Join Chris Croft for an in-depth discussion in this video The benefits of using a Gantt chart, part of Project Management Simplified.
- I love Gantt Charts. And there are three reasons why I love them. The first reason is they are completely brilliant for communication. If you want to show your plan to other people, a Gantt Chart is by far the best way. And ever since they were invented in 1910 by Henry Gantt, nobody has found a better way to show a project plan to other people. So, that's the first reason. And a subset of communicating is getting people to commit to your plan. So way back at step one when you're having your kickoff meeting, you can use a Gantt Chart to say to everybody, "This is the plan.
"That's your bit there. "Are you sure you're okay with that? "Are you going to be available during that time? "Can you commit to doing that "within the time period allotted?" So you can get everybody to commit. So that's the first reason why Gantt Charts are pretty much essential communication. Second reason why I love Gantt Charts is that you can use them looking at resource requirements. You can forecast when the busy periods are going to be. So you can have a look vertically, and you can see whether you've got several tasks all hitting you at the same time or not.
Computers will allow you to produce a graph showing the total resource required. And there's no other way, apart from a Gantt Chart, to know what's coming up in the future. When are the busy periods? So that's the second reason. The third reason why I love Gantt Charts. And if I had to pick one, and I think it would be the top reason is that you can use them to monitor your progress. So what you do is you have a Now Line, which used to be a piece of string people used to move along, but nowadays, it would be on a computer. So you have your Now Line moving along with each week.
And then you color in what you've done. And the objective is to keep up with the Now Line. So you can see at a glance whether you're keeping up. So if I was monitoring a Project Manager, if I was the Manager of the Project Manager, if you'd like. If I only had one minute, the only time to ask them one question, the question that I would ask is, "Can I have a look at your colored-in Gantt Chart?" And if I had to monitor 20 projects, it would take me less than a minute a week to do that because all I'd have to do is have a look at all the various Gantt Charts. Are they colored in up to the line or not? So for monitoring progress, completely brilliant.
So that's three reasons why you need a Gantt Chart. And for your projects, you should be doing all of those three things. You should be communicating the project to everyone at the start. You should be forecasting resource requirements at the start. And then during the project, you should be monitoring the progress by coloring in. That's three reasons why I love Gantt Charts.
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- Defining project scope
- Deciding how to list tasks
- Estimating costs and time
- Planning for risk
- Staying on budget