The Gantt Chart and Its Applications Explained

July 27, 2023
10 MIN READ
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A Gantt chart is a representation that aids in the scheduling, managing, and monitoring of particular operations and assets in a project. It comprises an inventory of duties and progress bars for each activity. The project timeline is shown by horizontal bars of varying lengths, which might include the sequence of tasks, duration, and start and finish dates for each task. It is the most common diagram in project management. Gantt charts are employed in powerful sectors for dam construction, bridge construction, and highway construction, in addition to programming and creating other services and products.

What is a Gantt chart?

A Gantt chart is a tool of project management that depicts work performed over time in proportion to the time allocated to the activity. It usually contains two distinct parts: the left is a list of tasks, and the right is a timetable with time frames depicting work. The Gantt chart could incorporate task start and finish dates, milestones, task dependencies, and assignees.

The Gantt chart is an exceptionally common chart used in project management. These graphs are important for project planning and describing the order of activities that must be completed. The chart is often shown as a horizontal bar chart.

The project timeline is shown by horizontal bars of varying lengths, which could consist of the sequence of tasks, duration, and start and finish dates for every assignment. The horizontal bar also indicates how much of a task must be completed. The length of the bar is related to the time required to complete a task. The vertical axis represents the project tasks.

A Gantt chart aids in the organizing, management, and tracking of specific project activities and resources. The graph depicts the project time frame, comprising scheduled and completed tasks. The Gantt chart assists project managers in conveying the project's progress and execution rates of individual activities within a project, as well as ensuring that the project stays on schedule. It is an ordinary tool that unifies communication throughout the development and project management communities.

Applications of a Gantt chart

Project managers use Gantt charts for three primary causes:

   i.   Create and manage a large project.

Gantt charts depict the project's foundation pieces and divide them into tasks that are simpler and easier to handle The resultant little tasks, as well as relationships between obligations, assignees, and achievements, are planned on the Gantt chart's time frame.

   ii.   Determine task interrelationships and logistics

Gantt charts may be used to maintain track of a project's logistics. Duties dependencies guarantee that a new job may begin only after finishing a previous task. Dependent concerns are promptly rescheduled if an obligation is delayed (it occurs for the better of us). This is especially important when preparing in a multi-team setting.

   iii.   Keep track of a project's advancement

You can track the status of your initiatives and make improvements as teams record time on shortcomings in your strategy. Your Gantt chart might incorporate achievements, release dates, or other relevant indicators to monitor the development of your project.

The advantages of using a Gantt chart

The chart distinguishes between jobs that may be completed concurrently and those that cannot be begun or completed until others are completed. It can assist in detecting possible bottlenecks and identifying activities that may have been left out of the project timetable.

The graphic represents task spare time, or extra time for the assignment's conclusion that should not delay the project; noncritical duties that can be deferred; and vital operations that must be completed on time.

Gantt charts are useful for project management of any scope and sort. These may involve the construction of infrastructure such as dams, bridges, and roads. The creation of software and other innovations may also be included. Gantt charts may be designed using project management tools like Project, SharePoint, Microsoft Visio, Excel, and specialist applications like Gantto or Matchware.

Gantt charts application in waterfall planning versus agile planning

Gantt charts may be an effective tool for waterfall or agile methodologies.

·       Gantt charts in waterfall planning 

The waterfall project planning model employs a linear method in which shareholder and consumer demands are gathered at the start of the project. Project managers then develop an orderly project schedule containing objectives and timeframes. Every aspect of the project is dependent on the fulfilment of previous tasks. Because the stages must be planned out in advance, this is preferred by teams that concentrate on procedures (such as building or production) rather than creativity or problem-solving.

Waterfall project directors generally favor Gantt charts. They create a project schedule by dividing projects down into reasonable pieces of jobs and allocating start and finish dates to each. It may additionally assist you in pinpointing crucial milestones for the project. Milestones are achievements that teams should complete on time or ahead of plan. These are voluntary but strongly advised.

·       Gantt charts in Agile project planning

On the contrary, the agile project planning paradigm places a premium on agility and adaptation. Agile teams divide projects into simpler versions (sprints) rather than developing a schedule with predetermined deadlines. At the start of a sprint, a team schedules their duties against the project's objectives for the following two weeks. When a sprint is completed, the successes and innovations from that sprint are used to form the strategy for the following sprint.

A Gantt chart may indicate how adjusting one job might affect the plan or product strategy. This is critical for agile teams since shareholder feedback is an important aspect of the technique.

Gantt charts in modern aspects

Gantt chart tools are now usually known as roadmap tools. Roadmap approaches like Jira Software incorporate elements including a collapsible task organization and resource management modules to maintain the needs of current software development. Regardless of the continual software development process, this allows teams to preserve a consistent project approach. Jira has two roadmap tools for creating Gantt charts for your projects: Roadmaps, which generates plans based on Jira problems designated for a team, and Advanced Roadmaps, which generates strategies across companies and teams. Jira Roadmaps manages work allocated to a single team, whereas Advanced Roadmaps is intended to track bigger, cross-organizational projects.

Advanced roadmaps (High-level organization chart)

Roadmaps provide simple and fast management, which assists teams more effectively in handling relationships and instantaneously monitoring performance on the big picture. The projects or group-level roadmaps are important for large-scale team management.

Programs created with cross-team routines give enhanced capabilities, including capacity management and automated scheduling features, to assist in constructing more intricate plans for monitoring and tracking work across many teams or even your entire business. They provide several display options, allowing you to personalize your Gantt chart to emphasize a particular aspect of your plan while displaying.

How to create an Excel Gantt chart

Creating a Gantt chart in Excel is a tedious and laborious operation since Microsoft Excel lacks built-in Gantt chart tools like ProjectManager.

Nevertheless, suppose you are a skilled Excel user. In that case, you may still manually generate Excel Gantt charts since extensive Excel formulae and formatting are necessary to mold a spreadsheet into a Gantt chart from the bottom up. Below is a basic rundown of how this procedure works.

·       Step 1: Create an Excel table with the assignment schedule. Put every assignment as a different row in your project plan, and provide the start, end, and duration dates.

·       Step 2: Create a normal bar chart with start dates.

·       Step 3: Include the period of your work.

·       Step 4: Fill in the task details in the Gantt chart.

Gantt charts may also show pricing and budgetary information for every endeavor and status information, including percentage completion, actual dates, and remaining duration.

·       Step 5: Using formatting, convert the bar graph into an Excel Gantt chart.

Gantt chart maker

Project directors discovered that by using computers to create and update their Gantt charts, they might preserve time. Gantt chart programs, often known as project scheduling software, project planning applications, or project management software, were developed to streamline meeting more complex Gantt criteria, such as defining task dependencies, adding milestones, or determining the critical route of a project plan.

Numerous project directors have traditionally utilized local desktop tools such as Microsoft Project, and many continue to do so. However, most Gantt chart builders and project management software are now available online, allowing anybody to generate shared and interactive Gantt charts and initiatives.

Limitations of Excel Gantt Chart templates

Designing a Gantt chart in Excel has numerous drawbacks compared to online Gantt chart producers. Gantt chart templates are excellent for novices but will remain static documents if stored in Microsoft Excel.

That implies you will have to change them manually during the project implementation stage, and they are not dynamic. They cannot be used to assign jobs, manage expenses, balance resources, or do anything else. It is essentially a project timetable at the start. Gantt chart software is required to advance your Gantt chart abilities.

ProjectManager is an online Gantt chart application that allows you to create interactive Gantt charts alongside your staff. Create schedules, dependencies, milestones, manage expenses, and others. The best feature is that your team can enforce the strategy from several points of view, and the Gantt chart will automatically update as they proceed.

Making a Gantt Chart in ProjectManager

Using ProjectManager's Gantt chart generator to train your team members helps you to develop further plans, schedule, and monitor all sorts of projects. You may begin enhancing how you handle tasks, resources, and time frames after allowing staff members to use the updated Gantt chart tool. However, before we explore the advantages of utilizing online Gantt chart programs, let us explore how to create a Gantt chart in ProjectManager.

Anyone may easily construct a Gantt chart online with ProjectManager. A task list may be imported from an Excel Gantt chart template, a CSV file, a Microsoft Project file, or created from scratch. Unlike Gantt chart Excel templates, our Gantt chart creator handles the heavy lifting, allowing you to focus on what matters.

Enter project activities into the tool, fill in the blanks, and a fully-functional Gantt chart will be generated automatically. The Gantt chart includes advanced project management capabilities such as task dependencies, identifying the critical route, and using timesheets for resource tracking, to mention a few.

Furthermore, because it is an online Gantt chart builder, you and your staff may construct the Gantt chart in actual time while sharing documents and files with limitless storage.

Benefits and drawbacks of Gantt charts

Advantages

Gantt charts provide the following advantages:

·       A clear, visual depiction of the plan;

·       They are typically widely understood and very simple to build

·       They may be used to illustrate performance and plan supplies.

Drawbacks

Gantt charts have the following disadvantages:

·       They do not indicate dependencies on their own.

·       The size of the schedule that can be read and comprehended is limited.

·       Is unable to deal with the shift as an outcome of advancement or scope change

Founder of Gantt charts

Henry Gantt was an economist and management expert with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. He pioneered managerial science, devising strategies to simplify and boost the efficiency of businesses and their employees. In the 1910s, he invented the Gantt chart to assist supervisors in evaluating the advancement of their workforce and guarantee assignments were completed on time.

Conclusion

A Gantt chart is a graphical illustration of a project's chronology. The chart depicts the beginning and conclusion dates of elements of the project, like resources and planning. If you are working on a project, it is advised that you utilize a Gantt chart to assist in arranging the numerous activities.

Project directors and business executives utilize modern Gantt chart software to assist firms in reaching their goals, such as Jira Software with Roadmaps and Advanced Roadmaps. Gantt chart solutions are flexible and equally appropriate to the investments, major solution, program, and company levels, whether planning a difficult project or evaluating the enterprise's development.