5 Things Every Project Manager Needs to Know About Gantt Charts
5 Things Every Project Manager Needs to Know About Gantt Charts
Take a look at some of the benefits that every project manager can get from using Gantt charts as well as some software tools to help you do it.
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Successful project management has always been one of the key challenges for a project manager. It would be nice to think that every project you undertake has a successful closure and that you can count on your team's ability to get everything completed in time. However, that isn’t always the case.
Project management is a process in which people find themselves making rookie mistakes from time to time, especially when they are managing a project for the first time. Failing to define project goals, substandard project planning, poorly defined roles, and responsibilities, faulty resource plan, and imperfect risk management are some of the most common challenges that a project manager may encounter when dealing with the management of a project.
Using a Gantt chart software is by far the most popular and successful means to cope up these challenges. And if you've been in the industry for a long time, you've probably heard that many times before. In this post, we'll take this discussion forward to help you understand why Gantt charts have become so popular for project management and what exactly do you need to use them to your advantage.
Let's get started.
You may also enjoy: How Do Gantt Charts Make Project Managers' Lives Easier?
What is a Gantt Chart?
A Gantt chart is a simple visual representation that is used in project management for a quick overview of project activities and their inter-dependencies. It's a type of bar chart that clearly displays each project task and activity along with its specific start date and end date. The idea behind using a Gantt is pretty simple and straightforward – it allows you to keep a constant eye on what's done and what needs to be done in a project.
Essentially, the Gantt chart show a work breakdown structure on a timeline. That means you can see various tasks and activities moving across different stages and estimate how long it will take to complete the overall project in one single place.
With Gantt Chart vs. Without Gantt Chart – Five Things to Know Today
Now that you're familiar with the initial concept of Gantt charts, it's time to see why these simple bar charts are considered essential for project management – especially for the planning and scheduling part.
With Gantt: From the perspective of a project manager or a project stakeholder, it's important to stay up-to-date with the project timeline. With the Gantt chart, you can easily view when specific tasks start, when they end, where all the resources are being invested, how much time is being spend on each task, and much more. In all, a Gantt promotes complete transparency across the project management life cycle and enables project managers to improve the overall efficiency.
Without Gantt: Projects and project-related details are scattered all over the workplace. There's no clarity of dates or accountability in terms of project timeline.
With Gantt: Project management is a complex picture. From planning, scheduling, allocation, executing, monitoring, to final delivery, there are so many aspects of project management that demand your attention at the same time. Gantt chart makes things simpler and clearer by bringing everything and everyone in one central place.
Without Gantt: Projects and project-related details are scattered all over the workplace. There's no clarity in roles or project goals, and as a result, nothing goes as planned.
With Gantt: Gantt charts highlight your tasks and workflows in the best possible manner. They allow you to understand and plan your work with an easy drag and drop interface. No need for any additional tool or software, a Gantt chart gives you a better, more interactive picture of a project. It provides a better understanding of current progress, task priority, critical path, task dependencies, expected timeline, and more to both project managers and teams.
Without Gantt: There always seems to be some confusion about tasks and workflow. Team members get a hard time understanding the hierarchy of all the tasks and activities in the project, thereby failing to achieve their desired performance and productivity.
4. Time Management
With Gantt: Managing projects is all about being able to handle your and your team's time better. You as a project manager should be able to track how much time is being spent on each task or activity in a project. A Gantt chart includes a fully integrated time tracking and time management, allowing project managers and teams to be more efficient with their working hours.
Without Gantt: Allocating time across various tasks and activities in a project can be extraordinarily compex. So, instead of focusing on what's important, you and your team gets overwhelmed by the length of the task list and end up wasting a lot of time.
With Gantt: As the Gantt chart can be shared among team members, it boosts better communication at all levels of an organization. It presents information in a way that everyone stays on the same page throughout the project management process.
Without Gantt: The line of communication between team members remains distorted. No one has a clear idea of what's delivered and what needs to be delivered. As a result, deadlines are often missed.
Tools to Consider When You're Looking For a Gantt Chart Software
Interested in using Gantt chart for project management? Let's take a look at some of the best Gantt chart software solutions available today. Drag and drop interface, collaborative task management, task dependencies, color coding, milestones, etc are some of the key features you can expect from these software products. However, each tool is unique in its own way.
Whether it's the feature list, the pricing, or the customer support, every Gantt chart software that we've listed here has something that differentiates it from the rest. Your goal is to explore all the available choices and identify what would work best for your projects and teams.
Project Insight is a enterprise level project management software for teams of all sizes. The software is primarily known for its easy-to-use interface and interactive Gantt chart feature that makes it easier for you and your team to streamline work and boost productivity.
Highly customizable user experience
ProofHub is basically everything a project manager and team needs to make a project successful. ProofHub's Gantt chart software creates a better, clear picture of your projects, project schedules, task dependencies, project resources, billable hours and more.
Clearer project insights
Seamless team collaboration
TeamGantt is a project management platform that allows teams to manage tasks and assign priorities via drag and drop.
GanttProject is a standalone Gantt chart software solution that is available for free for Windows, Mac, and Linux users. If you're planning to replace your current project management suite with a feature-rich Gantt chart tool, GanttProject would make a good choice.
PERT chart generation
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