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Ultimate Guide to Creating a Gantt Chart

By Joan Ang, Jan 13, 2022

Ultimate Guide to Creating a Gantt Chart

Managing and organizing projects alongside daily activities have always been a challenge for project managers. But with the use of Gantt charts, project managers can better align their teams and complete tasks.

Project managers use Gantt charts for visualizing time and resources around a given project. But how can you create one and make it work effectively for your project?

In this guide, we will explain what makes a Gantt chart such a powerful tool for project management.

Haven’t created a Gantt Chart before? The Venngage Gantt Chart Maker offers a variety of customizable templates so you can focus on getting things done in a timely fashion.

 

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What is a Gantt chart?

In project management, a Gantt chart is a type of diagram that displays an overview of the project schedule to team members and stakeholders.

By showing the key elements of the project, it graphically depicts the start date and end date for each task.

Here’s a Gantt chart example that displays exactly how long certain tasks will take and who is in charge of executing them.

Creating a Gantt chart
 

A Gantt chart will keep your team members updated and aware of their deadlines. Visual communication is an effective way to share information and accomplish tasks. 

And the great thing about a Gantt chart is that it illustrates the relationship between projects and tasks. Whenever a project you handle requires more planning than a basic to-do list, a Gantt chart comes in handy.

Make your Gantt chart more effective by sharing it with your team members for regular project schedule updates. Upgrade to a Venngage business account to access the real-time collaboration feature.

collaboration

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Why should you use a Gantt chart?

A Gantt chart is a vital part of every business’s project management plan. These visuals are not only valuable in project planning and building a project schedule but also in managing dependencies between project tasks.

Here are some reasons why a Gantt chart is the favored tool for project managers to use.

Gantt charts have a user-friendly design

A Gantt chart conveniently breaks down the structure of complex projects. Scheduling tasks, deploying human resources, and managing a project table becomes easier to execute with a Gantt chart.

The Gantt chart template below divides up different activities by week. But you can also see who is responsible for those project tasks. The color-coding also makes the stage of the project schedule obvious to everyone.

Creating a Gantt chart
 

You can make a Gantt chart in Excel by creating a stacked bar chart first and customizing it but that isn’t the best method. A stacked bar chart is intended for data visualization, not diagramming.

That is why you need online Gantt chart software solutions. Venngage offers a variety of Gantt chart templates that are easy to follow. The minimal use of fonts and the focus on the project table are key to making the Gantt chart readable.

Design an effective Gantt chart with Venngage’s library of fonts and color wheel. You can use one larger font for the heading or keep the fonts consistent throughout the diagram.

Fonts

You can use Gantt charts to direct workflow

As a project planning tool, the biggest advantage of a Gantt chart is that it’s straightforward and visual. There is a clear start date and you can see the project progress via the color-coding.

Adjusting workflows and resources can be done quickly with a Gantt chart’s visualization capabilities for a variety of project management tasks.

The great thing about a Gantt chart is that the project team can keep adjusting and visualizing various scenarios whenever there’s an update or when a project task has been completed.

This nonprofit Gantt chart example can be used to improve workflows in a project management team.

Creating a Gantt chart

 

If you’re creating a Gantt chart to share with external stakeholders, you can add your branding assets, including logo, brand colors, and fonts with Venngage’s My Brand Kit feature.

Import your branding by inputting your website into the editor. Once the brand assets have been added, you can apply them to all your designs with a single click using the Autobrand function.

brandkit

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Gantt charts streamline project management

Gantt charts can be used to identify the most critical tasks in project management so that the project timeline is adhered to.

With a simple Gantt chart, like the one below, the project manager can improve resource management and reach project goals.

Creating a Gantt chart

 

Because Gantt charts are useful in monitoring project progress, this makes it easier to notice when project tasks fall behind schedule. As a result, managers can take swift action to bring the project back on course.

For longer, complex projects, you can use a Gantt chart template like the one below to monitor the project on an annual basis. You can also customize it for a weekly, or monthly project plan.

Creating a Gantt chart

 

The template above is easy to adapt for a variety of project lengths and types of projects. While you can use an Excel Gantt chart template, an online Gantt chart software like Venngage makes it easier to add task descriptions.

An Excel Gantt chart is essentially a bar chart which also makes monitoring project schedules more difficult. Plus, If you ever need help deciding on a Gantt chart, you can always reach out to Venngage’s 24/7 customer support team for instant assistance.

customer support

Gantt charts determine project direction

Gantt charts can also determine the relationship between tasks which helps in recognizing the most crucial paths in the project.

The critical path method is a prominent technique in the field of project management as it determines ways to fast-track project completion.

A detailed project Gantt chart template like this can help you pinpoint the fastest way to complete your projects as well as determine the project team member assigned to work on a specific task.

Creating a Gantt chart

 

Gantt charts aid in communication

Communication is key in project management. All projects have numerous moving parts. To keep your employees focused on their responsibilities, Gantt charts can be used to give clear expectations for performance.

A Gantt chart also helps the team track and manage deadlines. A project manager can also use a Gantt chart in the project management plan to show stakeholders.

You can better keep stakeholders and the team in the loop with this Gantt chart template. Its simple design makes it easy to follow and see what tasks have been accomplished.

Creating a Gantt chart

 

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How do you create a Gantt chart with Venngage?

A Gantt chart is essential for keeping project schedules on track. With Gantt chart software solutions like Venngage, creating a Gantt chart is a simple task. Here’s what you need to do.

1. Start with a free Venngage account

Sign up for Venngage using your email, Google, or Facebook account. It really is as simple as that.

2. Choose from Venngage’s Gantt chart templates

Venngage offers a wide variety of easy-to-customize templates. Pick a free Gantt chart template from the pre-set category.

Or use the search tool to find a Gantt chart for a particular type of project, such as this product development project Gantt chart.

Creating a Gantt chart

 

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3. Add project information to the chart

In the Gantt diagram, the X-axis or vertical axis is for the project’s tasks while the Y-axis is for the project timeline. Input the start date and finish date on each task and assign them to your team members.

The project manager can add axis labels for tasks and time so the Gantt chart shows what is required of each team member, like in this example.

Creating a Gantt chart

 

4. Customize your Gantt chart for your project

Make the Gantt diagram your own by adding visual elements like icons, or by adding your company logo and brand colors. You can also color code the task bar according to your brand colors.

5. Download your Gantt chart or share it online with your team

Once you’ve created your Gantt diagram, added in the deadlines, and team members, share it online with your team with one click.

Creating a Gantt chart

 

If you have a Venngage business account or upgrade to one, you can download the Gantt chart as PNG, PNG HD, PDF, Interactive PDF, or export it as HTML or as a PowerPoint presentation.

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FAQs about creating a Gantt Chart

How do you create a Gantt chart in Excel?

You can use an Excel Gantt chart template or manually create your Excel Gantt chart. Start with a data range that includes tasks as well as the start date and end date. Select the range you want to create the Excel Gantt chart for by adjusting the formatting in the tool.

A Microsoft Excel Gantt chart can be very rudimentary as well as challenging to create.

Instead of an Excel Gantt chart, you can choose an online design solution like the Venngage Gantt Chart Maker that offers ready-made templates that can be customized for your project in a few minutes.

How do you create a Gantt chart in Word?

Alongside an Excel Gantt chart, you can also manually make a Gantt chart in Microsoft Word. To do this, you have to build a stacked bar chart then replace the placeholder data with your own. You will then find an option to turn your graphic into a Gantt chart.

As you can see, this is not the most convenient process for creating diagrams. A better solution is to use an online diagram tool that will do most of the work for you, thus saving you time and energy.

Can you make a Gantt chart in PowerPoint?

You can use PowerPoint’s table function to build a Gantt chart. Microsoft PowerPoint also features simple Gantt chart templates that you can customize.

But like the other Microsoft offerings, the PowerPoint templates on offer are quite simplistic. There are better design solutions that you can use.

Design a Gantt chart and execute your project with precision

The end goal of making a Gantt chart is to give stakeholders and teams a visual representation of the project you are working on. 

The Gantt chart will include the start and the end dates for project tasks, which makes monitoring the project schedule easier.

You don’t need design experience to create an effective Gantt chart. An online Gantt chart software tool like Venngage that offers customizable templates makes creating a Gantt chart a simple process.

 
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