It doesn’t matter if your company has adopted a Gantt chart since its inception or if it is a new project management approach. It is crucial to bear in mind the tips for effective use. A Gantt chart is not hard to use. Yet, it could be a pain if Gantt Chart best practices are not mastered.
Hence, this blog post will serve as a manual for your project management team. It will discuss the key Gantt chart best practices to apply step-by-step. However, it will not show you what to include in a Gantt chart but what you must do to use it right and productively. Let’s dive in.
A project with zero goals tends to turn out to be a disaster. A clear goal will guide the project team as they play their parts to make a project a success. To craft a goal, you must first understand what a project is about.
If it is an internal project, the project’s sponsors should define the goal. Likewise, the clients should state the project goal if it is an external project. A simple way to identify a project goal is for clients and project heads to ask, “what is this project about?” “what do we want to achieve?”
A thorough study of why you chose a project can guide you to know your goals and objectives. Ensure that your Gantt chart expresses the exact goals so as to ensure you’re following the Gantt Chart best practices. Now, this is the first step.
Determine Project Timeline
A project with no timeline could last a lifetime. It also might turn into a vicious cycle. While your team thinks and plans toward using a Gantt chart, determine a specific duration for your project.
This timeline will serve as a duration within which your team must work. Not just that, your team will also finish the project within that timeline. Set a start and end date for your project. Then communicate with your team how long they have to work on that project.
Use automated software that alerts you about time to keep track of time and not ditch deadlines. If you do not have access to such software, use a manual calendar. In this case, your team members must imbibe the culture of checking the calendar regularly as it is not automated.
- Do a Project Breakdown
Attempting a project as a whole is like trying to fit a large chunk of meat into the mouth. Whether a project is monumental or minor, you divide it into several task bits.
Break tasks into tiny pieces to help your team members have a clear picture of what to do. It will also help all team members work simultaneously on the available project.
Let’s say you have a TV ad campaign to run. The breakdown could be audience research, product research, budget design, channel selection, etc.
After going through the prior steps, it is time to monitor the project’s progress. It would be best to create a progress bar for each task you split the big project into to monitor this progress.
Let the progress bar be on the same horizontal line where you have the assigned task. The progress bar will signify task duration as it will begin on the start date and stop right under the end date.
Know Task Dependencies & Milestones
Even though you have split your big project, you still need to look at how one task links to another. Study if one task can only begin if one has ended. Also, look at the task which must finish before another starts.
You would also need to look at tasks that must start or finish at a time. Mark these dependencies with lines to aid visibility. Tracking task dependencies helps your team determine the most important tasks and the least crucial ones.
The final step is to add milestones. Milestones are events that will mark project progress or success.
Gantt charts are great for project execution, especially when Gantt charts best practices are duly followed. Meanwhile, there could be issues if a step is missed while creating them. At Fresco, we can help you avoid any of those issues. Kindly contact us today.