Editor’s note: Gantt charts are back in Redbooth and they’re better than ever! Go behind the scenes with the Redbooth team and find out more >>
Collaboration with Gantt charts: Nothing to fear
Terrified of Gantt charts? If you are in the “horror” camp, humor us please and keep reading. We promise not to frighten you further.
In fact, Gantt charts are nothing to be scared of. They used to be complicated, difficult to use, and almost a project in themselves. But fortunately, a lot has changed. Now, not only are Gantt charts a lot less scary than they used to be — they can substantially aid in your effective team collaboration.
A Gantt chart is a graphical representation of a project’s schedule showing tasks, deliverables, due dates, and task dependencies. There are lots of benefits to using one to plan your next project.
Benefits of Using Gantt Charts
First, the process of gathering the information that goes into a Gantt chart creates an opportunity for you and your team to define the project goal, the tasks required to accomplish the goal, and a timeline for completing the work. Further, it requires your team to establish responsibilities and identify interdependencies of related tasks.
Once defined, the Gantt chart facilitates collaboration. Everyone sees the same plan and the has a common understanding of what needs to be done to accomplish the goal.
All team members can collaborate and assume responsibility for tracking project status and making adjustments when required. Using Redbooth’s Timeline view makes this a snap.
Tips for Making Your Gantt Chart
In Redbooth, creating the actual Gantt chart is very simple: just click on “Timeline view” and you’re ready to go! If your workspace already includes the tasks that make up your project, you’re halfway there. Just make sure that each task also has start and end dates and is assigned to a specific team member.
If your project currently lives in a spreadsheet, getting it into a Redbooth workspace and turning it into a Gantt chart is easier than you might think.
Once you have that foundation in place, here are some tips to ensure that your Gantt chart will work well for your team:
- Make sure that everyone agrees on what “project success” looks like. A shared vision is invaluable.
- Confirm that you have alignment on the final deadline and a shared understanding of the risks of not meeting the deadline. For example, will it jeopardize trust with a client?
- Think carefully about dependencies, or how two tasks are related. You can illustrate dependencies visually with Redbooth’s drag-and-drop Timeline interface.
- Ensure that everyone on your team understands that when they update their tasks in Redbooth, the Gantt chart will update automatically.
Visual Project Management: More Intuitive?
One added bonus you may experience after bringing Gantt charts into your team’s planning and project management process: for many people, being able to see everything makes it easier to understand.
For visual thinkers and planners, there’s no substitute for seeing how a project is scheduled to unfold over time.
Gantt charts also useful for communicating the scope and timeline of a complex project to stakeholders with limited time, especially management.
The more you and your team use Gantt charts, the more you’ll see that the true “horror” was never Gantt charts at all — it was the amount of time and effort that it took to try to track and communicate about a project without them.
Update: Instant Gantt charts have launched! Find out more »
This post was originally published in 2013 and updated in 2016.