A Gantt chart template is pre-made model of a bar chart. It allows its users to draft a customized graphics by inserting their specific data to the predefined frame. In many ways, this document can be useful. For example, with the help of template, you can make customized Gantt chart to deal with your strategic planning process, research project, etc.
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What is a Gantt chart?
Gantt chart is the most reliable tool when it comes to project management. It is generally used for organizing and scheduling projects. It simply informs you about the overlap of processes. It enables the project managers to quickly see the status of any project and gives estimate about how long the project will take to complete. Furthermore, it clarifies the projections by presenting a lot of information in a single look. You may also like Organizational Chart Template.
Where Gantt should be used?
You should use Gant chart when you are planning any project and you need time estimations. The main component of this chart is time estimation. This is because without exactly knowing how much time each process will take in the overall project, you can’t create a true Gant chart. However, giving time estimation for small tasks is very easy. When you have all done with time estimation of all the projects, you just have to chart them according to their start and end dates and you will be done.
At the end of 16th century, Gantt charts were first created. They were popularized during World War 1. These charts were widely used by the military forces of USA during World War 1. It would be considered an extremely useful tool for military operations because they include many processes and all are dependent on each other one way or the other. Additionally, they are extremely helpful and adapt by managers in many different industries.
Basic parts of a Gantt chart:
For making a Gantt chart, you have the following information in it;
You should show each and every activity of the project so it is the first thing you need to take care of. If any of the activity missed then the results can be catastrophic for project completion. Moreover, when you skipped an activity upon which other activities were dependent then you time estimation is completely unrealistic or that you cannot complete the project. You should make sure that you have listed all activities that will be involved.
Time estimation is another important component of Gantt chart. Without time estimation, you can’t indicate which activity overlap and when dependent activities will begin. For small projects, you can easily estimate how long each task will take but for bigger projects a more realistic approach is taken. In addition, there are three kinds of time estimates;
- Optimal time estimates,
- Normal time estimates,
- Pessimistic time estimates
A predecessor is an activity upon which another activity depends and it should be accurately studied. For instance, if you are building a house before paint you have to put up the walls. So, put up the walls are predecessor for the painting activity to begin. A well-designed Gantt chart will accurately define predecessors in the chart. You should also check Foot Reflexology Charts & Maps.
Things you should consider when making Gantt charts:
You should avoid the following common mistakes while making Gantt charts;
Being too hopeful with time estimates:
This is the most common mistake that most of the managers make. However, the experienced managers know that can be different from expectations. Big projects have multiple processes so you don’t have to assume that every process will go off without difficulty. Some managers enhance the time estimates so that their estimation will proof accurate. For example, if a process should be completed in two months they will give an estimation of three months. In this way, if something goes wrong it can be covered without making the project late.
Confusing the chart too much:
Don’t insert too much detail in the chart. Some people in order to cover up everything insert too many activities in the chart and then chart becomes incomprehensible. Don’t forget that the main purpose of this chart is to demonstrate how long processes will take, the relationships between processes, and time estimations. Hence, if you provide too much detail then your chart wouldn’t inform you anything about the project. You should create multiple charts instead of making a single chart too complex.
Managing the chart static:
You should create your Gantt chart in such a way that it provides the information about the progress of the project at a single look. If you want that your Gantt chart continues to be a useful tool for you then you should keep updating it with updates time estimates.
Absence of color coding:
You should start color coding activities if your chart is becoming too complex. You can do this by assigning color activities based on the teams that will be working on them. By giving each activity its own color, you will run out of colors. Instead of increasing the amount of information, you should color the graph based on who will be performing the activities. Thus, people can easily see who needs to complete their work to move the whole project quickly.
In conclusion, a Gantt chart template is a helpful tool that makes the project management easier by making things easier to understand. These charts will be very helpful if you use them in a right way. They are more vital tools for planning and scheduling projects. Moreover, in these pre-built models, you just have to put specific data to the pre-defined frame.