Gantt charts are perhaps one of the most important tools in a project manager’s toolbox. Without a Gantt chart, a project launch can feel misdirected, clumsy and can leave the project team and stakeholders a little bit wary of the project manager’s ability to lead and deliver. A Gantt chart is a simple and effective method for planning project, big or small. Read on to find out more about this project management must have and how to use them.
If you’d like to find out more about Gantt charts and other useful tools for a Project Manager, you might wish to consider a project management course
Using A Gantt Chart
Gantt Charts are a visual representation of the project. It is a straightforward way to outline all the different tasks and milestones in a project and here is the bit that makes them special – you can easily determine and mark the interdependencies between each task. Depending on which Gantt chart software you are using, you may also be able to record task assignees; leaving you with one comprehensive plan for the project, which is easy to share and make reference to.
How To Read A Gantt Chart
If you’re worried about being able to use or read Gantt charts, there is no reason to be. They are uncomplicated and can be broken down into three key features:
- A chart will have rectangles. Each rectangle represents a project task
- The length of each rectangle describes the time it is expected that task will take to complete.
- Some tasks may have arrows between them; these represent dependencies between those tasks, but can also identify the order in which activity must be progressed.
Why You Should Be Using Gantt Charts For Your Projects
- Gantts Chart an ideal tool for use in project planning meetings/discussions. It offers a quick, easy to understand way to plot each aspect of the project and test out different scenarios so that you can be assured of the most appropriate route to project success. In a similar sense, Gantt charts can also help to identify if there are likely to be large stretches of multiple dependencies at any point during the project timeline, giving the project manager ample time to plan and resource accordingly.
- Starting a project can feel daunting, particularly if you’ve a got a new or inexperienced project team. A Gantt chart is a useful way to help everyone involved to understand that actually it is just a number of small tasks pieced together, providing clarity and keeping people positive and motivated throughout the process.
- A Gantt chart is best used as a live document. In this way, it can be used to share progress with project sponsors, the project team and other stakeholders. It can also help team members to plan their time effectively if they are able to visualise when and where their tasks are due to start or who/what they are waiting for before they do. Any changes to deadlines should also be input directly onto the Gantt chart. By doing so you can see very quickly how even one small change can impact on the overall project.
Now you know more about how Gantt charts work and their benefits to you, why not try using a Gantt chart on your next project.