Tame complex projects with a Gantt chart
Some projects are too complex for a simple to-do list. When your team has multiple or overlapping tasks, a Gantt chart with Post-it® Dry Erase Surface and Post-it® Super Sticky Notes can help everyone see deliverables and deadlines at a glance.
Rallying a new team together around a project can be hard work. And if that project is complicated, you have a recipe for disorganization and low morale. To channel your team toward a common goal, consider using Gantt charts.
The first Gantt chart was developed in the mid 1880s by Karol Adamiecki, a Polish engineer. Some 15 years later, American engineer Henry Gantt created his own version of the chart, which became widely known. Gantt’s name therefore became associated with charts of this type.
The Gantt method is great for managing projects with lots of dependent tasks that can only begin when another ends. By showing the progress of every team member’s tasks in a central location, Gantt charts inspire a sense of camaraderie and a shared drive toward success.
- Using a large writing surface like Post-it® Dry Erase Surface, list the project’s objectives and associated tasks on the left hand side of your chart, as shown in the diagram.
- Along the top of the chart, draw a suitable time scale — months or years for a larger project, days or weeks for smaller jobs. Keep in mind that each note will represent one unit of time. Short on space? Build your Gantt chart using smaller notes and Post-it® Super Sticky Easel Pad sheets.
- The total amount of time needed to complete a task is represented by a bar (or line of notes). So if each note equals one week, and a task will take five weeks, the bar will be five notes long. The position of the bar shows the task’s start and end dates. You can color code tasks by team member, project phase, business unit or whatever filter works best for you.
Gantt charts aren’t just great for project tracking. They also help teams:
- See how short-term tasks relate to each other and to big-picture project goals.
- Display tasks in a “real time” context for better scheduling and more productive teamwork.
- Quickly pinpoint gaps or misordering in the task sequence.
When your team’s goals are front and center, they’re far more likely to accomplish them. Write out tasks on a Gantt chart and your team will be well on the way to achieving success, no matter how complex the project.