What is a GANTT Chart and How Do GANTT Charts Help Me on My Project?
There are many different kinds of charts used for effective project management within companies around the world. Some of these charts include the Gantt, PERT, WBS GANTT Chart, Pareto, Process Control, and the Work Breakdown Structure charts.
Gantt charts, however, are one of the most useful tools in business and project management. Named after Henry Gantt, these charts were essentially designed to get the job done in a timely fashion, under a specified budget. Here we will explore the benefits of the simple Gantt charts and how to make it work for you.
A Brief History of the Gantt Charts
The original Gantt charts were created by Karol Adamiecki in the 1890s. Adameicki was an engineer from Poland who operated a plant where steel was made. He was fascinated by the techniques and ideas of management. He devised a chart that would record the amount of work completed along with the amount of time it took versus the allocated amount of time.
About 15 years later around 1910, an American management consultant and engineer named Henry Gantt formulated a rendition of the chart that became well known to many companies and management teams across the world. Though he was not the original, the chart took his name and thus the Gantt chart was born.
The management tool would later go on to make an appearance in the first World War as brought in by the United States. In its early years, Gantt charts were fashioned by hand and had to be redrawn every time there was a new project, and that cut into its production time.
However, today we use computers to make simple Gantt charts, and they can easily and quickly be changed to suit the needs of the next project. PCs, or personal computers in the 1980s were able to create Gantt charts through applications designed for project management teams.
Computers make it simple to update the charts, saving companies lots of time and effort.
What Exactly is the Gantt Chart and How Does it Work?
Well, the Gantt chart is a lot of things, mainly a kind of horizontal bar chart that measures the time it takes to complete a job versus the time designated for that job’s completion.
Along with a measure of time and progress, Gantt charts also includes components that show which resources are utilized and how the assignments line up with each other. The chart offers a graphic illustration that makes it easy to coordinate specified tasks.
The horizontal line on the chart represents the total amount of time for the project while the vertical line represents the different tasks within the project. This chart gives a clear picture of what needs to be accomplished on a project and helps people understand how they are part of the bigger picture.
Gantt charts are especially useful for projects that require big teams to take care of each assignment. The chart reminds every one of the project plans and keeps them on track with their assignments. Some projects can include various teams and even multiple companies. Gantt charts exist to make the project manager’s job a lot easier.
What do I Need to Create a Thorough Gantt Chart?
In order to create such a chart, there are certain factors that need to be mapped out in the beginning. First of all, it is the project manager’s job to identify all the elements that are necessary to complete the project. That can mean creating a smaller chart or a kind of list that lays out every key piece.
After all the components of the project are spelled out, it is time to figure out how long it will take to complete the entire project. It is important to be realistic about the time it takes and to plan accordingly, giving each task the time it needs for completion.
Another fundamental part of project managing includes deciding which resources are necessary to bring the project to a successful conclusion. Know what you and your team need to have in place in order to work speedily, but accurately.
The next step involves putting each task and its allocated time in sequential order. Know which tasks need to get done first. Doing this will give you insight as to which components of the project are dependent on other parts in order to be completed.
What is the Process of Creating Gantt Charts?
Once all the project information has been put on paper, it is time to organize them in the form of a chart. This chart allows you to see precisely the entire project beginning to end. Your horizontal axis will demonstrate time, which can be set in days, weeks, months, or years according to what is better suited for the length of the whole project. Your vertical axis will indicate each task with bars that span across the chart.
It is important to indicate significant dates for the project along with any milestones. There are some computer software or applications that have the chart already created for you. A pre-made chart makes for simpler project planning as you will not need to make the chart design from scratch.
How Will I Make Gantt Charts Work for Me?
Today’s Gantt charts are easy to share with the convenience of technology. You can share the chart through email and add everyone on the project. You will all be able to see and discuss the tasks and the project manager can assign them according to everyone’s abilities, strengths, and weaknesses.
Additionally, you can share the charts with the client who hired your team for the project. Doing so will avoid you having to constantly check in with them as you will be keeping them updated on the progress of your team.
With a properly organized chart, you will be able to see in detail how much work is being put into the project on a day to day basis. You will get an idea of how the team is progressing and where there may be issues that interfere with the development of the tasks. With their clear design, Gantt charts eliminate the chance for misinterpretation.
What Are the Benefits of simple Gantt Charts?
As mentioned previously, there are many benefits of using the online Gantt chart.
Gantt charts will help paint a clear picture for the project manager, project team, companies involved, and even the clients. It highlights the goals of the project and allows team members to fully understand what part of the execution of the project belongs to them.
2. Easy Communication
Gantt charts allow all parties to communicate through a visual medium. When people have a chart they can see, they are less likely to get lost than they would be through oral communication, and it makes it easy to create simple gantt charts as well for a high level project planning overview.
3. Time Management
Perhaps this benefit is the most sought after when using Gantt charts. The chart tells the project team how much time they are working with, and that will encourage them to work quickly to achieve their project goals.
4. Ambition & Inspiration
Gantt charts can have a positive effect on the project team. Through the chart, the team members will be able to see the bigger picture and realize they are a vital part in the success of the project. Seeing how their assignments relate to other goals for the project can often encourage them to put their best foot forward.
5. Strengths & Expertise
Devising a Gantt chart is a great way to get the members of your team to do their best work. When the project and all its components are laid out for them, they have the opportunity to choose which area they can be most successful working in. This allows them to work on a part of the project that they can get done effectively.
6. Adaptability & Resilience
One of the most important rules of life is that nothing is guaranteed. At the drop of a hat, anything can change, and there is no exception to that rule when it comes to business.
With that said, Gantt charts allow some legroom for unexpected changes. With the ability to see the whole picture, the project manager can assess the situation and make whatever alterations are necessary to keep the project on track.
As a project manager, you are in control of a great many tasks and are responsible for their on-time completion. If one thing goes wrong on an assignment, it could have a domino effect on the whole project. While Gantt charts cannot help you avoid making errors, it can help you keep your projects organized so if there are errors, you will know exactly when and where your team members went wrong.
A Gantt chart tool helps project managers and their teams do their best work and keep clients happy. This is why it is such a successful method in project management.