Using the Wall Gantt to Track Tasks in an Agile Environment

Lew Sauder

The  agile approach to project management has been growing in popularity in recent years. As the limitations of the waterfall method continue to result in extensions in both schedule and budget, causing large projects to spiral out of control, project managers have been looking for an alternative that allows for flexibility and less rework.

Although many traditional waterfall project managers have developed a comfort level with the agile concept, they struggle with identifying appropriate tools to track and monitor progress outside of their enormous project plans and weekly status reports. They are looking for a way to track status from team members outside of the traditional percentage complete, estimate to complete, earned value, and so forth.

Conventional waterfall project managers tend to adopt some agile concepts, while sticking to the cumbersome measurements they’ve grown accustomed to and are comfortable with. The result is a lack of clarity among team members  of the project’s status and how their responsibilities fit into the mix.

I have been introduced to a simple, low-tech, and easily adoptable approach called a wall Gantt, which allows a project manager to track and report project status, while keeping team members informed and up to date on everyone’s task status.

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"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man."

- George Bernard Shaw

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