What is a Gantt Chart?
by Devendra Kumar on January 18, 2022
A Gantt chart is a typical project management tool that demonstrates a project schedule plan which mainly consists of two sections in its structure, the left section which outlines the list of tasks and the right section which outline the schedule in the form of bars to visualize the total work and part of work done. The duration is also included in the Gantt charts by mentioning the starting and ending date of tasks and milestones along with task assignment and interdependencies.
Several project scheduling and management tools are being used currently with advanced features like a collapsible task structure and resource management pages, all of them based on Gantt charts only being developed to cater to the growing demands of modern software systems. Project management tools like Powerplay help all of the teams involved in a project to maintain a comprehensive project strategy in tandem with each other even if there is a sudden deviation in the project schedule.
Top 5 Uses of Gantt Charts
Gantt charts can be used for planning, scheduling and management in any industry for all kinds of projects that follow a specific schedule and process. Gantt charts can mainly be used by project teams for:
Use 01 - Building an Organized Project- Gantt charts enable project planners to visualize the entire project work structure in the form of segregated building blocks which are interdependent on each other and perform the task of organizing them into smaller tasks that could be easily managed.
These small tasks which have been sorted and organized to develop a coherent project strategy are scheduled on the timeline of the Gantt charts along with interdependencies among them, assignments and milestones.
Use 02 - Improve Communication and Teamwork- Gantt charts promote different project teams to collaborate with each other and improve communication between them which ultimately helps everyone to be of the same mind. Updating project status by different team members, displayed in real-time with the help of Gantt charts ensures that all members involved in the project get updated to the latest changes and knowledge of project status. This prevents frequent meetings to discuss the progress and also regular task briefing to team leads and project managers.
Use 03 - Improving Logistics and Correlations Among Tasks- Gantt charts allow better management and monitoring of logistics involved in any particular project along with establishing task interdependencies which ultimately helps in the sequencing of activities in such a way that any successor activity is only initiated as per its relationship with its predecessor. Any delay in completing a task influences the successive tasks in the timeline as per their relationship which also automatically reschedules the dependant activities.
Use 04 - Better Task Management- Management of project activities, checklist resources and relationships among tasks can be effortlessly done with the help of Gantt charts. An organized structure of work is established using Gantt charts which helps every team member to realize the task assigned to them and the proper procedure that needs to be followed in order to contribute to the overall success of the project.
Use 05 - Progress Monitoring- Using Gantt charts to display the percentage of work that has been completed for all activities in real-time presented by the data uploaded by respective team members allows monitoring the health of projects and progress status of different activities.
The charts also allow real-time tracking of activity status and initiation of scheduled tasks which is only possible because of its monitoring abilities. Monitoring can also be done on the basis of dates, milestones and other project parameters that can help you track the project progress.
Top 10 Benefits of Using Gantt Charts
Gantt charts can be beneficial in numerous ways in present times for project management procedures using project management tools, some of which have been provided below:
Benefit 01 - Know the Project Progress- One of the major benefits of using Gantt charts or Gantt chart tools is that one can easily see everything at a single place that’s going on in the entire project.
Gantt charts can be considered to be great visualization and arrangement tools due to their ability to provide an all-round overview of the project progress and determine critical aspects related to the project based on several analysis patterns such as task wise workforce requirement, tasks sequence, duration of tasks, task correlations and activity status.
Therefore Gantt charts-based tools empower project planners and managers to oversee project activity status and progress with the useful information made available by these charts.
Benefit 02 - Prevents Overloading of Resources- Overloading of resources signifies the nonstop or continuous use of resources for numerous operations in a project. Excessive procurement of resources can also be termed as overloading of resources which may result in unwanted excess costs and wastage of resources.
When Gantt charts are used, the utilization of resources is performed in a much more organized manner where the resource usage patterns and locations can be easily deciphered from the project timeline.
Task scheduling along with the respective resource allocation to tasks can be done within the Gantt charts themselves and because of this property, all the resources needed throughout the project process can be managed effectively which will ultimately result in unwanted excess costs and time expenditure.
Benefit 03 - Avoid Overlapping of Activities- In complex projects, interdependencies between tasks make the project management process difficult. Due to the huge number of dependencies between tasks, it becomes difficult to track the sequence in the network of activities and the managing process can go haywire.
Since Gantt charts provide a seamless overview of the project activities and the numerous interdependencies, scheduling of tasks can be done in a much more organized manner so that team members share the equal workload and the overall progress is not impacted in any way.
Benefit 04 - Progress Measurement- When the tasks are put into an organized schedule with the help of a Gantt chart or Gantt chart tool, the amount of progress achieved in individual activities as well as in the entire project can be measured. Measurement of project progress allows project managers to modify project strategies accordingly in case the project is lagging behind its original schedule.
Everyone thinks in the same line as the information related to project progress and task progress is updated in real-time using the Gantt charts and in case of a deviation, everyone who can assist in bringing the project back on track becomes naturally aware of their responsibilities.
Benefit 05 - Better Communication and Collaboration- A project cannot run smoothly without a proper communication network between teams responsible for different operations. Healthy communication networks can make a project successful because one of the major reasons for project failures can be attributed to a lack of communication among employees and teams.
Gantt charts have the inherent property to establish a crystal clear communication network throughout the project workspace. Not only can project managers easily learn about the whereabouts of their employees from the information updated in Gantt charts but also update certain directives and crucial information as input into the Gantt charts themselves. It also improves the relationship between the project manager and his employees and makes the requirement of a separate tracking and communication tool redundant.
Benefit 06 - Provides a Remote Working Environment- Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, employees have preferred to either quit their jobs or work from home. Remote working environments are being implemented throughout all industries and are going to dominate in the time ahead.
This new workspace environment has brought along with its own set of challenges, especially due to remote working which causes coordination problems between employees and teams. Here, Gantt chart tools act as a savior in eliminating these communication and coordination problems by providing effective remote working solutions.
Companies have adopted project management tools either based on Gantt charts or including Gantt charts feature to work with remote teams and keep them motivated. In remote working scenarios, Gantt charts assist in visualizing the real-time project progress and schedule which keeps employees in the same mind during project development, irrespective of the country they are working from.
Benefit 07 - Determines Accountability- A very unique feature of Gantt charts is that, respective workmen can be held accountable for any lapse in project activity or progress and can also be lauded for entire or intermediate project success. Since Gantt charts can be used to track projects, activity and teams’ progress, the employees working on the project get to know their accountability or responsibility towards the tasks to which they have been assigned.
This feature also enables the project manager along with the employee to track his or her individual performances against their own or the firm’s expectations and subsequently work accordingly.
Benefit 08 - Enables flexible Project Management- Any changes to project schedules and management methods are common to most projects which can act against the project’s success even if the project management plan has been prepared to be foolproof. Utilizing Gantt charts in the management process can surely reduce the problems that may occur due to any intermediate changes made to the project management process or project schedule.
Even in the case of setbacks, Gantt charts can be used to work out appropriate solutions that keep the project team motivated to work towards the predetermined goals and milestones.
Benefit 09 - Better Clarity in Project Process and Activities- Gantt charts provide a clear overview of the entire project process which also includes intermediate operations. This clear visualization of tasks helps employees in analyzing the current project scenario in a jiffy to plan or decide on further activities. Getting stuck during a project’s duration is quite normal but the work progress can only take place until the problem is either solved or eliminated, and Gantt charts are very useful in bringing back the project on track due to their exhaustive information visualization feature.
Benefit 10 - Better Time Management and Transparency- Gantt charts can be considered to be best in function for project scheduling and since time plays an important role in any project management process, Gant charts help us to understand the importance of completing tasks on time as per the schedule and the severity of time delays.
Without a work measuring tool such as the Gantt chart, employees can keep on doing theirs mindlessly without proper time management. Gantt charts provide a unified view of project progress for all employees that can subsequently help in allocating time and resources for each task and keep the project on track. Gantt charts also improve transparency in the work field which enhances trust and the willingness to work as a team.
A transparent work field makes the employees aware of the responsibilities and milestones of other employees in a single place due to which each and every employee knows about the workload of their counterparts and can help them if they struggle to perform their task properly. This coherent and assisting work field not only improves trust among employees and teamwork but also instills honesty and humility within the project management environment.
The construction industry in the Indian subcontinent is accelerating towards unimagined technologies that are certainly going to enhance the entire construction process on every construction project site irrespective of their scale or location. But to match up to the pace of development in construction technologies, all the construction site engineers need to perform and manage construction operations more efficiently and effectively than in the present haphazard situations. Construction management can be improved by cutting ties with traditional manual methods used in construction management and adopting modern construction management tools such as Powerplay.Powerplay application is an impressive and absolutely free construction management tool that can perform all functions related to construction site management right from managing workers’ attendance to equipment and material management until the completion of the project. It can be used easily by almost anybody due to its easy and user-friendly UI.