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Top Ten Benefits of a Gantt Chart

written by: Joe Taylor Jr. • edited by: Michele McDonough • updated: 6/30/2013

While they might have become popular as a visual representation of timed tasks, Gantt charts offer ten specific benefits for savvy project managers and their teams.

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    Gantt Chart Benefits

    1. Clarity

    One of the biggest benefits of a Gantt chart is the tool's ability to boil down multiple tasks and timelines into a single document. Stakeholders throughout an organization can easily understand where teams are in a process while grasping the ways in which independent elements come together toward project completion.

    2. Communication

    Teams can use Gantt charts to replace meetings and enhance other status updates. Simply clarifying chart positions offers an easy, visual method to help team members understand task progress.

    3. Motivation

    Some teams or team members become more effective when faced with a form of external motivation. Gantt charts offer teams the ability to focus work at the front of a task timeline, or at the tail end of a chart segment. Both types of team members can find Gantt charts meaningful as they plug their own work habits into the overall project schedule.

    4. Coordination

    Sample Gantt Chart in Excel For project managers and resource schedulers, the benefits of a Gantt chart include the ability to sequence events and reduce the potential for overburdening team members. Some project managers even use combinations of charts to break down projects into more manageable sets of tasks.

    5. Creativity

    Sometimes, a lack of time or resources forces project managers and teams to find creative solutions. Seeing how individual tasks intertwine on Gantt charts often encourages new partnerships and collaborations that might not have evolved under traditional task assignment systems.

    6. Time Management

    Most managers regard scheduling as one of the major benefits of Gantt charts in a creative environment. Helping teams understand the overall impact of project delays can foster stronger collaboration while encouraging better task organization.

    7. Flexibility

    Whether you use Excel to generate Gantt charts or you load tasks into a more precise chart generator, the ability to issue new charts as your project evolves lets you react to unexpected changes in project scope or timeline. While revising your project schedule too frequently can eliminate some of the other benefits of Gantt charts, offering a realistic view of a project can help team members recover from setbacks or adjust to other changes.

    8. Manageability

    For project managers handling complex assignments, like software publishing or event planning, the benefits of Gantt charts include externalizing assignments. By visualizing all of the pieces of a project puzzle, managers can make more focused, effective decisions about resources and timetables.

    9. Efficiency

    Another one of the benefits of Gantt charts is the ability for teams members to leverage each other’s deadlines for maximum efficiency. For instance, while one team member waits on the outcome of three other tasks before starting a crucial piece of the assignment, he or she can perform other project tasks. Visualizing resource usage during projects allows managers to make better use of people, places, and things.

    10. Accountability

    When project teams face major organizational change, documenting effort and outcomes becomes crucial to career success. Using Gantt charts during critical projects allows both project managers and participants to track team progress, highlighting both big wins and major failures. During professional review periods, team members who frequently exceed expectations can leverage this documentation into larger raises or bonuses.

    For specific examples and resources related to how to create a Gantt chart, please see Gantt Chart Examples and Tutorials.

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