How Do Gantt Charts Make Project Managers’ Lives Easier?
How Do Gantt Charts Make Project Managers’ Lives Easier?
From tracking and automation, to communication and deadline evaluation, check out how Gantt charts can improve your workflow.
Join the DZone community and get the full member experience.Join For Free
Do you want to have a way to see how tasks are progressing? Want to see what roles are there in a project and how others depend on them? If you’ve always wanted a quick view of how far behind or ahead of schedule your project is, then it’s time for Gantt charts.
We believe that you might have already heard about Gantt charts considering their popularity in the project management domain. As a new project manager or team leader, it’s absolutely fair on your part to have some apprehensions about them.
Fret not, we are going to clear all your doubts regarding Gantt charts, the benefits they offer, and their purpose in project management in this post. Before that, let’s learn a little bit about their history.
People often think that Henry Gantt was the man behind the Gantt charts, but in reality, it was Karol Adamiecki, a Polish engineer who devised these charts for better planning in 1896.
Adamiecki published his work only in Polish and Russian and the first ever Gantt chart was named as the Harmonogram. After some years, Gantt started working on these charts and made them popular, thus the name "Gantt charts."
Why Use Gantt Charts in Project Management
The best thing about Gantt charts is that they are sufficient in equipping you with the right tools to plan, manage, and schedule projects. Gantt chart software also helps you to automate processes, create dependencies, add milestones, and identify critical paths.
A Visual Timeline of Tasks
Gantt charts provide a visual timeline of the project so that you can schedule your tasks, plan, and iterate your projects quickly and more efficiently. One gets to see an overview of milestones and other important information that provides a clear picture of who’s working on what and other deadlines related to them. Such information plays a key role in effective project planning and tracking by bringing together everything you need to meet deadlines and deliver projects successfully.
Keeps Everyone on The Same Page
With Gantt charts, you get a unified view of all the projects at one central place, making it easy for you to handle team planning and scheduling. Also, the visual nature of these charts makes it easier for people working together to set mutually agreed upon efforts and work in unison to achieve the desired goal. It reduces any chances of misunderstanding among team members while working on difficult tasks as everyone is already on the same page.
A Better Understanding of Task Relationships
Often, a task is both dependent and related to other tasks as well. These charts help you understand how various tasks are interrelated. They also help you set dependencies between different tasks to reflect how a change in their scheduling is going to impact the overall project progress of a project. With a better understanding of task relationships, one can assure optimum workflow and maximized productivity.
Allocate Resources Effectively
A Gantt chart software helps you delegate work items to different people and allocate resources in a way without overloading anyone. By appropriately following the chart, you can adjust or share resources if someone in a team needs help. If resources know what to do when and are managed properly, there is a better chance of completing the project on time and within the desired budget, too.
Anyone working on a project doesn’t have to run to another team member to ask a question; you can communicate easily and seamlessly with a Gantt chart software. Once a plan is devised, approved, and started, forget about remembering who’s working on what as the visual nature of Gantt charts tell everything you need to know at one place. That’s how Gantt charts have made things easier and stress-free for project managers so that they can focus on getting things done.
Track the Project Progress
Whether your project is small or complex, one of the crucial things for a project manager is to see how a project is progressing and whether things are on track or not. Gantt charts show the complete percentage of every task being handled by team members that give an estimation of the time needed to get tasks done. Gantt charts are indeed one of the safest bets to predict the project progress and see if you need to change your strategy or not.
Every Gantt chart software comes with easy drag-and-drop for efficient scheduling. Whether it’s about scheduling start and end dates to rescheduling them or setting dependencies, everything works well with Gantt charts. Team members get a sense of accountability while moving tasks and the task completion bar constantly reminds them to deliver a project before the deadline.
More Clarity, Less Confusion
Gantt charts are simple and straightforward. Apart from its intuitiveness, they use the critical chain to highlight important tasks. Gantt charts highlight the critical path that helps you identify tasks which are directly impacting the overall progress of a project. The clarity helps team members to know what’s working and what’s not so that they can change their strategy to achieve their goals. This lessens the confusion and brings more clarity in the process.
Complete Projects on Time
As Gantt charts provide a unified view of tasks, projects, and resources, they help you focus your precious time, effort, and brainpower on things that actually matter. When team members visualize their efforts in a project and how the progress of the entire project is somehow dependent on them, it provides real motivation to them.
Stay Ahead Always
Not only one can stay on top of things with Gantt charts but they also help project managers to stay ahead of their schedule if they follow Gantt charts precisely. Project managers can analyze the team performance and figure out patterns that must be readjusted for better output.
By now you might have understood the importance of Gantt charts in a project manager’s life. However, if your work revolves around complex projects, you might want to go for a task management software that enables more than using a Gantt chart. There are many project management solutions with elaborated features to choose from. Get a free trial, and make the best choice.
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.