5

Since managing projects, I've never figured out the utility of this tool.

We must do it before working, but for me, it's impossible to fill it (even a little) before the end of the project.

When I ship my report, clients seems to be displeased if the Gantt diagram is absent.

Can I have some help with this? How to properly manage this tool, dealing with clients about this?

7

A Gannt chart is a very useful planning tool. It is a great way to see a project in its entirety and see when things will most likely be done and what deadlines you need to hit in order to get to the next milestone.

What you are talking about experiencing is accountability, where a client wants to know what you have done and at what stages. If you work out why you client is requesting a Gantt chart this may help you in your communications with them.

  • Clarity

One of the biggest benefits of a Gantt chart is the tool's ability to boil down multiple tasks and timelines into a single document. Stakeholders throughout an organization can easily understand where teams are in a process while grasping the ways in which independent elements come together toward project completion.

  • Communication

Teams can use Gantt charts to replace meetings and enhance other status updates. Simply clarifying chart positions offers an easy, visual method to help team members understand task progress. To see other ways to compile status information, check out these series of articles.

  • Motivation

Some teams or team members become more effective when faced with a form of external motivation. Gantt charts offer teams the ability to focus work at the front of a task timeline, or at the tail end of a chart segment. Both types of team members can find Gantt charts meaningful as they plug their own work habits into the overall project schedule.

  • Coordination

Sample Gantt Chart in ExcelFor project managers and resource schedulers, the benefits of a Gantt chart include the ability to sequence events and reduce the potential for overburdening team members. Some project managers even use combinations of charts to break down projects into more manageable sets of tasks.

  • Creativity

Sometimes, a lack of time or resources forces project managers and teams to find creative solutions. Seeing how individual tasks intertwine on Gantt charts often encourages new partnerships and collaborations that might not have evolved under traditional task assignment systems.

  • Time Management

Most managers regard scheduling as one of the major benefits of Gantt charts in a creative environment. Helping teams understand the overall impact of project delays can foster stronger collaboration while encouraging better task organization.

  • Flexibility

Whether you use Excel to generate Gantt charts or you load tasks into a more precise chart generator, the ability to issue new charts as your project evolves lets you react to unexpected changes in project scope or timeline. While revising your project schedule too frequently can eliminate some of the other benefits of Gantt charts, offering a realistic view of a project can help team members recover from setbacks or adjust to other changes.

  • Manageability

For project managers handling complex assignments, like software publishing or event planning, the benefits of Gantt charts include externalizing assignments. By visualizing all of the pieces of a project puzzle, managers can make more focused, effective decisions about resources and timetables.

  • Efficiency

Another one of the benefits of Gantt charts is the ability for teams members to leverage each other’s deadlines for maximum efficiency. For instance, while one team member waits on the outcome of three other tasks before starting a crucial piece of the assignment, he or she can perform other project tasks. Visualizing resource usage during projects allows managers to make better use of people, places, and things.

  • Accountability

When project teams face major organizational change, documenting effort and outcomes becomes crucial to career success. Using Gantt charts during critical projects allows both project managers and participants to track team progress, highlighting both big wins and major failures. During professional review periods, team members who frequently exceed expectations can leverage this documentation into larger raises or bonuses.

Top Ten Benefits of a Gantt Chart

3

A Gantt chart shows what tasks can be performed at the same time and what tasks must be done in sequence. If you're having trouble accurately creating a Gantt chart before the project is nearly complete, then you're probably not spending enough time breaking down what tasks need to be done and estimating how long each will take. Once those steps are done thoroughly, it's easier to spot the dependencies between tasks.

  • I can spend the time I want to estimate: it's always wrong! How is it possible to estimate the time for doing something that has never been done? It's empiric, and without good heuristics, it's impossible... – Pascal Qyy Feb 7 '11 at 23:03
  • @G.Qyy: True, any software you're creating has never been done before, otherwise you'd just copy it. I find that it gets easier to estimate how long a task will take if I keep breaking it down into smaller and smaller pieces. For example, I have no idea how long it will take me to write the scripts to create database tables until I know what tables are required and what columns they'll have. Then I can at least give a range estimate of how long it will take. – Bill the Lizard Feb 7 '11 at 23:09
  • @G.Qyy: some estimates for certain things may well be wrong, that's hard to avoid. What a gantt chart will help you with is to point out the dependencies between different tasks, so that when you do find out you've underestimated one task, you'll be able to accurately assess what effect that has on the entire project (you'll see if, say, the specific task you're overdue with is keeping other people waiting) – David Hedlund Feb 7 '11 at 23:11
  • Maybe I lack of experience... But all other projects managers do like me: they fill the diagram at the end. – Pascal Qyy Feb 7 '11 at 23:14
  • @G.Qyy: if nothing else, you seem to lack experience with good PMs. I'll assure you they do not. – David Hedlund Feb 7 '11 at 23:15
2

Gantt charts are best suited to projects when the work is predictable.

I haven't found them particularly useful for software development. One good use would be for a project that involves on-boarding a new client.

1

Gannt chart is one of the useful tools in managing projects. As said by Kieran Andrews it helps to sort out many aspects in project management. Actually its the main tool we use in showing the time plan to the client with the tasks associated and their estimates to show the start of the project and the end of the project, where the client is more keen to know when it will be completed. If you take a look at MS Project you can check how a Gannt chart can be created. I would say one of the main plus useful tools to manage the schedule of the project.

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