not work out as effectively in some situations. For instance, using a Gantt chart to handle large-scaled projects can get pretty complicated, especially when the list of tasks along with the given duration is a lot longer than most project types. You might be interested in monthly chart examples & samples.
Another thing to take note of is that this chart type isn’t as flexible as some project managers want them to be, specifically hand-drawn charts and those created in an ordinary spreadsheet. And since sudden changes are bound to occur, you need to make sure your Gantt chart stays updated at all times. You may also see size chart examples & samples.
Fortunately, if you wish to push through with a Gantt chart despite its limitations, there are many project management tools, such as SmartDraw, that allow you to create an advanced version of these charts alleviate any prior issues that users have experienced when utilizing Gantt charts.
Before you begin building your Gantt chart, make sure you have all the necessary details ready, along with a proper project plan for you to follow. While creating a Gantt chart isn’t as difficult as it seems, here are few practices that will guide you the process:
Apart from jotting down each deliverable, you also need to categorize tasks according to the phase they belong to. Breaking down these deliverables into detailed sections allows you to track each step properly. Not only can this make the chart a lot easier to read, but it also serves as a guide to a step-by-step process that is essential to the completion of the given project. By grouping tasks together, you can quickly assess which items on the chart need to be addressed immediately in order to accomplish a phase, which may then lead to the start of another. You may also see wedding chart examples & samples.
When working as a group or as an organization with multiple members, it’s always best to indicate the entity responsible for an assigned task. Label each task according to the name of the individual or department behind it, or you may also use an acronym to save on space. This is vital in terms of resource planning and accountability, especially when handling data loss and other related concerns. You may also like control chart examples & samples.
Though this is an obvious tip that does not need to be elaborated any further, for anyone new to Gantt charts: never forget the start and end dates for each task. Without such, you could be defeating the whole purpose of the said approach.
Timeline shifts can be a burden in project scheduling, which is why it is important to block time off in your plan beforehand. Time off, which in most cases constitute to the weekends, and holidays must be taken into account when developing your Gantt chart. You may also check out medical chart examples & samples.
If one task needs to be completed before moving on to another, now is the time to note this down. Some project management applications provide dependency functions that allow an automatic shift of events — should there be any changes in the plan— without altering the original work flow. You might be interested in music chart examples & samples.
We’re all guilty of being forgetful at times. Despite conducting various briefings to keep the general plan intact, team members and clients tend to forget their commitments along the way. For this reason, using the notes section of your plan would be extremely helpful. Here, you can provide additional instructions for each team, along with a detailed description on what the task is for and how it should be delivered.
If employed correctly, Gantt charts offer a number of benefits in project management. This gives project managers the ability to monitor progress, detect possible issues, and ensure tasks are done before the assignment is due. The best way to grasp the concept of such and get comfortable with using it is to actually create one, whether this is built from scratch or with the aid of a web-based software. The more you use Gantt charts, the more you’ll understand how to apply it effectively for successful project management. You may also see color chart examples & samples.