Advantages of Gantt chart in project management
What are the benefits of using Gantt chart in project management?
There is a term used in project management called a Gantt chart. Many of you may not have heard of it before. When you are at work, you may not know what to do if your boss suddenly orders you to create a Gantt chart.
In order to proceed with a project, it is essential to share the progress among project members. That is where the Gantt chart comes in handy. This article will introduce the role and benefits of Gantt charts.
Table of contents:
- What is a Gantt chart?
- Advantages of using a Gantt chart
- How to create a Gantt chart
- Situations where you can use a Gantt chart
Related article: 13 Project management techniques for project managers
What is a Gantt chart in project management?
A Gantt chart is a chart that visualizes who, when, and what to do for each work process. In principle, a project is carried out by multiple people, and it is important to visualize and share the progress status, such as "who is working on which process now?". If there is no visualization and sharing of the progress status, various problems may occur.
The Gantt chart includes the entire schedule, the process and required days assigned to each project member, the start timing, and the scheduled end date. Therefore, it is very convenient to prevent misdirection in the project's progress, such as "only the workers know the progress" or "we don't know the range of influence when a task is delayed," which may occur due to lack of information sharing.
So, what role does it play exactly? A Gantt chart is a detailed description of each item, including the item name to be managed, the person in charge, the start date, the completion date, and the content of the work.
In a project that involves many complicated tasks, it is important to make it as simple as possible by using concrete and abstract concepts. Also, make it no omissions and no duplication, and list them so that you can visually visualize the whole picture.
By identifying the risks of each task in detail, it is possible to avoid delays in the entire project.
Gantt charts can also be used to share information. In the course of a project, unforeseen problems may occur. However, by creating a Gantt chart, all members involved in the project can share information and respond immediately to any issues that may arise.
Even if there is a delay in one task, it is easy to identify other tasks that are affected by the delay. It is possible to make detailed schedule adjustments for each task, such as moving or shortening the work schedule. It is also possible to minimize the negative effects of delays.
As we move forward with the project, it is the role of the Gantt chart to identify all the necessary tasks, visualize the human resources and the current situation so that anyone can see it, and share it with all members. It is essential from the viewpoint of project management.
Gantt charts advantages
What exactly are the advantages of using Gantt charts? First of all, it allows you to check the validity of your plans during the project planning stage.
By using Gantt charts to assign the number of people, work processes, the order of work, and the schedule, you can verify whether the number of processes for each person in charge is feasible and whether the order of work processes is appropriate.
The second benefit is that all project members can share the process and schedule at the beginning of the project. Therefore, it allows each member to work on their own tasks with an overall view of the project in mind.
Gantt charts provide a quick overview of the schedule, the number of processes, and the person in charge. The project manager can use the chart to inform the members of the project of various information efficiently.
The third advantage is the ability to visualize the progress of a project even after it has started. Gantt charts, which you can use from the time of planning a project to the start, are very convenient for daily project progress management.
By checking each task according to the Gantt chart process chart, you can check the visualized progress, so you can immediately correct the trajectory if it is out of the plan.
By using Gantt charts at each stage of the project, you can easily visualize and share the schedule while managing the progress. Nowadays, spreadsheets and project management applications and software include features that allow you to create charts easily or automatically. There are more and more dedicated tools for creating Gantt charts.
How to create a Gantt chart
To create a Gantt chart, first identify the broad elements that make up the project (design, development, testing, etc.) and then arrange the tasks that arise for each in chronological order.
If the scope of a single task is too large, it is impossible to calculate the human resources, schedule, and other details. Therefore, structure and identify the tasks, and then subdivide them until the number of processes for each is known.
It is important to make sure that each task has no omissions and no duplication, and at the end of the process, it is important to break it down to the point where you only need to put one person in charge.
Then, assign the number of work processes to each task. If you can, include the person in charge (one person for each line).
The project manager and all project members must share the same understanding of the number of processes.
Even if the project manager alone calculates the number of processes, if there is a gap in understanding between the project manager and the project members who are actually working on it, there will be delays and prevent the project from proceeding.
Once you have identified the tasks, set the order of them. Using the critical path method, which shows the number of man-hours required for each task and the dependency between tasks in a diagram, it is possible to calculate the optimal order.
Based on the tasks you have identified, enter the man-hours by connecting the tasks with dependencies.
Since the critical path method can clarify the dependencies and the man-hours required, it is helpful for efficiently setting up and structuring the work order.
Once a project is launched, the effort and schedule are fixed. Even if you allocate a schedule so that each work is completed on time, you can assume that there are not enough resources at that time. Countermeasures must be considered in advance to enable the avoidance of such a situation.
Even if each task is scheduled to be completed on time, it is possible that there will not be enough resources at that time.
In the process of creating a Gantt chart, it is also important to carefully check the man-hours and schedule deficiencies.
A surprisingly common simple mistake is that I used a Gantt chart not linked to the calendar, so holidays were set as workable days. I noticed that the man-hours for the entire day would be insufficient after the project started.
When setting a schedule, it is a good idea to check from the perspective of "whether you can secure working hours," such as holidays.
Setting milestones such as the timing of reporting to the relevant parties or the completion of deliverables, and reviewing the progress at the points where you think delays will have a significant impact, will help you prevent risks.
Situations where you can use a Gantt chart
It is necessary to identify the delivery date, personnel (resources), work item, and required hours per item in advance, but basically Gantt charts can be used in various situations.
For example, if you create a Gantt chart for a project (development, event, etc.) in your company, you can see the work assignments of the people involved and check if they are progressing according to the schedule.
Gantt charts are also helpful in preparing for private trips, weddings, and other events, where multiple people are involved.
By being able to manage the project's progress by incorporating "who will do what by when" into the schedule, human resources and estimates become clear. The worst-case scenarios such as "I didn't do it," "I didn't know who was assigned the task," or "I can't finish it in time" can be avoided.
Also, if you start with a WBS before you start with a Gantt chart, you can reduce the risk of a setback after the project starts.
WBS stands for work breakdown structure diagram, and as the name suggests, it is a document used to break down tasks into smaller tasks. If all project members know what they are supposed to do, there is no problem, but there are many situations where this is not the case, and unexpected problems may occur while the project is in progress.
Creating a Gantt chart is an essential part of project management, but it takes a lot of time if you are not familiar with it, and it is also difficult to modify.
These days, there are many tools to create and manage Gantt charts and WBS for beginners, free apps, and tools that can manage and share in the cloud.