Efficient Project Management: Gantt Charts and Their Strategic Role

It’s always important to have tools that help put your projects into practice, right? Maybe you’ve heard of the Gantt chart but don’t know what it’s about.

The point is that the Gannt chart is widely used by companies and large project teams as it becomes an essential step in executing the project. Although, at first glance, it may seem complex, its principles are easy to understand. In this article, you will understand what a Gantt chart is, what its purpose is, how to make one and where to use it.

What is a Gantt chart?

The Gantt diagram is a type of horisontal bar chart commonly used to represent the project schedule with its tasks and events.

In other words, a Gantt chart is a visual tool that people use to control and manage the execution of a project, since it allows the listing of everything that needs to be done to start the practice, as well as dividing each activity and estimating the time for each execution. 

In the beginning, the objective of the diagram was to organise the steps of a production process. However, over time, the idea was adapted and added to by the project management area, especially those that invest in agile methodologies such as Scrum.

What is the purpose of the Gantt chart?

The Gantt diagram is made up of bars, each of which represents a specific project task, and the length indicates the estimated time to complete the task. Thus, its purpose and advantages are:

  • Have an overview of the project schedule, as it allows a complete view that leaves the project execution organised
  • Optimise task execution time
  • Divide the activities by assigning those responsible for each predefined stage
  • Show the relationships between activities in a way that exemplifies how each depends on the other
  • Create and manage more complex projects
  • Improve team resource management, as each person will have their own responsibility;
  • Define delivery times
  • Monitor the entire progress of the process

Gantt Chart in Canva

The first execution option is Excel, as you can create dynamic formulas and charts that can automate the process of updating and calculating deadlines according to your needs. Check out some steps on how to mount it on the tool:

  • Step 1: Access Canva’s online whiteboard and create a new project.
  • Step 2: Set up a table with columns such as ‘Task’, ‘Start Date’, ‘Duration’, and ‘End Date’ to input your project details.
  • Step 3: Utilise Canva’s design features to customise your Gantt chart, choosing colors and styles that align with your project aesthetics.
  • Step 4: Explore Canva’s intuitive interface to add tasks, milestones, and dependencies, enhancing the visual representation of your project timeline.
  • Step 5: Leverage Canva’s collaboration tools to involve team members in real-time, ensuring everyone stays on the same page during the planning process.
  • Step 6: Save and share your Gantt chart directly from Canva, providing easy access for all project stakeholders.

These are just some of the main steps, but only in practice and with knowledge of the tool will you be able to develop. 

Where to use the Gantt chart?

Now that you understand the conceptual part and execution, the question remains as to how and where to use this graphic, right? Check out the main three most common situations:

1. Marketing campaign mapping

Because they are large campaigns that require planning, collaboration and coordination, the Gantt chart becomes a facilitator, being the means of defining and organising the entire process.  This way, people on the team know both who is responsible for what, what each task impacts on the other and the contribution of each one to the main objective.

2. Defining deliverables for customers

With the diagram, people have the possibility of accessing a schedule of all deliverables and all expectations regarding the deadlines for each task. This way, with everything planned and monitored, customers will know when an item will be delivered, and also when work will be done on it.

3. Product launch planning

Another campaign that requires great planning is a product launch. Therefore, with the Gantt chart, it is possible to map all the planning, divide the tasks and still be easy to monitor.

Summary

This article explores the important role of Gantt charts in project management, emphasising their widespread use and evolution from production processes to agile methodologies like Scrum. It details the purpose and advantages of Gantt charts, highlighting their ability to provide a complete project overview, optimise task execution, allocate responsibilities, manage complex projects, and monitor progress. The article introduces Gantt charts in Canva, outlining steps for dynamic visualisation, and concludes by showcasing three key scenarios where Gantt charts facilitate effective project planning: marketing campaign mapping, defining customer deliverables, and planning product launches.

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