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Gantt chart software systems are liberally used in project management to get project tasks to work in a designated time periods. A Gantt chart is a production control tool which was created by Henry L. Gantt in 1917. Each job is represented by a progress bar to reflect the time duration of the task along with the start and end dates. Task connections and dependencies are displayed thru arrows, and overlapping tasks are categorized by particular colors. Businesses can buy Gantt chart software work as a standalone solution or even as part of a bigger project management software solution.
Good representation of project tasks: The advantage in using Gantt chart software is stakeholders can view the overall progress of a job or project and tracking of the resource allocations on a single screen can be done. It provide users a clear picture of the start/end date of the individual tasks.
Graphical representation provides better visibility of project timeline: Gantt charts display project progress graphically, that can be easier to understand over reporting insights in text form. Everyone shares a general view of the project timeline and overall status, that limits the requirement for a separate communications tool to report project status.
Effective time and resource management: Every task in a Gantt chart is represented by a bar to reflect the start/end date and total time needed to fulfill the task. This provides project managers and team members manage time and resources efficiently, and helps in facilitating to set realistic targets/goals.
Bar chart: Show tasks via individual bars on a complete Gantt chart. Each bar highlights its own properties.
Project scheduling: Organizing and scheduling project works on a connected timeline and displaying the initiate and stop dates of underlying tasks.
Task management: Identifying project needs, allocating resources, adding task notes, and managing the workflow execution.
Dependency tracking: Specifying relationships between singular tasks and determining the series/sequence for each should be completed.
Dragging and dropping: Adding, modifying, or removing tasks by dragging and dropping.
Milestone tracking: Defining and setting critical indicators of task progress and track completion to better manage project workflows.
Most products in the market are priced on a “per user, per month” basis, and can be divided into three pricing tiers based on their starting price. A premium product is priced higher and has additional features like custom branding, unlimited project members, and advanced templates.
Considerations while Buying Gantt Chart Software
When you need standalone chart, try Gantt chart software or a full project management solution. A Gantt chart reflects what’s going on with a project and its different tasks, with limited functionality to create, control, and change parameters. A full project management software suite, on the other hand, offers features that cover broader aspects of project management, like resource forecasting, budgeting, and timesheet management. Assessing the definite needs to identify tha option best meets the requirements and budget.
The shape, size and complexity of a job: Typically Gantt chart solutions are designed to handle projects spanning two to three months. They aren’t generally capable of supporting complex projects involving multiple iterations at different levels, and has dynamic workflows to evolve deadlines. These factors must be considered before implementing Gantt chart solution to support a particular project.
Task management : Identifying project needs, breaking requirements down into deliverables and individual tasks like work breakdown structure. Assigning initial and due dates, assigning priority and costing, adding task notes and assigning tasks to potential users.
Drag-and-drop : Setting start and end dates by manipulating the bar length on the calendar. Reorder tasks by dragging-and-dropping along the timeline.
Critical path : Identifying the critical path by highlighting the longest sequence of tasks that helps in determining the minimum amount of time required to complete a project.
Resource management : Seeing each team member’s availability and workload. Assigning users to tasks based on availability and skill set which are recorded and saved in a skills database, or use a placeholder resource until a user with which skill becomes available.
Project planning : Forming the project initiative, creating the work breakdown structure, setting baselines for scope, budget and timeline developing the risk management plan and developing a communication strategy for stakeholders. Few tools may have project templates you can choose from, create and save it.
Project tracking : Seeing project status at a glance. The Gantt chart acts as a live dashboard showing a bird’s-eye view of job progress. Reports will vary including baselines for comparing actuals to the original plan, forecasting of resource, risk reports and time tracking.
Color-coding : Using colors for representing task attributes like status or for indicating who the task is assigned to.
Task-shading : Using shade for representing percent complete, like a task which is a 25 percent complete for a one-quarter shaded.
Document management : Uploading files to tasks, sharing with users and storing in a centralized, searchable pool of database. Ask sellers about limits of storage within product tiers, archiving or deleting tasks and documents and integrating with new/existing content management systems.
As is true of any tool, the quality of the output is only as good as the data put into it. The value of Gantt charts is reliant on the accuracy of resource estimates used for creating budget and timeline projections.
Gantt charts need upkeep. Especially if you wish to use them for project tracking, you will require to assign ownership of the Gantt chart to a manager and need them to update the system accordingly.
Gantt charts don’t automatically account for Murphy’s law—whatever can go wrong will go wrong. So it’s critical to leave a cushion in the system for accounting for issues while building out project schedules.
Cloud-based Gantt chart applications will be up in momentum: Businesses are increasingly moving towards the cloud for project management software. Lowering of upfront costs and easy scalability are contributors to following trend. As businesses get to become asset-light and respond to strongly dynamic market environs, the market for cloud-based management software will continue to grow for next few years, that will get down to sub-categories like Gantt chart software.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning will make project management easier: Gantt chart software sellers have started pushing AI and machine learning capabilities to their software. These technologies offer end users with analyzing big volumes of data collected from past projects and get relevant insights about the task distribution, time and resource allocation, potential risks, and the best ways to execute a job.