Gantt charts are an extremely useful project management methodology for visually organizing complex project information. To put it simply, a Gantt chart is a timeline view of your project, in which tasks represented as bars are laid out against a timeline. A Gantt chart is an effective way to visually keep track of all your project’s tasks and deadlines. Gantt charts show task assignments and progress publicly in order to keep everyone informed, which makes it easier for the project manager to manage resources, people, time, and tasks more efficiently.
What Do Gantt Charts Consist Of?
A Gantt chart might sound complicated, but really, each Gantt chart consists of just 4 basic parts: task names, task bars, milestones, and dependencies. The beauty of Gantt charts is that they take complex project information and organize it in a really easy-to-understand way. Let’s take a closer look at the 4 parts of Gantt charts and some Gantt chart examples of how to use them to represent your projects.
Task Names and Task Bars
Task names are listed vertically down the left-hand side of a Gantt chart. Task bars are the bars that represent each task; laid out against the timeline to the right of each task name. Each bar will have a length based on how long that particular task is scheduled to take, with a specific start and end date for the task. You can also group certain types of related tasks together.
Consider a Gantt chart example that has several tasks related to making a new product video. You could create a “product video” group with a single task bar that represents how long it should take to complete the whole video. Then, underneath that group, you would have several subtasks, each with a different length of task bar depending on how long that particular task needs to take.
Milestones are any kind of relevant deliverable for your project. They can include major deadlines, kickoffs, or other project goals. You should be sure to include milestones from your project plan in any Gantt chart you create to make sure that all project information is visually represented.
Considering our Gantt chart example related to creating a new product video, you could have milestones for major task deadlines such as completing the graphics, completing the audio, and finally editing the pieces of the video together.
Dependencies show how different tasks are related and which tasks need to be completed in what order so that other tasks can begin. In project management software, like Workep, you can link task bars to show how different tasks are connected. That way, you can easily visualize which tasks are dependent on others and know when to start them to keep your project on track and meeting deadlines.
Let’s go back to our Gantt chart example of a “product video” task group. Within that group, let’s say you have a task that is “write video script”, and a task that is “record video audio”. These two tasks are clearly related; you wouldn’t be able to record the audio before you have the script completed.
In this Gantt chart example, you would link those two tasks to show the dependency of one task on the other and know that you cannot start recording the audio until the script is done. This helps everyone on a project team see where their individual tasks and responsibilities fit into the bigger picture and keeps everyone held accountable.
Creating a Gantt Chart in Workep
With Workep, creating an automated Gantt chart is easier than ever. Simply create a new project, select the Gantt chart view, and start creating task names, task bars, milestones, and dependencies. Since your G Suite calendar is the native calendar in Workep, the Gantt chart’s timeline will be automatically synced with your calendar to help you stay on top of deadlines and manage all your tasks.
If you want to see just how easy it is to use the Gantt chart in Workep is, then click here to request a demo now!
Want more tips on project management? Check out our Complete Guide to Project Management by clicking here.