What is Gantt Diagram and its benefits for project management

Project management is extremely important when dealing with projects on a large scale. That's why professionals use different tools and strategies to manage their projects. One of those is a Gantt Diagram

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 It can be very helpful when tracking a huge project as smaller milestones and goals. Are you looking to know "what is Gantt diagram" or "how does it work"? In this article, we will elaborate on everything you need to know.

What is Gantt Diagram?

A Gantt diagram is a project management tool known as a Gantt chart. It helps plan and schedule smaller and bigger projects by simplifying their complexity. Managing a project with a Gantt diagram is divided into tasks and timelines and presented as a horizontal bar chart.

The bar chart shows smaller tasks with their timelines, schedules, dependencies, and deadlines. In this way, every team member gets a better idea of the dependencies of the project and their specific smaller tasks.

Why Gantt Diagram is useful in project management

Managing projects can become extremely complex and tricky, depending on their scale. The large scale projects usually need multiple teams to work simultaneously on one goal. It means that the whole project will be divided into many smaller parts to assign to different teams and employees. With everything getting so complex, the Gantt diagram brings some practical benefits, including:

·  Easier management for larger teams with multiple stakeholders

Managing the project as well as all the stakeholders at the same time can be tricky for project managers. With the Gantt chart, it gets easy. The Gantt diagram allows breaking down the whole project into smaller parts which can be set as milestones for teams and individuals.

At the same time, all stakeholders can be assigned their specific roles making management extremely easy for everyone. Thus, the Gantt diagram keeps everyone on the same page, and communication becomes more efficient here.

·  Easy to check the whole progress with one glance

The Gantt diagram comes with features like a complete percentage. It shows how each task is progressing and the whole project. So, it is easier for stakeholders like higher management and clients to check the progress with a single glance. The visual representation and customization of elements help a lot.

·  Track dependencies between different activities

In larger projects, different tasks and milestones depend on more than one team/employee. For example, if one department is working on production while the other one is working on packing, the packing department will be dependent on the production department.

There are hundreds of such examples for the software industry as well. Tracking these dependencies is extremely important for maximum efficiency when planning a project. Gantt diagram makes this tracking extremely easy.

·  Better resource management for project managers

The Gantt diagram improves everything from managing hardware resources and logistics to managing human resources. With a Gantt diagram, it becomes clear when something will be actively used and when not. So, the project managers can work on assigning different tasks dependent on these resources and manage all the resources better.

What are the key components of a Gantt Diagram?

Before moving toward what is Gantt diagram and how to use it, you must learn about the important components of the Gantt diagram. Knowing this will help in easier comprehension and designing the Gantt diagram when working yourself. So, elaborated below are some of the key components of a Gantt chart.

·  Columns

The most commonly used component of a Gantt diagram is the columns. The whole Gantt diagram is laid on these columns.

·  Task Name

The next thing is the task name that is individually assigned to every task in the whole project.

·  Date and Time

Next up are the date and time. It is the part where things like the planned start and end date are specified, specifying the planned duration of working on the project. This part also tells how many days will be spent working on a specific task.

·  Planned Effort

The planned effort is another integral component of the Gantt diagram. It tells about the efforts and works to be done within that implementation. It covers the whole working time as well as the waiting time. For example, one module takes 1 hour, and the other one takes 1 hour for development.

However, their deployment and connection take 4 hours. So, the planned effort will be 2 hours, but the planned duration will be 6 hours.

·  Percent Complete

It is the component of a Gantt diagram where the person working on a task tells their calculated guess in terms of what percentage of work they have completed and how much is remaining.

·  Assigned

Assigned is the column that tells the name of the person or team assigned to that specific task. The bigger project chunks usually have team names, while the smaller individual tasks have team member names.

·  Task Dependencies

The last key component of a Gantt diagram shows task dependencies in the linked column. It tells which tasks depend on one another and which have different types of relationships. Instead of manually tracking down the dependencies, using the Gantt diagram task dependencies feature makes tracking extremely simple and easy.

Steps to create your own Gantt Diagram

Creating a Gantt diagram is not a complex process; it makes complex projects easier. A Gantt diagram has a horizontal axis that contains the timeline information, while a vertical axis contains the task information. Creating a Gantt diagram only means that you will be filling that information on the chart, and here is how to do it:

1. Plan before creating Gantt Diagram

First, you will need to plan the whole project and pick out all the key components for adding them to your cart. To know which components to pick for adding to the Gantt diagram, you can refer to the previous part of this article. Start noting all the key components from that project, and once you are done with all the components, you can move to the next part.

2. Use a tool to create your Gantt diagram.

To begin this step, you first must select a tool for creating the Gantt diagram. Microsoft Excel provides manual Gantt diagram creation features and templates that make your work much easier. However, if you want a much better experience, try some online tools and templates or dedicated Gantt diagram creation software.

Once satisfied with an option, simply fill in all the information and set your requirements like notifications and team management. With that, you will be done creating your Gantt diagram.

Tips to Collaborate with your team using the Gantt chart

What is Gantt diagram? Do you know all the basics about creating and using it? Well, there are chances that you might be missing out on the most efficient ways to use your Gantt diagram and collaborate with your team. Now that you know what is Gantt diagram is, here are a few tips that will help you become more efficient for team collaboration with a Gantt diagram.

1. Assign tasks to your team members

Instead of assigning tasks to teams, assign tasks to individual team members inside every team. It must be done based on the availability and their capability to deal with that task. When you assign specific tasks to specific team members, they will automatically know their part in the project, and collaboration will be efficient.

2. Customize your charts

Most of the Gantt diagram-creating tools and software have customization options. So, look for these and customize things at your end where essential. You can use different colors for different people or teams. In this way, it will be efficient for you to assign tasks and track progress. Similarly, teams and team members will find it easier to determine the assigned tasks.

3. Make sure to include attachments in the Gantt Chart

Gantt diagrams and charts have the option to attach files and notes. Additionally, you can add comments on different parts of the chart. So, wherever you need to attach any of these, you should. This way, you will never need to provide anything to any individual apart from the chart itself.

4. Set up for alerts

Charts offer an email alert feature that alerts about any update made to the chart. So, whoever makes an update will send the notification to concerned parties, and instant alerts will ensure that you have much better collaboration.

5. Stay up to date with the Gantt chart.

Lastly, you can go to the activity page of the Gantt diagram, and you will have a view of everything about everyone working on the tasks and information about individuals working on their tasks. With the updated information about everyone, team collaboration will be much easier.

Conclusion

What is Gantt diagram? What are its benefits? How does it work? We hope you have the answers to these questions and all the other important things about a Gantt diagram. So, if you are going to work not a project and want to manage it efficiently, you can also create a Gantt diagram. It allows efficient project planning with proper task distribution without overloading your employees.

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