Chris Croft
Tips of the Month Archive

Project Management Tip 3


Blow your own trumpet

Be assertive at the start

What is a Gantt Chart?

Avoiding people problems

Listing all the tasks

Internal projects

How to discover the key project driver

Three methods of project costing

Why I love Gantt charts

Three ways to handle uncertainty

Overspend or underspend?

Why PM is difficult

My instant guide

Why review?

Some eccentric PM abbreviations

What exactly is a PID?

Its never too late to plan

Why PM is good

Good questions to ask a project manager

Gantt Charts

The Project Management monthly tip has been a bit tricky, because I have found that those who have been on my Project Management course know all about them and want something new, while those who haven't (they bravely ticked "All" on the sheet) are getting PM tips and wondering what planet I'm on!

If you haven't - "What is a Gantt Chart??"
(those who have, skip this and see the next one...)

A Gantt chart (named after Henri Gantt) is just a diagram with time along the horizontal, and lots of bars going across it, each bar signifying a task that's got to be done as part of the project.

It shows clearly when each task starts and finishes, and which tasks follow on from others.

You can use it to show why a project is going to take the time that it is, and to monitor progress by colouring in the ones that are completed and seeing if you're keeping up with today's date.

The vertical axis doesn't really mean anything. The tasks just come down the page. Sometimes people put who will do each task down the left hand side, or the name of the task, and then across the page they just have a line. Personally I think Gantt charts look better if you have the description of the task written into the box rather than down the side.

Gantt charts can be made using Microsoft Project, or Excel, or drawn by hand on a huge whiteboard. Whatever works for you!

You can see pictures of them at my website (I can't attach graphics to these tips) see and click on Project Management and then look at forecasting.... or understanding....

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