Why you should be using Gantt chart to manage your projects. But, you’re not
Missing deadlines, shouting managers and tumbling projects. This is a usual scenario in IT companies. But there’s a simple cure that can remedy all this, and that cure is a Gantt chart. In this post, we are going to present some basic facts about Gantt charts, how you can use them for project planning and why you should be using these visual charts to manage your projects. But, before we delve deeper into the benefits and features, let us first get to know a little about the history of these charts.
A peep into the history of Gantt charts
In the late 1800s, a Polish native Karol Adamiecki came up with the idea of creating visual representations for tasks that he named harmonograms. Using the foundation laid by Karol, Henry Gantt, an American mechanical engineer and management consultant, came up with the idea of creating a bar graph that could be used to visually represent project schedule. After his name, the chart was given the name Gantt chart. And, the earliest application of these charts came during the World War I by America.
What is a Gantt chart?
Gantt chart is a specific type of bar chart that represents the list of activities which have to be completed during a project’s life span. The activities are presented in the form of bar graphs. The length of each bar in the chart provides an idea about the start and end date, as well as the duration for that task.
As the entire life of the project is represented in a visual format, it becomes easy to decipher critical information related to the project such as its scope and keep a bird’s eye view on everything.
Why you should be using a Gantt chart?
Now coming to the most important part, why should a business use these Gantt charts? Well, reasons are plenty. Take a look at those reasons and see for yourself -
- To finish projects on time
Failing to meet deadlines is the number one cause for project failures. And, businesses lose millions of dollars in failed projects because of this reason. But with Gantt charts, meeting deadlines for tasks becomes a piece of cake. As these charts provide a visual timeline for the project, including milestones as well as key dates, so you can keep an eye on how things are progressing and make sure that projects get completed on time.
- Keep everyone in sync
Keeping everyone on the same page, be it your team members, management, clients or stakeholders, is imperative for the success of a project. With visual representation of critical project information in these Gantt charts, it becomes easier for everyone to view and analyze project information and stay on the same page. There is no confusion about when a particular task has to start, who has to work on those tasks, and when is the deadline to finish it. So, there is no fuss and no time-wastage on deciphering project related information.
- Understand task dependencies
Successful completion of a project requires effective collaboration. When many people are working towards achieving a common goal i.e. completion of the project on time, more often than not, progress of one person’s task depends upon the other member’s completion of the task. Inability of one team member to not complete his/her duties on time can create an irreparable loss to the project’s overall progress. Gantt charts help you to understand the interrelationships of these tasks by allowing you to set dependencies between related or unrelated tasks. So, you can clearly visualize and meet strategic objectives with ease.
- Spread a sense of accountability
You can use these charts to visualize the relationship between various tasks. Getting to know how a delay in one activity is going to impact the progress of the project creates a better sense of accountability. Every team member knows that if things from their end start to go south, then chances of the entire project getting derailed are increased. No one in the practical world would like to be the person responsible for a project failure. And, hence they will start to focus on getting their tasks completed on time, without any hiccups.
- Better resource allocation
A great thing about these charts is that they create a timeline for progression of each task. So, you can get to know if a task is taking more time than usual or a task has been completed prior to when it was scheduled for. In both these cases, you get to know which is the one aspect of the project that needs more resources. And, which is the one that can be handled with lesser man-power. With all these things put in front, you can eventually plan the projects in a better manner and manage resources more effectively.
- Long term planning and implementation
Gantt charts paint a clear picture of the project in an easy to understand visual format. Everything is present right in front of your eyes. You can easily see whether the project is moving on the right track? Are there any bottlenecks? Which tasks are running behind their scheduled deadlines? And, many more such important aspects that can make or break a project. With the help of all this information, you can manage your resources in the most effective manner. And, plan the future of your business in the longer run.
How to create these Gantt charts?
Enough about the benefits of these charts, another important question that arises here is how to create a Gantt chart? Well, you can give a shot to try and use pencil + paper chart to create these graphs and see how it goes. Or, you can simply use the Gantt chart software in ProofHub. All you have to do is feed the details in these software and they will create a visually beautiful and pleasing Gantt chart for your project.
Here’s a look at some of the important information you are going to need when creating these charts -
- Tasks and task details
As your project is going to include a number of tasks, you must first of all jot down the list of those tasks along with their details, like a start date and an estimated end date.
Projects are often broken down in smaller milestones to make sure that things are moving at the right speed. These milestones are reflected in the project Gantt charts. So, team members can get to know the important dates and remain accountable of their activities.
As soon as your project starts to move, these charts will also start to evolve. You need to update the information continuously to ensure that changes are reflected in these charts, so that you can visualize and plan the projects in a seamless manner.
There you have it. A peep into everything you need to know about Gantt charts, and why they are so useful in getting things done.
If you have been struggling to keep track of your projects, missing deadlines on a frequent basis and failing to complete projects on time, then it is time to think about bringing on board a project management software like ProofHub that brings these charts along with a number of other productivity features.
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