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How Does a Gantt Chart Facilitate Project Management?

If you are a project manager, you are like a juggler. You are required to keep many balls up in the air at once (read: multiple projects and exceptionally long to-do lists). And, if balancing multiple balls wasn’t challenging enough, lose focus of one, and you’ll see the entire act falling apart. Quite similar to missing the deadline on one of the tasks in a project and seeing the whole schedule break down – you get the picture.

So how do you do the balancing act right? For decades, project managers have found Gantt charts to be quite helpful in balancing multiple balls (or tasks, resources, teams, and timelines!).

Gantt charts provide visual representations of various tasks in a project plotted against time. Next to each task, you can see who is assigned to what, the duration of the job, and any overlapping activities. A complete timeline of the project is available at a glance. You can literally see the project happening before your eyes as individual tasks get completed and the project pipeline moves forward.

What are Gantt Charts Used for?

A Gantt chart is particularly useful in planning and scheduling projects by converting timelines and tasks into a horizontal bar chart. It breaks down your projects horizontally in a visual format instead of a vertical to-do list that is difficult to follow for complex projects.

Various timelines and tasks are converted into a horizontal bar chart showing start and end dates, task dependencies, the resources allocated to each task, and how much of the job is completed at every stage. Here’s what you can see at a glance with a Gantt chart:

  • A visual display of the entire project, including various phases.
  • Timelines for every task.
  • Team members and other stakeholders who are responsible for a job.
  • The relationship between multiple activities or how they are interconnected.

Thus, you get complete visibility into team workloads, which can make it easier to:

  • Allocate resources.
  • Establish and control the project schedule.
  • Monitor and report progress.
  • Establish key milestones and track them.
  • Identify any bottlenecks and clear them.

What is the Purpose of Gantt Charts? 

A Gantt chart helps create a horizontal timeline of your projects to identify tasks that can be completed simultaneously and those that need to be performed sequentially. This can make it easier to manage a project by allocating resources strategically to alter the timelines or juggle multiple projects that share the same resources. Here’s how you can utilize a Gantt chart to manage projects better:

  • Visualizing tasks –With a Gantt chart, you can schedule the order in which various tasks must be completed and visualize a timeline for the same.
  • Setting dependencies -A Gantt chart is not just used for visualizing tasks. It also allows you to specify dependencies among them to know what’s next automatically.If you use a visual project management software like GamePlan, you can set dependencies between tasks within the system to be automatically notified of the progress. Furthermore, if one of the tasks in the dependent list gets postponed, all other dependent tasks will automatically get dragged along.
  • Manage timelines – It’s easy to manage timelines and allocate resources strategically using a Gantt chart. For instance, you can add more resources or change the scope of a task to see how it affects the project timeline.
  • Managing remote teams – Gantt charts are also helpful in managing remote teams – which is the need of the hour in current times. Project managers are looking for remote workers to reduce costs, but they often struggle to coordinate with remote teams and keep them on the same page. With resource-based Gantt charts, they can clearly view the available resources, making it easier to plan and schedule projects.

How to Simplify Project Management With Gantt Charts?

Depending on how you use it, a Gantt chart can help you schedule, plan and track the various tasks in a project from start to finish. Here’s how you can use Gantt charts to manage your projects better.

  • Improve team collaboration by keeping your team up to date on progress and changes, eliminating the requirement for frequent meetings and status reports.
  • Simplify complicated tasks by breaking them down into smaller tasks on a visual timeline. You can also identify and link dependent tasks.
  • Simplify complicated tasks by breaking them down into smaller tasks on a visual timeline. You can also identify and link dependent tasks.
  • Facilitate effective project planning and tracking by displaying tasks, dependencies, time frames, and milestones on a single page.
  • Increase productivity by setting precise project requirements, allowing each team member to better understand their responsibility and impact on the overall project.
  • Keep track of planned and actual timelines to ensure the project is completed on time.
  • Every project has dependent activities, which could be challenging to manage on a piece of paper. However, with a Gantt chart, you visualize how various tasks are linked to each other, making it possible to manage the project in a streamlined fashion.

To conclude, the purpose of Gantt charts is to provide project managers with a convenient way of planning and tracking their projects. By providing a visual layout of a project timeline, Gantt charts can enhance productivity and help build some flexibility in resource planning.

Not surprisingly, project managers continue to rely on Gantt charts to visually break down complex projects into smaller tasks. Having a clear view of the timeline and the project’s scope makes it possible to better manage time and resources – the topmost priorities for any project manager.

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