The Spikes Cavell finance survey found that 39% of projects fail due to lack of planning, resources, and activities. This is something that an Excel date chart can greatly help with. In this article, we will go over how to make a Gantt chart in Excel, important points to consider when creating a timeline Gantt chart in Excel and the benefits of a simple and easy Gantt chart.
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Why Create Gantt Chart Online in Excel?
An Excel date chart comes with various benefits for project planning and project teams. We will take a look at these benefits in more detail further on in the article. The following are a few reasons describing why create Gantt chart online in Excel:
- Clarity: Planning Gantt Excel timelines allows you to portray the workflow of your projects in a clear manner. This serves as a visualisation of how and when each project task will be completed for all stakeholders involved with the project to see and refer to when needed.
- Task Dependencies: Often in project there are many different tasks. Some of these tasks are dependent on others. In a Gantt chart excel these dependencies are clearly defined and help to make the order of work more understandable as well as highlighting the tasks most critical to project success.
- Ease: Excel is widely available and most importantly it is free. It is therefore very accessible and easy to create Gantt chart online in Excel. For projects that are not very complex, and Excel date chart is very useful and not difficult to create, meaning it won’t take you a lot of time and effort.
- Sharing: You can easily share your Excel Gantt chart with your project team. A spreadsheet is easily understandable and allows you to effectively communicate your project plan with the help of a quick down chart created in Excel.
How to Make a Gantt Chart in Excel
When planning Gantt Excel charts, there are a few important steps that you can take as a project manager. The steps include creating a task table, building a bar chart and formatting your Gantt chart. Let’s take a look at what each of the steps entail:
- Create a Task Table: In the step after opening your Excel spreadsheet, you need to list every task to be completed as part of the project and each start date from the beginning to the end of the project. Remember to name each task, give it a start date, an end date and duration.
- Build a Bar Chart: Any Excel Gantt chart tutorial will tell you to click insert along the top menu and then choose the bar chart icon. A drop-down menu will appear and here you should choose the flat stacked bar chart. This will insert a blank chart onto your Excel spreadsheet.
- Format Your Gantt Chart: When considering how to use Gantt chart in Excel don’t forget to format! Your tasks may be in reverse order and in order to fix this, you need click on the list of tasks to select them, right click over the list and click format axis. This is how to change Gantt chart time scale in excel.
Important Points to Consider when Creating a Timeline Gantt Chart in Excel
Creating a timeline Gantt chart in Excel is a useful method to communicate your project plan and the work flow of the various tasks involved, add milestones to Excel Gantt chart and create a generally effective plan. There are however, some points to consider with regards the best way to make a Gantt chart and some areas that an Excel Gantt chart does not cover. The following are some important points to remember when deciding on a method to create a Gantt chart:
- An Excel date chart doesn’t resize when new tasks are added or modifications are made.
- There is no daily labelling option.
- Any values on the Excel Gantt chart don’t automatically adjust when changes are introduced.
- It is difficult to determine sometimes whether or not you are using the most up-to-date version of the plan.
Real-time access for internal and external team members sometimes makes collaboration an issue.
The Benefits of a Simple and Easy Gantt Chart
A Gantt chart with milestones Excel timeline brings a lot of benefits to the project management table. Let’s take a look at a few benefits of a simple and easy Gantt chart created with Excel:
- Time Management: An Excel date chart allows you to schedule project work effectively in a creative environment. This allows you to visualise the time that will be spent completing project tasks and to therefore better understand the overall workflow of the project. This will help to stimulate better task organisation.
- Motivation: A Gantt chart created with Excel gives team members the ability to focus on the work that is expected of them. The clear way in which the tasks are laid out allows team members to gain a better understanding of what is happening and when. This can help to stimulate productivity and increases motivation.
- Accountability: Creating a timeline Gantt chart in Excel allows project teams and managers to document the project process and plan. This is crucial in order to track progress and to help when reviewing the overall project.
- Coordination: Scheduling in general allows for the visualisation of the sequence of events that will occur in a project. This allows project teams to avoid overburdening and to better coordinate the work to be completed as part of the project including making complex tasks more manageable.
Overall, an interactive Gantt chart Excel timeline can greatly enhance your project planning and can even be the difference between a successful project and the failed project. Remember to consider the points surrounding what an Excel Gantt chart does not allow you to do! Try creating a Gantt style chart in excel for your next project plan and see what you think! 😊