What is a Gantt Chart? Monitoring Your Projects through Gantt Charts

Generally, in project management, Gantt charts are frequently used to visually illustrate the flow and progress of tasks within a bigger project. In this article, we will share an explanation as to what Gantt charts are and their significance in agile project management.

Visual PMP Academy
January 28, 2024

When you attend a meeting to launch a new project, the term “Gantt chart” may sound familiar to you and may be used often in your workplace. However, you are concerned that you need to be more clear about what it is, how it is beneficial for your project management, how to utilize it, and how to create one.

Generally, in project management, Gantt charts are frequently used to visually illustrate the flow and progress of tasks within a bigger project. The Gantt chart uses bar charts to represent the distribution of duties and activities. Project management teams may better allocate resources and establish priorities with the use of Gantt charts, which also make project monitoring easier.

Gantt Chart: A Quick Look

The Gantt chart is a horizontal bar chart as a graphic representation of a project's timeline and its tasks are provided. This provides a visual summary of project data for your team, including the timeline of your entire project, forthcoming milestones, and project schedule.

Each horizontal bar on a Gantt chart represents the project timetable and varies in length. These bars could provide information about the length of the task, steps involved, start and finish dates, and more. These bars' lengths match how much time is needed to finish particular tasks, which are shown along the vertical axis of the chart.

Thus, Gantt charts assist project managers in accurately tracking and reporting project status and project completion rate.

Components of a Gantt Chart

As you look at the whole picture of the Gantt chart's components, they provide project managers and project teams with a general of what work needs to be done, by whom, and when. Nonetheless, most Gantt charts feature the following essential components:

1. Tasks or Activities

Project managers generally choose Gantt charts. By dividing projects into reasonable phases of work and designating start and finish dates, they create a project timeline.

2. Timeline or Schedule

The timeline serves as a summary of the project's start and finish dates as well as the anticipated date of each task's completion. Years, months, weeks, or days might be displayed on the timeline or schedule.

  • Task start date
  • Task duration
  • Task end date

3. Task Owner

A Gantt chart can improve your team management. You may better manage individual workloads by keeping track of who is doing what and when by assigning an owner to each item of work. You can detect if a team member or team has too much work to perform at one time because everything is planned out sequentially; then, you may rearrange or reschedule jobs as necessary.

4. Progress Milestone Tracking

Keep track of progress and milestone dates so you can promptly modify your project plan as necessary. Progress tracking, which is commonly displayed as a percentage value or bar shading, indicates the amount of a task that has previously been completed. Depending on the software you use, you can track milestones and dependencies in addition to other things.

Creating a Gantt Chart: Tips and Pointers

Previously, Gantt charts were created by hand on paper, requiring subsequent rewrites and changes for every project modification. Nowadays, there are tools and software specifically designed to handle project schedules with digital Gantt charts.

In creating a Gantt chart, you can use a traditional spreadsheet, project management software, or specialized software.

Regardless of the platform you select, the following general tips can help you create a productive Gantt chart:

1. Establish the Time Frame

Place a start date and end date for your project on the Gantt chart. Use this chart to illustrate your project across a timeline with beginning and endpoints.

2. Outline Crucial Tasks

Determine the most crucial tasks for the project. Make a list of everything you need to accomplish, ranking tasks by order of importance and anticipated time of completion.

3. Identify Dependencies Clearly

Locate and map dependent tasks. It's common for huge projects to have some tasks that must wait until other tasks are finished before they can begin. To keep your team well coordinated, and the project functioning smoothly, your Gantt chart allows you to see dependencies between tasks. Gather tasks that are related to one another or that must be completed in a particular order or relation to one another. This is useful when multiple teams are involved in a series of interdependent tasks.

4. Provide Further Specifics to Tasks

When your tasks are finally organized, add further details you wish to monitor such as resources, dates, progress, and modifications.

5. Highlight Milestones

Highlighting milestones indicates the completion of extensive projects. They assist your team in setting priorities and focusing on successful completion. Once a project is finished, it can be a wonderful occasion for celebration.

Typically a milestone happens when project phases come to a conclusion. However, you can also create milestones for your team since each project and team has a unique design.

You can also celebrate other milestones such as successful meetings, approvals, starting a task, progress assessment, new phase start-ups, and completing a task

6. Revise Tasks as Plans Change

Plans are going to change, thus your Gantt chart software should be flexible enough to adjust to your requirements. As a result, even if plans change, you can always keep your project moving forward.

On the whole, Gantt charts help project management teams better allocate resources and set priorities. They also make project monitoring simpler. visualizing your project plan is an essential first step for any team, regardless of whether you choose to use a Gantt chart or another comparable tool. There are several programs and software available that you can use to create a Gantt chart that is suitable for you and your organization.

Want to build a successful career in Project Management, Agile and Scrum? Or you need free templates, ITTO Games, or Electronic Books?

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