Any team, be it a small start-up or a huge multinational corporation needs a handy solution to arrange daily routine activities. This arrangement process is called project management. Project management software may represent a succinct web or desktop application, or it may be an extended online platform that includes not only project management functionality but also opportunities for cooperation with other colleagues, sharing the progress results, tracking time and resources, and so on.
Any project management tool performs basic functionality, that covers the following tasks:
- allocation of resources among team members
- assigning tasks for employees
- tracking tasks performance
- time management
- team motivation
- flexibility of the processes
All of the above-mentioned functionality is present in Gantt charts. Further in the article, we will demonstrate what is good about Gantt charts and provide some examples of worthy modern tools. So, stay focused.
A short historical outline
The first Gantt chart, similar to the one existing today, appeared in 1896. It was invented by a Polish engineer, economist, and professor Karol Adamiecki. However, the tool was described in the Polish language, so the name of the inventor sank into oblivion. Later, an American mechanical engineer and management consultant Henry Gantt created a similar chart. It happened somewhere near 1910. Being able to describe his idea in English, Mr. Gantt provided developers with a tool bearing his name. The Gantt chart of 1910 was written on paper, and the lines showing tasks were added manually. Today, modern Gantt charts look sophisticated and are capable of performing various functions. However, the original aim of the chart which lies in monitoring employees’ working time, has remained unchanged.
Advantages of Gantt charts
A typical Gantt chart usually includes a list of tasks or team members on the left, a timeline at the top, and colored horizontal bars in the center. The bars indicate the planned duration of tasks and activities. Current progress on each task is illustrated with different colors. Arrows that connect bars show the tasks’ dependencies. One more typical function is indicating milestones on the bars, i.e. the most important stages of the project. Besides, in some solutions team members can leave comments or add files to the chart. Various other possibilities can also be provided. The mentioned functionality leads to the following benefits for the project:
- The team sees the progress. Visual support is always good. And there is that feeling when you cross off the point from the to-do list. Different view modes often allow the team to see the tasks for a day, a week, a month, and to rationally allocate their efforts.
- The resources are allocated efficiently. Gantt charts facilitate the work of the managers. They can see who of the team is fully loaded with tasks and who is ready to help.
- The project is transparent for everyone. It is easy to connect the tasks and to form their dependencies, to understand what is going to happen next. On the contrary, tasks can be split if a more urgent issue appears. The critical path shows the most important steps of the project.
- There is a clear understanding of the future project goals. When you see the path the team is following, it is easier to foresee the map for the long-term period.
Popular Gantt charts
Webix Gantt Chart is a complex widget from the Webix UI library. The widget is ready for both integration and independent usage. It allows viewing, editing, and creating tasks. The critical path is shown, the milestones can be marked. Resources can be loaded, assigned, and visually rendered on the diagram. All the widgets of the library are integrated with React and Angular.
This is a solution for cross-browser and cross-platform applications. The tasks can be grouped by resources. The solution supports Primavera, Excel, iCal, and PDF/PNG formats. The function of auto-scheduling, as well as drag-n-drop, and full customization are included.
This is another fast and customizable solution that can be integrated with React, Angular, and Vue. There are 5 available themes of the app. The function of creating constraints for the tasks’ performance is included. The scheduling engine of the chart allows users to see how a change in task deadlines affects other related tasks, which is very convenient for the planning process.
This is an online Gantt solution. This project offers managing resources opportunities and estimation of the project costs. Also, the functionality of sending notifications and setting milestones is included. Sharing and downloading data is also possible.
This is a simple solution from Infragistics. The chart is very flexible, it can easily be customized and extended. The tasks are set according to the requirements.
We move on with huge online platforms. Besides the basic functionality, this project allows users to see the workload of the whole company and several teams. Every team member can customize their schedule according to days off and vacation.
For small and personal projects this platform offers a free plan. The view modes include a Gantt chart, kanban board, and a calendar view. Drag-n-drop is also available. The platform is user-friendly for remote teams.
This is a free solution for the developers offered by Google. It is simple, it includes all the necessary features and it is a perfect tool to explore the possibilities of a Gantt chart.
There are significant benefits of using Gantt charts in any project. This tool brings a friendly atmosphere to the team and helps to cope with the tasks faster and more efficiently. Besides, Gantt charts can facilitate the working processes of both small and big teams. The list of the solutions we provided in this article, consists of the modern popular solutions, that can increase the performance and contribute to the success of the development process.