You have probably heard of Gantt charts. They are a simple way to keep you out of project pinch. In this article, let’s talk about the project management Gantt chart in detail.
The main goal of all organizations is to succeed. This is done by continuously delivering products and services of the highest value to the end-users. Another critical aspect of a successful organization is also timely delivery of its products and services. Missing deadlines, a delay, and poor management of projects can result in project failure. A recent study conducted by KPMG stated that out of all the participating organizations, 70% of them had faced at least one project failure over the last year.
While this may not seem like a big number, it can significantly impact the company. Project teams and project managers work very hard to ensure their end result is of high quality, but sometimes some things may seem overwhelming because they do not have a proper structure to manage their projects. This is where project management comes into play. Project management methods and tools can help project managers and their teams organize their workflow for each task and create an efficient way to manage them.
What is a Gantt Chart?
A Gantt Chart is a project management tool that is often used to simplify and manage team members’ workflow for the duration of a project. It creates a visual representation of all the tasks assigned to the respective team members, a specific timeline, and delivery dates for each of them. This way, both project managers and team members can keep track of how the project progresses over time.
It also helps simplify complex projects and creates a detailed view of how different parts and elements of the ongoing project work together till their completion. The availability and capacity of each team member are also duly recorded and kept track of. This way, no team members get overworked, and they only do the tasks they are supposed to do during a certain assigned period. This helps employees feel more empowered and motivated as well, which increases productivity.
Why Use a Project Management Gantt Chart?
There is recorded proof of how project management tools benefit individual projects and the organization overall. Those companies who use high-quality project management tools have noticed that they require 28 times fewer resources and finances than those who do not implement project management practices. This is because project management tools offer a strategic way for teams to complete their projects.
Key Components of a Gantt Chart
The main components of a Gantt Chart are:
- A total list of tasks required to complete the project, which is further divided into sets and subsets
- A timeline of the project and a dateline to highlight the current date
- Bars which signify progress, start date, and end date of each task
- Milestones to indicate all the critical deadlines and deliverables for the project
- Dependencies to link various tasks that are co-related
- A progress bar
- Resource assignment to see which team member is responsible for which task
Different Ways to Use a Gantt Chart
There are many ways project managers and organizations can use Gantt Charts to help them with their projects. Some of the most popular ways in which Gantt Charts are used are:
To Create a Thorough and Detailed Timeline for Projects
Suppose a project starts from Day 1 and is estimated to be complete on Day 400. Managing the workflow for each day can be quite a task. A project manager can use a Gantt Chart to break up the project into components, assign deadlines for each component, and assign tasks within those components to ensure the project gets completed on time.
To set Deadlines Teams Can Meet
Gantt Charts provide an excellent way of setting internal deadlines for team members. They can easily track the progress of each component and section of the project and compare it with the overall performance of each team member. This makes it easier for teams to set realistic deadlines and meet them on time.
Visual Representation of the Overall Workflow
A lot of teams feel that if they have a visual of their tasks and the project’s workflow, they can understand their scope of work better. Having a visual representation of the project helps project managers and team members understand the project, its requirements, and the different resources they need to complete them. A Gantt Chart is a customizable option for project development and management that organizes an entire team based on the entire project’s visual representation.
To Break Down the Project into Manageable Components
Gantt Charts offers project teams an efficient way of breaking down complex projects into manageable and workable components. This reduces the chances of error and helps move the project along at a faster pace. Team members do not feel overwhelmed by the project’s entirety either because they have divided complex tasks into easier ones.
To Monitor the Ongoing Project
A Gantt Chart gives project managers and team leaders an easy-to-understand representation of the ongoing project’s progress. The progress can also be shared with the stakeholders and clients when necessary. Keeping track of the project’s progress can be helpful in completing the project on time.
Benefits of Project Management Gantt Chart
There are many benefits to using a Gantt Chart to track and visualize a project. By reading the different ways in which a Gantt Chart can be utilized, one can realize the advantages Gantt Charts bring to the table in terms of project management. Some of the most popular benefits of using Gantt Charts for project management are:
- Resource allocation: Gantt Charts help project managers allocate their resources efficiently, so no team member’s skills go to waste, and no team member has to take on more responsibility than his/her capacity
- Improved communication: Since tracking the project becomes extremely easy with a Gantt Chart, the process of communicating the progress of a project and any issues that could come up also becomes more simplified (and easier to notice)
- Transparency: Project managers and team members always have a clear idea of what exactly is happening with the project they have been working on at any given point in time
- Increased motivation: Once team members see how far they have come along and how much they have accomplished with their project, they feel motivated to finish it till the end.
- Create accountability among team members: Team members are less likely to slack off and feel demotivated to work because the Gantt Chart creates a visual representation of their responsibility towards their tasks. This creates ownership among the team members
Gantt Charts are an efficient tool in project management. Their benefits can only be utilized to their full extent when professionals have the training and expertise in project management to enable this outcome. Many certifications in project management can help working professionals upskill themselves and improve their standing in the corporate world.
With anything and everything being a project lately, it is high time for project practitioners globally to improve their skills by gaining knowledge in globally-recognized project management frameworks and best practices. This can be achieved by enrolling in popular project management certification courses from a registered education provider. Some of the most popular project management certification training courses are offered by Invensis Learning.