Gantt chart seems to be the buzzword in project management, but what is the purpose of a Gantt Chart?
In this article, we will cover the purpose of Gantt chart planning and look at its purpose specifically for project teams and complex projects.
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What is a Gantt Chart and What is its Purpose?
A Gantt chart was developed by Henry L. Gantt way back in 1917 and is still used in project management today. A Gantt chart is essentially a visualisation of the workflow of a project, which includes the various tasks and activities and how they will link and work together to eventually lead to successful project completion. Gantt charts can be applied to all types of projects, large or small, easy or complex.
With the help of a Gantt chart you can define the following:
- Project start date
- Project tasks
- Team members assigned to each task
- Specific task start and end dates
- Task duration
- Task relationships and dependencies
- Project completion date
What is the Purpose of a Gantt Chart for Project Teams?
Today, Gantt charts are a lot more sophisticated than they were in 1917 and can be used by anyone to create a visualisation of how project work will be completed. Gantt chart tools allow you to efficiently create your project plan and track it effectively with other features such as KPIs, the critical path and communication tools. The purpose of Gantt chart in project management teams is very significant. Let’s take a look at some of the ways that it helps:
- Communication: Gantt charts are not only used to communicate the project plan to your project team. Some Gantt charts also include communicative features that facilitate communication throughout the project life cycle which is essential for effective project management.
- Clarity: The purpose of Gantt chart plans is to clarify work and the order in which it is to be completed. This is crucial for teams to work productively and to understand what needs to happen and by when.
- Collaboration: Because teams are more aware of what is happening, they can spend less time trying to figure everything out and more time working together and producing quality results. Online Project Management Software offers by some online Gantt charts also further improve collaboration.
- Accountability: Gantt charts allow you to assign team members to each task. This means that everyone is aware of their specific responsibilities and if something goes wrong, accountability can be easily traced.
What is the Purpose of Gantt Chart Plans for Complex Projects?
Purpose of a Gantt Chart:
Complex projects are complex because they normally involve many different tasks, deliverables and have many requirements. They might be a longer-term project as well. All of this calls for a way to effectively plan out and manage the various activities to be completed as well as defining the dependencies between them and assigning the right team members. The purpose of Gantt chart plans in this case is to help simplify what seems to be an impossible project plan. A Gantt chart allows you to:
- Schedule all tasks across a calendar structure
- Define the dependencies of tasks
- Add sub tasks to make work more manageable
- Create a visual plan that is easier to understand for everyone involved
- Highlight important milestones to be reached
- Increase team awareness, collaboration and productivity
We hope that we have answered your question surrounding what is the purpose of a Gantt chart. As you can see, they have many different purposes and are very applicable throughout project management. They allow for clarity, organisation accountability and more. Try planning your next project with a Gantt chart and see the benefits for yourself! 😊