A Gantt chart is a great tool for ensuring your projects are running smoothly. Businesses that use Gantt charts for project management are better able to visualize how tasks are related to each other.
This guide will show you how to use a Gantt chart for your projects.
Haven’t created a Gantt chart before? Venngage’s Gantt chart maker can help you create effective project management diagrams in minutes.
Click to jump ahead:
- What is a Gantt chart in project management?
- Benefits of using a Gantt chart for project management
- Why should project managers use Gantt charts?
- 3 methods for creating a Gantt chart for project management
- 7 project management Gantt chart templates
- Project management Gantt chart FAQs
What is a Gantt chart in project management?
A Gantt chart is one of the many diagrams that can be used for project management. A Gantt chart can display a list of individual tasks and subtasks along a timeline.
A Gantt chart helps project managers discover scheduling problems early on since that is the foundation of project management. A schedule lays out a plan for completing key tasks within a period of time.
Gantt charts can not only display task dependencies (how one task is connected to others) but task duration and team responsibilities, as well. This enables project managers better communicate with team members and show the status of a project at any given time.
Below is a Gantt chart example that illustrates the different phases of a local delivery service app. In this example, you can see how different departments can work together to develop and promote a new product or service.
Benefits of using a Gantt chart for project management
Out of the many productivity tools out there, Gantt charts are the most common tool for progress tracking among project managers.
Here are some of the benefits of using Gantt charts for project management:
- Shows your project schedule at a glance. One of the most useful benefits of a Gantt chart is its ability to show all the tasks involved in your project and where those tasks are supposed to fall on a timeline. This visual representation can make it easy for you as the project manager to check if everything falls into place, or if there’s a task that’s starting too early or running too late.
- Helps you make timely changes. When you see your project schedule displayed as a Gantt chart, it becomes clear where there are holes in the schedule and where tasks may be overlapping. You can then make the necessary adjustments to your schedule to avoid future problems.
- Shows you where tasks start and end. With a Gantt chart, you’ll know exactly when each task starts and ends, making it easy for you to manage your team members’ workload. For example, if a task is starting earlier than expected, you’ll be able to ask your team members to start working on another project or task.
- Helps you track progress. As a project manager, you need to be able to track the progress of each task. With Venngage templates, you can easily create your own Gantt chart so you have a project timeline that can be shared and updated by your team members.
- Allows you to identify task dependencies. A Gantt chart in project management makes it easy to visualize where each task fits in with all the others and how one result leads to another in a set of tasks.
Why should project managers use Gantt charts?
Gantt charts are one of the most effective tools for managing projects because they help managers visualize the tasks involved in a project and where those tasks fall on a timeline.
For example, this Hospital Admin Gantt Chart is a visual representation that can help hospital administrators and medical practitioners develop a wellness project. This type of Gantt chart can help project managers in the medical field find problems with their schedules early on and make necessary changes to avoid bigger issues later on.
How to use Gantt charts to keep track of projects
There are many benefits in using a Gantt chart to free online project management software that helps you manage all the tasks involved in your projects. Here’s how you can use Gantt charts to your advantage so you stay on track:
- Calculate how much time tasks may take. Before you start creating your Gantt chart, it’s good to have a clear idea of how long each task might take. If there are some tasks you need to break down into smaller subtasks, you’ll want to do this sooner rather than later.
- Make sure that your Gantt chart is up to date. One of the most important benefits of using a Gantt chart for project management is the ability to update it regularly with relevant project information. You’ll want to avoid having a static project schedule because this can cause problems later on.
- Include project milestones in your Gantt chart. As the project manager, it’s important to stay on top of your project’s timeline and note key project milestones. While some project milestones won’t require as much work as other tasks on your project schedule, those that do should be included and given their own Gantt chart line for easy tracking and management.
- Create a timeline with critical paths first. A critical path is simply a sequence of events or activities that, if delayed, will delay the entire project. Since you’re creating a critical path for your Gantt chart first, it’s important to include the project milestones. If there are some tasks that don’t require as much time and resources as others or can be done more quickly, they can simply run alongside the critical path.
- Give your stakeholders access. As the project manager, it’s in your best interest to keep all of your team members and any other parties who are involved in the project regularly updated on where things currently stand. While you can create an accurate Gantt chart yourself, including others helps you avoid scheduling mistakes that could be costly for your project.
3 methods for creating a Gantt chart for project management
There are plenty of free tools out there that project managers can use to create Gantt charts. This guide is going to talk about some of them along with how you can use Gantt charts for project management.
Create a handwritten Gantt chart in your notebook
While it seems like a simple idea, you might be surprised at how effective this method can be. When creating your handwritten Gantt chart for project management purposes, all you really need is a notebook and something to write with.
The best part about doing it this way is that there are no distractions or problems caused by using technology. However, maintaining a handwritten Gantt chart can be challenging because you’ll want to make updates between tasks, which can be hard to do in a notebook.
Manually create a Gantt chart with Excel or Google Sheets
Creating a Gantt chart on Excel or Google Sheets may take some time, but it’s one way to track the progress of your project. As long as you keep the document open on your computer or device, there’s no chance of anyone losing access to their important data or seeing something they shouldn’t.
While it is possible to use an Excel Gantt chart template, it can be quite difficult to customize a template in a way that will work best for your team. Another downside to creating a Gantt chart on Excel or Google Sheets is that you can’t reuse the same document for more than one project. This is because it takes time and effort to create new tracking sheets for different projects. It may also be difficult to retrieve lost data if someone else who has access to the file accidentally deletes or edits out important information.
Easily create your own Gantt chart with Venngage
If you’re looking for project plan templates that offer flexibility and ease of use, you can quickly create one with a Gantt chart software like Venngage. All you have to create a free account and you’ll be able to have access to several project management infographics like the Gantt chart to help you get started.
With Venngage, you can easily customize this weekly project Gantt chart in just a few simple steps. All you have to do is:
- Select the pre-designed template.
- Customize the template with your own content; and
- Download or share it instantly.
With a Gantt chart software like Venngage, project managers can keep track of projects with ease so they have time to work on other more important things like project planning or task management.
7 project management Gantt chart templates
Now that you know how to create a Gantt chart for your projects, it’s time to see how this simple tool can go from being another thing on your list of things to do to an effective way of running and managing your team.
Using the Venngage Gantt chart maker, you’ll be able to access hundreds of diagram templates for all your business needs.
Here are some of the best Gantt chart templates from Venngage to help you get your projects done in no time:
- Event marketing project Gantt chart template
This simple marketing Gantt chart template is a great template to use if you’re looking to find a basic Gantt chart that can be easily customized with your project tasks. With Venngage’s My Brand Kit, you can simply apply your corporate colors and include your logo to spruce up the minimalist design.
- Simple weekly project Gantt chart template
This Gantt chart template is a good tool to use when you want to create a project timeline that is easy to track and update. Customize this further by replacing the icon on the upper left corner with something more relevant to your company from the Venngage icon library.
- Detailed project Gantt chart template
If you’re a project manager that likes to see the big picture broken down into smaller tasks, use this detailed project Gantt chart template to keep track of your project in phases. You can further customize this by using the font of your choice and modifying the colors to better suit your brand.
- Fundraising event nonprofit Gantt chart template
If you’re organizing an event, this is the Gantt chart template for you. Make events of any scale happen with this Gantt chart that you can customize whether you have several months or days to get things organized. Personalize this by color-coding your tasks and adding the names of team members to your Gantt chart.
- Daily client project status Gantt chart template
Keep your lean team on track with this Gantt chart template! Easily modify this template to pace your tasks on a daily or weekly basis and easily assign members of your team by filling in their names on the leftmost column. If you’re working towards a goal, indicate project milestones instead of tasks so you and your team don’t lose sight of where you want to go.
- Corporate weekly project Gantt chart template
If you’re going for a clean and clutter-free look for your Gantt chart, this is the perfect template for you. Modify the color-coding system of this template by using your Brand Kit and assigning specific departments to a specific color. You can indicate names of team members involved per task and modify the timeline to view your project on a weekly or monthly pace.
- Dark new product project Gantt chart template
Use this dark Gantt chart template and modify the fonts, colors, and icons to fit your projects. For large-scale companies, you can create multiple copies of this template and indicate an icon per department so it’s easy to see what different teams are working on.
Project management Gantt chart FAQs
Where does the term ‘Gantt chart’ come from?
The term ‘Gantt chart’ comes from Henry Gantt, also known as the father of Gantt charts. Back in 1918, when he was working on different project management tools during World War I, he used this term to refer to a project schedule that uses bars to show specific tasks over time.
How do you analyze a project management Gantt chart?
When looking at a project management Gantt chart, the first thing you can do is to understand the timeline. It’s important that you know what time each bar represents, what milestone has been completed, and how this relates to the overall timeline of the project.
If you’re a project manager working on a Gantt chart, take a step back from time to time and look at it from an outsider’s perspective. Is it easy to read? Can you understand what’s happening at a glance? Does it help you to see the progress of the project or does it make things harder for you to understand? By answering these questions, you get a better sense of whether your Gantt chart will be easy for your colleagues to understand.
What are the elements of a Gantt chart?
A Gantt chart includes bars that represent different tasks, specific timelines, milestones, and resources. Here are the most important elements:
- the timeline
- the milestones
- the time it will take to complete each task
All of these elements are important when creating Gantt charts. When trying to create your own Gantt charts for projects, it’s important to keep these things in mind. That way, you and your team can work towards completing tasks while staying on time and on a budget for a successful project.
In conclusion: Venngage makes project scheduling easy with Gantt charts
Now that you have the tools and the knowledge needed to create your own Gantt chart, it’s time to start planning and managing your project with ease. By using online Gantt chart tools like Venngage, you can create your own project timeline with Gantt chart templates. All you need is to pick and customize a template in minutes, which you can then share with your team.
If you feel that Gantt chart project management is not working for you or your team, Venngage offers other project timeline templates that you can use to help you with project scheduling. With Venngage templates, you can work smarter and more efficiently.
Start by signing up for a free account and see how you can use project scheduling templates like Gantt charts to make your work easier.