Projects requiring a high degree of organizational skills occur in many different industries. Common elements include tracking a project’s development and ordering essential materials. Gantt charts are a vital part of a project manager‘s daily schedule. In addition, they are instrumental in strategic planning, ensuring the project is completed on time.
How does a Gantt Chart Work?
The Gantt chart appeared in the first decade of the twentieth century. Its inventor was Henry Gantt (1861-1919), an American expert in mechanical engineering. His chart simplified the intertwined complexities of project management.
It displays tasks in a bar graph format and places them in chronological order against an overall timeline. The Gantt chart instantly shows a complete overview of a project. It’s easy to see where individual tasks overlap and where they should start and finish.
How a PMO Uses Gantt Charts
The duties of a Project Management Officer (PMO) are extensive. The PMO is responsible for calculating a budget liaising with executives, suppliers, and employees. The Gantt chart system is a valuable tool that makes sense of a PMO’s tasks in a working day.
Gantt charts provide an entire project overview, including separate stages within the primary schedule. A PMO uses the charts to identify multiple tasks being carried out simultaneously. The Gantt chart helps PMO use resources efficiently and keep the project running smoothly through targets within the overall timeline.
Improved Accuracy with Estimates
The detailed analysis of a Gantt chart provides a clear view of a proposed project. It helps establish a viable timeframe for individual tasks. A PMO can then calculate a more accurate estimate for the project’s length and costs. This is particularly valuable when negotiating with investors over what type of contract is the most suitable for the project.
Benefits of Real-Time Tracking
Gantt chart software includes real-time tracking that shows how individual tasks are progressing. It helps the PMO target specific areas where work has fallen behind schedule. For example, the Federation of Master Builders survey revealed 89% of projects fall behind schedule due to a lack of skills or materials.
Real-time tracking with a Gantt chart highlights completed jobs, enabling the PMO to redirect labor preventing workers from standing idle. Such streamlining helps the entire project stay on course to meet its completion date.
According to a survey by Gallup, projects organized through Gantt charts are more than twice as likely to complete on schedule. However, approximately 42% of businesses fail to realize the value of Gantt charts. They are usually accessible by all members of the project’s team. The details of the chart help team members assess their progress in comparison with their colleagues. In addition, the Gantt chart encourages motivation by enabling everyone to track the project’s work rate in real-time. As a result, productivity should usually increase.
Streamlined and Organised
An essential part of project management is ensuring materials or specialized tools are available on-site exactly when needed. The chart helps accurately calculate the length of time equipment may need to be hired. This, in turn, helps save the project from exceeding its budget. In addition, real-time tracking of tasks provides a clear view of when materials should be ordered—the entire project benefits from the increased organization provided by the Gantt chart’s simplified structure.
Optimizing Schedules and Costs
Gantt charts can be used throughout a project to determine individual timelines, deliveries, and costs. They can help adjust the main schedule while work is in progress. A PMO can use the Gantt chart to manage multiple tasks in an easy, logical format that contributes to the project’s overall success.
According to research by Cortex, 57% of projects fail due to poor communication and understanding. Gantt chart software usually includes features such as Bluetooth connectivity and mobile access. It also continually processes incoming data to provide real-time information. As a result, it can help colleagues working remotely make more accurate assessments of predicted timelines, costs, and delays.
The simplicity of the Gantt chart can be deceptive. In reality, it’s a potent tool that enables PMOs to perform to the best of their abilities. It also helps establish a realistic timeframe, influencing contract choice and allowing the investors to agree to a reasonable budget.
A great advantage of Gantt charts is they can be adapted for any project in almost every industry. Their logical, real-time display and simplified, accessible format make them an essential tool in the busy environment of project management.