Planning is one of the most significant and important stages in project management. Having a method to help you plan efficiently and effectively is now crucial to project success. A Gantt schedule excel plan is an example of such a method.
In this article, we will take a look at what a Gantt schedule is, its benefits and a sample project schedule Gantt chart example.
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What is a Gantt Schedule?
A Gantt schedule is effectively a way to plan out the workload of your projects. It has been used for many years in the project management community dating back to when it could only be created using a pencil and paper. A Gantt schedule can be better understood by taking a look at what it does:
- Portrays activities which need to be completed by a fixed time period.
- It is commonly used for tracking project schedules.
- Tasks are shown on the vertical axis.
- The scheduled time is shown on the horizontal axis.
- Each task is represented by a bar that shows the time required for the project.
- The bar represents the percentage of tasks that have been completed.
- Defines the interlinkages between tasks.
Gantt Chart Schedule Template Benefits
A Gantt schedule template can be used to plan your projects instead of creating one from scratch. This is especially relevant if you tend to manage similar projects. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of a Gantt schedule excel template:
- Saves time and effort.
- Allows you to draw on the experience of other project management professionals.
- A schedule Gantt chart excel template serves as a learning tool for new project managers.
- Improves communication and team cohesion.
- Clarify the workflow of the project.
- The Gantt project schedule allows you to allocate and track resources effectively.
Project Schedule Gantt Chart Tips and Tricks
A Gantt chart production schedule might seem complicated if you have never seen one before. Here are a few tips and tricks to make your Project schedule Gantt chart the best that it can be:
- List out all your tasks: Before adding your tasks to a Gantt schedule or Gantt schedule template, make sure that there is a consensus regarding what needs to be done as part of the project.
- Add milestones: Milestones will help you and your team to work towards something bigger than the average tasks and smaller that completing the overall project. They will serve as ‘little wins’ on the Gantt chart schedule excel throughout the project and keep spirits high.
- Define the critical path: A Gantt schedule can sometimes calculate your project’s critical path. This is very useful as it outlines which tasks have the most dependencies and are most critical to successful project completion.
- Assign team members: The purpose of Gantt schedules is mainly clarity and organisation. Assign team members to the tasks that they are expected to complete so that everyone is aware of their responsibilities.
Gantt Chart Schedule Example
The best way to understand the Gantt chart schedule is to go through a Gantt chart schedule example. Let’s take a look at an excel project schedule Gantt chart for a software development project:
- Firstly you would name the project ‘Software Development’
- You then would need to add the various tasks such as design, development and testing 1.
- Each task needs a specific duration, start and end date.
- Define the dependencies. In this case, development is dependent on design and testing is dependent on development.
- Add milestones.
- Assign team members to each of the tasks and make sure that everyone understands the plan.
- Begin the project!
Overall, the Gantt schedule allow you to simplify what can be a complex project, especially in terms of devising its plan, which is one of the most important steps. A project schedule Gantt chart excel template can further help you by saving time, providing examples and allowing you to draw on the experience of others. Try planning your next project with the help of a project schedule Gantt chart template and let us know what you thought of the experience below! 😊