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Excel Mastery: Crafting Gantt Charts for Projects

Last Updated On Thursday, Dec 21, 2023 | Written By - Mudit Jain


Excel Mastery: Crafting Gantt Charts for Projects

The Gantt chart allows you to present the schedule of tasks in a given project in an accessible, graphical form. Everything will become clear to the entire team, and you will be able to focus on your tasks.

Preparing a Gantt chart doesn't have to be difficult! We explain how to do it!

What is a Gantt chart?

Everyone who manages projects should know this! A Gantt chart (sometimes referred to as a Gantt diagram) is a graphic form of presenting the schedule of tasks in a given project.

This useful tool should be known, especially by employees who are responsible, for example, for production planning.

How do you plan, for example, the working time of machines needed to perform individual tasks in order to complete everything on time? A Gantt chart will especially help in such situations!

What is a Gantt chart used for?

A Gantt chart, showing the order of tasks in a cascade, makes it easier to arrange the order of tasks, taking into account the time it will take to complete them.

Unlike, for example, the Ishikawa diagram, it is not used to analyze the causes of possible problems in the implementation of tasks but to determine the amount of time that individual tasks will take.

Thanks to it, they are able to predict which stage of the project implementation may cause the most problems, as well as how to arrange processes so that employees move smoothly from one to the next.

The structure of a Gantt chart is a cascade of elements such as:

  • Tasks
  • Operations
  • Activities
  • Processes
  • Their duration

It is worth knowing that the time units we will use when preparing a Gantt chart will depend on what we are depicting with them. Understanding the significance of time units in Gantt chart preparation is crucial.

For instance, when illustrating a production schedule with a lead time of several weeks, it may be beneficial to use a weekly time unit in the Gantt chart.

Gantt chart online: how to prepare a Gantt chart?

Do you know how to draw such a diagram? The easiest way will be to prepare a Gantt chart online. For this purpose, it is best to use Excel, which is well known to office workers.

So, if you have been asked to prepare a clear task plan for the entire team, it is a good idea to choose a Gantt chart. Excel will only be used as a tool here!

However, if you have an older version of the program installed on your work computer, don't worry! The differences in chart preparation will be traceable and visible only at the user interface level.

How to make a Gantt chart

Preparing a Gantt chart does not have to be difficult! How do you make a Gantt chart so that it is useful for the entire team and actually makes your work easier?

A Gantt chart for building a house is a perfect example of what such a chart can be useful for. Construction plan managers have been using it for years! What are the next stages of creating a Gantt chart?

There are several:

  • Writing down all the tasks we have to perform on a given project
  • Defining the units of time that we will use to represent individual tasks
  • Determining the duration of these tasks
  • Adding dates for starting subsequent activities
  • Inserting a chart and then formatting it (changing the order of data series, removing the chart legend, etc.)

Thanks to the Gantt diagram, you will determine the sequence of work for people responsible for, for example, connecting the electricity in our future house and those responsible for laying floors.

You will also predict when you need to start the next activity, so you can move smoothly from one to the next without any downtime. Simple and practical!

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