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Topics: IT Project Management, PMI Standards, PMO
Why Gantt Charts?
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Hello Experts!

While some prefer not to use them, others still using them for their projects. But are Gantt Charts really effective? Would love to know your input about Gantt Charts and for what type of projects are Gantt charts proven to be useful. Thanks in advance
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They are certainly useful when you have a number of long duration activities occurring in parallel as it is visually easy to see the parallel paths with relative starting and stopping points. Network diagrams where all boxes are the same size don't show relative durations well.

Another nice feature is they are scaleable. At a program level you can show the high level plan while at lower tiers the longer flow bars are broken down into more discrete tasks.
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1 reply by Cesar Fiestas
Dec 31, 2018 11:41 AM
Cesar Fiestas
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Keith,

Thank you very much for your input I certainly appreciated
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I agree with Keith. For long-duration projects/tasks/workstreams, it's helpful to visually see the big picture of the work. The project map idea, which I saw in a software tool I evaluated recently, is a good alternative way, but it still feels quite like a Gantt chart to me.

I suppose it depends on what works best for the way you think and choose to work. I like lists, so the format of a Gantt with a list of tasks down the side works well for the way my brain works.
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1 reply by Cesar Fiestas
Dec 31, 2018 11:45 AM
Cesar Fiestas
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Elizabeth,

I hope all is well, by the way thank you for your time and input, although what is the project map idea? I have never heard of it.
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Beyond great comments above I will try to add something to them. Which is the reason to use a technique or tool? Mainly, to communicate with others, to make the "life simple and easy" to all people that will be impacted by the project. The first thing to do, taken the previous work that must be make by the business analyst as a source, is to understand all related to solution and to define all related to project. All related to project mean approach/life cycle/techniques/method/tools to be used. That must be made by the project manager at the very beginning and that must be made understanding the current situation. So, if after that you see that Gantt Chart will make "life simple and easy" to all stakeholders then use it. Here an example of my personal life. In some initiatives we are using Scrum framework that we filled with our own tools and techniques because as you know is a framework, no more than that. But I am not able to convince to Corporative Audit people that to use a Gantt Chart in MS Project has no sense when you are using things like Scrum. They want to see the Gantt Chart when they performed audit on my programs. So, here I am, creating Gantt Charts. Whet I am doing is not demmand from people that are working on Scrum to create the Gantt Chart. They give to me the data I needed and I have the template that I am filling and publish each week.
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In some cases, it gets extremely complicated/complex to follow... If it's helpful, it depends on the context and if there are more adequate tools

Thanks for sharing
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Simply to show progress work and to report to the team!!!
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To amplify the input from Keith and Elizabeth, computer aided Bar Chart schedules allow activities to be sequenced with estimated durations based on resources and a calendar of days. They are typically used on complex projects with a large amount of activities, a long duration, multiple prime contracts, multiple material suppliers and interfaces between predecessor activities that affect progress by successor activities.

Bar Charts and data tables are essential for reporting progress against a planned project completion date. But they are also essential for owners, contractors, suppliers, construction managers and project managers for identifying critical dates and resources levels to start and complete activities as scheduled. Owner and contract milestones, work periods, non-work periods, and other work constraints can be programmed through the scheduling software.
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Interesting bit of trivia I heard somewhere is that Henry Gantt had originally used it as a means of documenting the activity dependencies on a past project vs. as a planning or forecasting tool.

Gantt charts are a useful tool but like any PM tool, you need to know how to tailor usage of it to fit the needs of a given project and audience.

Kiron
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It helps you to set realistic time frames. The bars on the chart indicate in which period a particular task or set of tasks will be completed. This can help you to get things in perspective properly.

On the other hand, it could be more complex in large size of project.
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I think they are useful in any project, even Agile. I work in a SAFe environment where the mention of Gantt brings shudders, and yet every PM uses it in the "background" to get a different perspective on the project.
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Dec 29, 2018 4:07 PM
Replying to Keith Novak
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They are certainly useful when you have a number of long duration activities occurring in parallel as it is visually easy to see the parallel paths with relative starting and stopping points. Network diagrams where all boxes are the same size don't show relative durations well.

Another nice feature is they are scaleable. At a program level you can show the high level plan while at lower tiers the longer flow bars are broken down into more discrete tasks.
Keith,

Thank you very much for your input I certainly appreciated
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