The Gantt chart helps you plan your project. Visual, it offers an overview of the project, makes it possible to identify all the tasks to be accomplished and to easily follow their progress. By visualizing the projected completion dates of each task and their progress, you know if you are late, early or on time, and you can act immediately.
This tool is indispensable in project management and has many advantages:
- It helps to define a realistic schedule
- It is visual
- It is a good communication tool
- It improves the organization of work
- It structures thoughts
- It adapts to all projects.
Since its creation by Henry Gantt in 1910, the Gantt diagram has proved itself on numerous projects in all fields. Give yourself every chance to succeed in your project: here are 3 solutions to create your own Gantt chart.
Excel does not provide a predefined Gantt chart template, but you can create one yourself with a stacked bar chart. First, create a workbook that includes:
- The different tasks of your project in the order of realization;
- The start and end dates for each task;
- The duration of each task in number of days.
Be very specific at this stage. Excel is limited, if you forget a task or make a mistake on a date, you will have to start all over again. The following steps are a little more technical. If you do not have perfect mastery of Excel, we have created templates that will allow you to use the Gantt chart.
The benefits: if you start a small project with a limited budget, Excel is ideal because it is free (provided you have Microsoft Office on your computer).
Disadvantages: Creating a Gantt chart in Excel can take a while because you have to manually create everything yourself. Excel is not the most practical tool for creating the Gantt chart for several reasons:
- When adding new tasks, the changes are not automatic and must be done manually.
- Same thing if you change a start date, duration, or end date, other values are not adjusted automatically.
- It is not easy to read.
- Excel does not allow you to share the Gantt chart or invite your team to collaborate interactively with them.
Realizing your Gantt chart on Excel can be a troubleshooting solution, time to find more suitable software.
Gant chart Creation Software
If you are looking for a little on the Internet, you will find a multitude of software, free and paid, specialized in the creation of the Gantt chart.
Simple or more complex interface, intuitive handling, flexibility, aesthetic aspect, sharing and collaboration features, etc. Gantt charting software offers different levels of complexity and options. You should choose the software best suited to the size of your project.
- More sophisticated than Excel, they are also more functional.
- These programs are more flexible and allow you to easily make changes that are automatically integrated.
- Simple and adaptable, they are easier to use.
- Not all software tools are suitable for dynamic project management.
- It may be a shame to pay for software whose only function is to create a Gantt chart, when one can have project management software that offers multiple features.
Collaborative Project Management Software
Project management software is more comprehensive compared to previous software. They have many features that make it easier to manage projects. The creation of the Gantt chart is one of them.
Project management software is a complete toolbox, ideal for piloting your project effectively. Online and often free, it allows planning and following easily the evolution of your project while promoting collaborative work.
In order for you and your team to perform better, the project management software has many functions (in addition to the Gantt chart), including:
- Document sharing: group all your working documents on a single platform that is accessible to all, so that you do not lose more time searching for them.
- Collaborative messaging: Stay connected and interacts with your team at any time.
- Resource Management: Track and manage the workload of each member of your project team.
- Project reports: export performance indicators for your projects.
Project management software is powerful tools that have few drawbacks. Nevertheless, there are two:
- If the software is online, it usually does not work in offline mode.
- Because it is online, the response time may be slower.
To convince yourself of the effectiveness of project management software, test Planzone free of charge and without obligation for 14 days.
The Gantt chart is an indispensable tool in project management. No matter the size of your project, it facilitates the organization, planning and follow-up of tasks. Today, it is therefore essential to create own Gantt chart.
Among the three existing solutions, Excel is ideal for beginner project managers or small projects. For more speed, efficiency and interaction choose Gantt’s charting software. Finally, for more features, choose online project management software. The latter two options are ideal for small and large projects and for more experienced project managers.