Quality leadership is about being able to step back and maintain perspective without losing your awareness of the details that matter. Keeping a project on time and under budget requires a ton of planning, clearly assigning tasks, and maintaining a close eye on the status of projects to ensure everything gets done. Project managers and teams have a leg up on setting smart goals when they are able to visualize how working hours add up to success.
That's where a Gantt chart comes in, bringing an organization vital, timely insights into project management efforts. Leaders can apply that visibility to a wide range of applications, such as scheduling, online marketing, and even resource management, so you ensure that no single person on your team is overburdened. You can try downloading a free Gantt chart template to see all the ways that this tool can improve planning and awareness and make everyone more productive.
The Features of an Excel Gantt Chart Template
Managing a project successfully calls for understanding how all the elements fit together and contribute to keep the ship moving in the right direction. A simple Gantt chart template is ideal for business plans, laying out the beginning and end dates for every part of a project in a visual format you don't need an engineering degree to understand. However, a more detailed Excel Gantt chart template provides a greater variety of useful information that makes it easier to optimize scheduling, resourcing or marketing. Here are some of the more useful things you can do with an Excel Gantt chart:
- Plan ahead with timeline views for the upcoming days, weeks, or even months.
- See the connections that matter with task dependency arrows or lines.
- Fill in the blank spaces with milestones and monitor the time required for each task.
- An Excel Gantt chart template is color-coded to indicate whether each step is completed, on schedule, or late.
With these features, a Gantt chart template for Mac or other platforms makes it so leaders know exactly where their team stands at any time. Planning and reporting can go beyond considering how to make a chart in Excel. Online access provides up-to-date information for every stakeholder and offers the ability to adjust dependencies, milestones or assignments according to conditions in real time.
From Planning to Results
A Gantt chart is a versatile way to get all team members on the same page and keep them moving forward together. Everyone knows their individual assignments and also how it all fits into the bigger picture. With that awareness, the organization can advance with purpose, addressing missed deadlines or changing responsibilities as they occur.
Setting goals and milestones carefully is one of the most important aspects of the project manager's job. Instead of waiting for the project to go off the rails, they can watch for the leading indicators that something is not working and proactively take action. Gantt charts provide a window into progress, so leaders aren't caught by surprise.
Management can export the results of any Gantt chart to Excel or other programs for easy accessibility. Creating a graph in Excel is all you need to share progress with a range of stakeholders on how the team is moving forward on key indicators. If project managers have been attentive to milestones and flexible about adjusting plans as necessary, they're more likely to have positive results to report.
Creating Gantt Charts in Wrike
Here in Wrike, Gantt charts are built into our project management software. We call it the interactive Timeline, as it allows anyone to easily adjust schedules and tasks when delays occur. Find out more about building Gantt chart templates in Wrike.