Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Gantt Charts

Gantt Charts have been around for a long time, and there are many software solutions available for companies of all sizes. Along with Microsoft Project, there are several specialty software solutions for producing these charts.  For many, however, good old Excel handles this task quite well.

You say you are not familiar with Gantt Charts?  Here is what they are all about.
First of all, they are a comparatively simple bar charts that illustrate and track the evolution of a project.  They allow the user to Juggle time and resources to obtain desired results. Developed by a management consultant by the name of Henry Gantt back in the early 20th century.  These robust charts clarify the start and finish dates of a project’s elements, and can be easily grasped at a quick glance (the hallmark of an effective chart). Although they were considered revolutionary at the time old Henry developed them, Gantt charts are considered mainstream today.

When used correctly and consistently (some individuals have been known to fudge with the results in the past), Gantt Charts can be invaluable tools to managers, analysts, and employees in the front lines.  Here is how to create one in Excel:

1   1. Open a New workbook in Excel (version 2013 or later is recommended)
2   2. Type in “Gantt” in the Search for online templates box
C   3. Choose the Project Planner template and click Create

The Project Planner Gantt chart template will then open, and you can customize it to suit your business needs.  Note: You can access Manage Rules under Conditional Formatting on the Home ribbon and revise the formatting and range of the chart.  I recommend that you modify the formatting, which can give you some control over the aesthetics.

With these very accessible Excel Gantt Charts, you can quickly see where each activity is according to plan.  Give it a try the next time a Big Project comes by, and enhance your Juggling skills!

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