To understand the benefits of using Gantt charts for project management, first, we have to understand what project management in today’s business scenario is all about. As per lay man’s term, project management can be defined as the procedure to manage cost, time and resources in an optimal effective way. To explain it more clearly, it would be sufficient to say that project management is the proper use of time to finish a given project while delivering the best possible quality. It is a skill set which demands the optimal use of improved stakeholder management, best possible use of available resources, and attention to overall cost-effectiveness.
In the current times, businesses have come out of the simple structures and to compete in the global arena, are becoming more and more complex. More people, more machinery, more projects add up to more complexities. Thus, in the present era, project management has become a complicated job. There are multiple facets which have to be looked after to skillfully finish and deliver a project, thus making a business sustainable. In the value chain, project management has moved up, which now involves dynamic customer engagement as also strategic management of the different aspects of workforce administration. Though the fundamental principles are the same which comprises of defining the purpose of the project, delegating the crucial roles and responsibilities, defining the scope of the project, resource management, and planning, managing the cost and setting a budget, looking into variable risk factors, customer change requests, and other miscellaneous issues.
Therefore, schedules, timeline, costing, are all part of the planning that goes into managing a project. Now, just imagine, if there is a chart that can be used as an effective tool to manage all the aspects involved in a particular project. There is such a project timeline tool that is very popular and has been in use for quite some time now –known as Gantt charts for project management. This chart acts as a visual map of all the different project activities and their interconnection. The tasks or activities of a project are depicted as bars that have a start date as well as an end date. The duration that is expected for a task to get completed is represented in the length of the bar. Multiple bars, in this way, forms bar charts that depict the breakdown of a work structure as per the decided timeline. Therefore, if anyone involved in the project wants a clear view of the stages of progress, he or she can refer to this Gantt chart. Management of arms production during World War1 is a good Gantt chart example.
As already explained, the benefits of using Gantt charts in project management cannot be stressed more given the complicated business needs of the contemporary era. The progress of a live project can be visualized, identified and managed without consulting all the different people involved in the different sections of the project. The importance of a Gantt chart can be more clearly defined as we look into its usage:
- Breakdown of a project structure.
- The timeline is distinct.
- It mentions the dependencies.
- It depicts the progress of a project.
- The assigned resources are mentioned.
- The breakdown of the project budget is readily available.
- The schedule can be checked
- Task priority, as well as the planned completion time, is visible.
Hence people who have undergone a project management course are in high demand because they are more capable of delivering quality projects within the set timeline.
With all of the above-mentioned factors visible in a chart, we can make out the immense usefulness of the Gantt charts in project management. No matter how complicated a project might be, this chart makes it easy to understand and follow. The dates are mentioned so that there are no confusions regarding the same. As a result of this, there are no possibilities of confusion even if people handling the project are scattered around and not in one location. Time can be managed efficiently and hence unnecessary costs can be curtailed. The efficiency of each member is ensured because everyone is accountable. This chart makes sure that a project is smoothly completed without any man-made hiccups holding up the progress rate. The importance of Gantt charts has become so intrinsic that any valued project management certification program is incomplete without the study and implementation of the same.
Businesses of all forms have benefitted from the use of Gantt charts. Whether a project is midsized or a big one, the clarity provided by this visual chart is unparalleled. Understanding amongst all the different ranks about the progress of a project is seamlessly ensured by the usage of this chart. This leads to superior time management as well as better coordination and cooperation amongst the different workers and departments. It is, therefore, the most practical tool for managing a project from start to finish.
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