A Project Manager’s Guide to Gantt Charts
October 10, 2018
One of the main problems project managers need to deal with is with a breakdown in communications. Either because there are inexistent or because they are not clear or constant enough, the reality is that this can affect the entire project and its delivery.
So, what can you do?
One of the most important tools that project managers use is Gantt Charts. Simply put, Gantt Charts are bar charts that show you all the activities and tasks that need to be done within time as well as their sequence to ensure that the project is complete in time. So, with a simple glance, you will be able to see what has already been done, what there is still need to do, who needs to do it, and when all the activities need to be complete.
How do Gantt Charts work?
Gant Charts is a great visualization tool that is often used by project managers. They will show the project manager the tasks that need to be complete and at what time so that the project can move forward. However, a Gantt Chart may be useless unless you take the time to fill it in with all the information.
One of the best Gantt chart tools is to use a Gantt chart excel template like Gantt Chart Excel.
Gantt Chart Excel is automated and easy to use. Additionally, if you use Excel you can easily create Gantt charts as Excel is instantly familiar as well.
First the project manager will need to identify all the main tasks that are involved in the project. He will also need to establish what tasks need to be completed before another one can be started.
After having all these information, the project manager will need to discover how each task relates to the others. Since all projects are different as well as the tasks they integrate, you will need to discover if there are any sequential tasks – if one task needs to be complete so that another one start, as well as if there are any tasks that are parallel and therefore, can run at the same time with others.
Since time is usually a crucial factor of all projects, you as a project manager need to take this into consideration and ensure that you have as many parallel tasks running at the same time as possible.
During this process, the project manager will also need to determine who is the responsible person for each task, determine an estimate on the time each task takes, and also the problems teams can find when they are working on each task.
All these details will help you when the project is already being implemented and teams are already working on their tasks. After all, you will know if the project is running on schedule or if it is late, who is delaying the project, and you’ll have already measured in place to work around any problems that a team may encounter.
Only after all this research and careful considerations is that you are ready to create the Gantt Chart for the project.
A Gantt Chart is extremely useful and should be shown to the team working on the project as well as to the sponsors of the project as well. The project manager needs to ensure that he keeps the Gantt Chart up to date since this is a great communication tool so everyone knows how the project is evolving.
Since a Gantt Chart includes so much information, project managers should consider looking for a good project management software that allows them to easily create the Gantt Chart they need. We recommend Gantt Chart Excel.