Do you know how an unsuccessful project differs from a successful one? It all depends on Planning. At any point, there are thousands of projects running and lack of planning is what contributes towards an unsuccessful project. A good planning to the core leads to successful project as it clearly explains the inner and outer of the project and how can teams do it. You have to control a large number of activities to make sure everything is completed on schedule.
For instance, there is this one study carried out at the University of Ottawa that states close to one-third of the projects fail because of lack of involvement from the top level. As the managers clearly define the aim of the project in the planning phase you are more likely to succeed in delivering the project objectives. A poor plan will never deliver good results. Project planning is a big part of project management. And to be able to see how everything is being done at a glance is helpful. Gantt chart is a visual method to outline the progress of all the tasks involved in the project, giving an overview of a project.
Gantt Chart: A Brief History
Gantt charts were first used on large construction projects like the Hoover Dam, started in 1931 and the interstate highway network which started in 1956. In earlier times, Gantt charts were prepared manually. Whenever the progress of the project was changed, it was necessary to redraw the chart. Nowadays, with the development of project management software, Gantt charts can be updated easily. As it can be created easily, Gantt charts make it more simple to understand the steps required to complete a project, improving the chances of project success.
What is the Purpose of the Gantt Chart?
Are you familiar with the uses of Gantt chart software? A Gantt chart is a timeline that is used as a project management tool to oversee every aspect of the project while keeping a tracking of its progress. You will easily know who is responsible for what, how long each task will take and other problems that a team will encounter during the progress of the project.
How to Use the Gantt Chart?
A Gantt chart is used to visualize the overall status of the project. It is powerful because it solves some of the biggest issues faced by every project manager.
- What is an accurate timescale for the project?
- What tasks need to be done?
- How to break down the structure of the project?
- How long is the project going to take?
- How is work related to team members?
Here’s Why You Should be Using a Gantt Chart
Now that you know a brief about the Gantt chart, coming to the most important part ― the uses of Gantt chart in project planning. Why should a project manager use these Gantt charts? Well, take a look at the important use of Gantt chart in project planning:
1. Finish projects on schedule
A Gantt chart is like a map that makes it easy to see project shortcuts. As you can divide a long-term project into smaller chunks of time, it becomes easier to meet deadlines. You can visualize the overall tasks of the project and their total duration. With Gantt charts, meeting deadlines for tasks become a piece of cake. Having a clear view of milestones and key dates you can keep an eye on how things are progressing.
2. See overlapping activities and task dependencies
The inability of someone to not understand his responsibilities and complete his duties on time can create a big loss to the progress of the project. Gantt charts display dependency showing the interrelationships of tasks to clearly meet strategic objectives with ease. Oftentimes, we need to know the next task before we complete the task we are working on. On Gantt charts you can view which tasks are dependent on each other giving teams more clarity and motivation. They will know if the upcoming tasks are dependent on them and accordingly schedule their work so it doesn’t impact the overall progress of the project.
3. Keep everyone in sync
Gantt is one of the best ways to make sure the team is working together towards a common goal while keeping everyone on the same page. As it provides a visual representation of the critical project, it becomes easier for teams and project managers to analyze project information. You can keep everyone including stakeholders, clients and team members on the same page for sharing information smoothly for the success of a project. There will be no fuss and confusion during the project.
4. Spread a sense of accountability
Accountability is an obligation to accept responsibility. As Gantt charts make present and next task visible, these charts define roles and responsibilities for everyone. It shows how a delay in one activity will impact the progress of the whole project, thus creating a better accountability. With this, the chances of the entire project getting derailed are decreased and you are on the way to sipping up success.
5. Better resource allocation
To get project management smoother, project resource allocation helps in good resource management. Resource allocation by hand will probably not get you too far, so Gantt charts is a great thing to create a timeline for progression of each task. You can get to know an estimation of enough time to complete the tasks realistically while to keep things pushing at a nice pace. If a task is taking more time you will know if it needs more resources or if a task can be handled with less manpower, as the case may be. Eventually, you can manage resources more effectively.
6. Long-term planning and implementation
Nobody wants those days when they are completely lost in their projects with no clear direction to move forward. Gantt charts paint a clear picture of the project to identify and manage project activities in a visual format. You can easily see if there are any bottlenecks and track the progress of the project. And, plan how things will instantly unfold leading to project completion.
7. Better time management
Gantt chart brings in better time management for all stakeholder and team members. Everyone plan their own activities as they understand the start date, due date and end date of the tasks assigned to them. Gantt chart greatly enables team members to better manage their time, thereby enabling the team to improve their efficiency.
8. Identify critical path
What is a critical path? The critical path is the longest distance between the start and finish of your project, giving a clear picture of your project schedule. The completion of one task will trigger the beginning of another task that is either dependent on the present task or is scheduled next.
Do You Use Gantt Charts to Plan Out Projects?
If you are planning your next project, a Gantt chart is a good option to visualize the timeline of the project. It is true that the Agile project management methodology follows an easy way of project planning where Gantt charts will monitor the progress of your project. Thousands of users plan project better using Gantt chart to be more productive and clarity of project delivery.