Project Management Tools – Gantt Charts

The online marketplace, as well as your local one, offers a variety of project management tools. Though all of them function to serve the common goal of helping you manage your projects efficiently, not all of them have been developed equally. Some may provide additional features that aim at allowing you perform much complex tasks; while there are several others that only fulfill your basic project management needs. A survey shows that of all the tools that most project managers prefer to have, Gantt Charts are among the most demanded ones.

Project Management Tools – An Introduction to Gantt Charts

In simple words, Gantt Charts review a project entirely. Usually, after a project has begun (it is assumed that you have met all the Terms and Conditions in regards to the project, and you are equipped with sufficient resources to handle the project), the client expects a delivery schedule. This is necessary on their end since they will need to inform their stakeholders of the delivery timeframe and the requirements. For a project to be completed successfully, it is vital that all involved must work according to a plan. This involves preparing the task schedule, expected deadlines and handling resources. This is precisely where you can make use of Gantt Charts!

A Gantt Chart reviews the project from its initiation to the end. Results are displayed in simple graphics for easy understanding, and include reports on the amount of pending work and the remaining time for its completion. Actually, these charts make use of rectangular bars, where each bar represents a different activity in the overall project. The length of the bar denotes the calculated time required for the completion of that particular activity. Horizontally, the bars are arranged with respect to the time scale, while the vertical view sorts them as per their scheduled start date. Hence, the picture that is displayed on your screen takes the form of descending stairs. This is precisely how a project manager would want the pending work levels to be, would he not?

Gantt charts are considered to be the most popular project management tools in use today, and this is largely due to ease-of-understanding and ease-of-use. Simple two-dimension representation of the resultant charts offer a very simple view to the users, and can also be understood by those who have lesser computer skills. The charts are used often in various stages of project management, and these are planning, resource scheduling and status reporting. Probably the only feature a Gantt Chart misses is of dependency relationships. This feature is available in other management tools, but the final figure that is displayed contains so many lines that it becomes almost impossible to make out the figures in the report.

If you are still unfamiliar with this essential project management tool, now is the time to try it. Almost all planning tools are equipped with these charts, and learning how to use and create one is quite simple. Gantt chart is an invaluable investment that all project managers must do, regardless of their experience in the field.