Whether you’re in the first steps of launching a startup or you manage a successful business and have a new idea for expanding, a well-thought-out business plan is important. In fact, simply writing a business plan can increase your chances of success by more than 15%. Creating a Gantt chart for business plan purposes makes it easier for you to visualize the steps required to turn your idea into a reality.
In this article, we’ll look at what a Gantt chart is and how you can use it to plan for your business. We’ll also provide some tips for using monday.com as a business planning and management tool and suggest some templates you can use to bring team members or your own ideas together for increased success.
What is a Gantt chart?
A Gantt chart is a horizontal bar chart that provides a visual representation of tasks across planned time periods.
Gantt chart tools are traditionally used to help team members manage project schedules, but you can customize them to help manage any series of tasks you need to accomplish over a set period of time.
Can you use a Gantt chart for business planning?
Yes, you can use a Gantt chart for business planning purposes, whether you’re working on project plans for an existing business or want a way to better manage tasks when launching a startup. Here are some ways you can use Gantt chart software for business planning:
- Create an action plan for a business launch: Gantt chart templates let you turn the narrative format of an actual business plan into a visual action plan, with start and end dates, milestones, and dependencies that help you know what you need to do first to start working on your business dream.
- Plan for a specific business-related project: At any phase of your business, you can create Gantt charts to manage project tasks that help you work toward success. For example, you might want to open a new location. Customize your Gantt charts to lay out the task list for getting that done, so you can stay organized along the way.
- Create a work breakdown structure for a specific department’s efforts: Established businesses can use project management tools, such as Gantt charts, to manage time-dependent efforts for specific departments. For example, your human resource department may need to scale up hiring efforts each holiday season. A Gantt chart can help the team design and work through a process seamlessly to do that.
You can use a project Gantt chart for a variety of business plan and management purposes, but should you? Digging into the benefits of Gantt charts for business planning can help you make a good choice for your situation.
Benefits of a Gantt chart for business planning
Some benefits of a Gantt chart for business planning include:
- Ability to view the big picture: When you can visualize the overall picture of your business plan, you can avoid getting bogged down in the minutia. You can also make proactive decisions that are best for your business goals.
- Better tracking of tasks: Gantt charts help you keep track of tasks in real-time, ensuring you or your team can work through the right assignments quickly.
- Understanding dependencies and overlapping work: Laying out all the necessary tasks on a Gantt chart lets you see where tasks are dependent on others — which means you have to complete one task before moving to another. It also helps you understand when teams can tackle tasks simultaneously, so they can get more done.
- Increased knowledge of where to delegate: If you see tasks that can run simultaneously, you know you can’t do both yourself. This can be a clue that it’s time to delegate some work to others.
- Improved reliance on realistic timelines: Gantt charts force you to apply start and end dates to the entire project or effort, as well as all tasks that are part of it. Forcing you to think about how long each task might take helps ensure you understand how long the overall process might take.
monday.com’s robust Work OS includes Gantt chart templates and tools and plenty of project management functions.
monday.com Gantt chart and other features for business planning
Whether you’re collaborating on a business plan document with others, are ready to market your business idea on social media, or want to integrate other software to manage business processes, monday.com can help. Here are some monday.com features you might use for business planning and management:
- monday workdocs: Draft and co-edit documents in real-time, and discuss changes via comments with team members.
- Automations: Save time and avoid unnecessary meetings with automations that help drive seamless handoffs and ensure tasks never get lost in the shuffle.
- Files: Keep all your files in one location to make it easy for teams to reference policies, brainstorming notes, and other information as they implement a business plan.
- Integrations: Keep your favorite tools and leverage them on monday; our integrations work with tools, such as Dropbox, Slack, Microsoft Teams, Outlook, Google, Excel, and Zoom.
We’ve also got plenty of tools designed to help you specifically work on business plans. That includes a number of templates that take the questions out of business planning processes.
Here are just a few free templates available for use on monday.com that help you plan and manage business efforts.
- Simple Business Plan Template: Start with our Simple Business Plan Template if you’re working with a team to launch a new startup or service line. Our board-based approach lets you collaborate with others easily as you define vision and goals, customer needs, market size and scope, and all the other must-knows for business success.
- One-Page Business Plan Template: Quickly collaborate or capture your own ideas on our One-Page Business Plan Template. This simple template is customizable, and you can use it to document plans for each business idea and then ask for feedback or compare your options before choosing one to act on.
Still not sure if a Gantt chart is right for your business planning needs? We’ve got a couple of FAQ answers that might help.
FAQs about Gantt charts
What three things are included in a Gantt chart?
Gantt charts are made of a variety of elements, but the three main items you’ll find on any Gantt chart are:
- The overall timeline, which shows when a project or effort starts and ends
- Tasks, which show up on the horizontal bars of the chart
- Dependencies, which indicate which tasks are required before other tasks can begin
How do you create a Gantt chart in Excel?
You can download a Gantt chart template from Microsoft that helps you create a Gantt chart in Excel. You can also set up your own by creating a horizontal axis that acts as a dated timeline and including color-coded tasks in cells on each row.
What makes a good Gantt chart?
A good Gantt chart requires a specific project or effort that can be tracked over time. The time period should be short enough that you can successfully capture it in a visual, and the project should have enough tasks to track to support the effort of making a Gantt chart to begin with.
Powerup business plan actions with a monday.com
Whether you want to collaborate on a Gantt chart for a business plan or automate activities to ensure the right people get things done, monday.com’s powerful Work OS can help.
Get started today with drag-and-drop capabilities that make it super easy to build a business plan, Gantt chart, and many other process tools. Then communicate in real-time over the life of your project or effort to ensure seamless collaboration and success.