In the early twentieth century a bar chart was invented by an American engineer Henry Gantt. It presents a project schedule in a graphical manner. It contains the start and end dates of a project. The project is divided into various tasks. Gantt chart also shows the dependency and relationships among each of these tasks. On the horizontal axis we have time and along the vertical axis we have the various activities of the project. It is highly imperative to track the progress of the project effectively in order to meet the deadlines. At any stage a project manager can view the Gantt charts and assess how much work is done and what is still pending. As with anything in this world there are certain pros and cons of this chart.
- Leads to efficient organization – You first need to identify project tasks. It forces you to focus on what exactly needs to be done step by step.
- Establishing time-frames – It teaches us how long each task is taking and hence time estimation for the project becomes easy.
- Visual presentation – Visual media is the most effective communication tool. The chart helps us in easily identifying where we stand today and what work is still pending. Since it is a graphical presentation it is very easy to understand even for a ordinarily skilled person.
- Over complex: For large projects these charts are very complex and hard to understand. Skilled managers are needed to manage the details of these projects which can be costly for small businesses.
- Needs to be continuously updated: After a project is planned and initiated there may be changes in the activities which leads to changes in other dependent activities. People working on the project will probably not have time to update the chart frequently.
- Does not show entire picture: Gantt charts show the tasks of a project but they do not show the resources needed. This can create a misconception among the people viewing this chart leading to various issues in the project life cycle.
Shall we use Gantt charts?
These charts are best for small and simple projects with less number of tasks. For large and complex projects a project management software is the best fit. Proper project planning is the key to success irrespective of the tools used.Tags: Project