Managing a project, irrespective of its size, comes down to juggling a myriad of tasks, people, and whatnot—a single deadline is missed, and the entire project can go awry, incurring hefty losses and serious repercussions.
For project managers looking to boost their productivity by effectively managing their teams and projects, taking a visual approach to project management is a no-brainer.
Even though tons of project management methods are available, Gantt charts have long been considered the most effective.
Instead of bogging you down with details, these charts give you a comprehensive visual representation of the tasks, milestones, and deadlines plotted against time.
IntelliPaat has offered a complete breakdown of a Gantt chart to help you get a head start.
But first, let’s elaborate on what a Gantt chart is.
What Is a Gantt Chart
Invented by Henry Gantt, a Gantt chart is, at its core, a pictorial view of a project: the resources involved, the start and end date of the project, how it’s planned to be executed—all laid out in horizontal bars.
Based on your specific project requirements, you have a wide range of Gantt charts to choose from—such as basic Gantt charts, milestone Gantt charts, resource-loaded Gantt charts, dependency Gantt charts, and more.
Applications of a Gantt Chart
Since a Gantt chart offers instant insight into a project, users can effortlessly see how it will progress over time.
A Gantt chart facilitates:
- Project Planning: Project planners can visualise the building blocks of their projects, thus organising and categorising them into fragmented and more manageable tasks. Plus, tasks can be prioritised for scheduling efficiency.
- Resource Allocation: Stretching the available resources over too many tasks causes setbacks. With the project timeline in the Gantt chart, project planners can get an instant snapshot of how and where the resources are being used. Besides, a Gantt chart facilitates resource management by enabling project managers to delegate effectively while also aligning resources. As a result, project milestones are more likely to be achieved within the allocated budget and timeframe, ensuring no employee is overworking.
- Defining Logistics and Task Dependencies: Gantt charts help project managers keep an expert eye on project logistics. In addition, by illustrating dependencies as lines linking two tasks or linking a task to a milestone, they can show when a particular task should start or end in relation to other tasks. For a company running projects in a multi-team environment, this feature can be highly effective.
The result: Efficient project building and management that keeps measurable (and quick) revenue rolling in the business
Benefits of a Gantt Chart
- Boost Team Productivity: One of the notable advantages of a Gantt chart is that it facilitates cross-departmental collaboration and brings all involved stakeholders on a single page. On top of that, it helps stakeholders track how a project is progressing in real-time, thus enabling the team to plan their steps ahead of time. Staying aligned on project tasks allows them to bolster business productivity.
- Set Realistic Deadlines and Expectations: As we have already stated, the Gantt chart visually represents all the tasks and interdependencies comprising a project. Such a cohesive visual representation helps teams set realistic deadlines for each task and ultimately, the entire project.
- Adjust the Plan in Real-Time: Having insights into the pace at which each task is progressing helps you depict the upcoming delays and roadblocks. This allows you to dodge potential risks or adjust your plans accordingly.
Turbocharge Your Presentation with Gantt Charts
Project managers dealing with massive troves of information frequently create calendar-based Gantt charts in Microsoft Visio or Project and import them into PowerPoint slides. However, the process is time-consuming and gets arduous due to lacking essential features.
For those who want to create Gantt charts directly in PowerPoint with fewer clicks and less time, leveraging an add-in, such as think-cell, is a sensible decision. Automated Gantt charts, built with high-end software, help create better results—both for your presentation and timeline planning.
In short, when it comes to organising a project efficiently, a Gantt chart is second to none. Get the hang of Gantt charts and manage even the most complex project in a breeze.