4 rules for Gantt charts every manager needs to know
We haven’t always been what you would call “pro-Gantt chart”. The concept took some warming up to for a lot of us here at monday.com.
Because traditionally, Gantt charts have been used for large-scale industrial projects. And most modern managers are also managing people. But after adding our Timeline View, which is a Gantt-like way to view your project timelines, it quickly became a popular feature. That’s why we’ve put together four guiding principles so you can leverage Gantt charts to manage your projects smoothly and your team successfully.
1. Remember that people are adaptable so you should be too
Making big plans is a must for successful long-term projects, but it’s important to remember that people are unpredictable. They can get sick or have conflicting priorities which shift deadlines and deliverables. In many traditional Gantt charts, such unexpected changes can throw off a slew of project dependencies, but as long as your Gantt chart system is flexible, you can lay out all of your project and team plans easily and adjust as you need.
2. If it’s not pretty, people won’t use it
There is a reason Gantt charts rose in popularity the way they did— most people understand concepts and plans best through visuals. The Gantt chart was considered revolutionary when it was first created by mechanical engineer Henry Gantt in the 1910s to assist in building the Hoover Dam. It rose in popularity because of its ability to help people visualize when a project begins and ends, and the larger scope of long-term projects. In summary? Visual deadlines—good. Simple UI—good. Successfully building the Hoover Dam—good. But no matter how functional something is, when you’re managing a team and the success of the system depends on people’s adoption, if it’s not nice to use it’s not going to work.
3. Gantt charts should work for you, not the other way around
If you currently manage your team with Gantt charts and you feel like half of your work is maintaining your systems so everyone is on the same page, you are not alone. That’s why every Gantt system needs to have automations in place that can take some of the tedious work off of you and your team’s plate. Let’s say your team is working on a project that involves multiple dependent projects, across teams, and your approval is needed intermittently throughout the process. Keeping eyes on all of those processes to ensure you don’t become the bottleneck can be a full-time job. But if your Gantt chart lives within the Work OS that your team is using for all of its other workflows, you can easily set up reminders and automations to make project pass off as smooth as possible.
4. Workload should be managed in parallel
We already mentioned that Gantt charts were originally used for industrial projects, but there are ways to incorporate resource management to make sure you are distributing work evenly across your team. With a visual and flexible workload functionality, it’s easy to shift and reassign work while abiding by your long-term project goals.
Now that you are equipped with these 4 guiding principles on managing projects and teams with Gantt charts, you continue planning with long-term goals and easy flexibility.