Using a Gantt chart for a research project can give all stakeholders a better understanding of timelines and the resources needed for each task. When you detail all crucial tasks, project scheduling is easier and overwhelming tasks become more manageable. With all project activities neatly laid out within a timeline and every minor detail accounted for, a Gantt chart provides your team with the framework for successful project operations.
In this article, we’ll discuss a Gantt chart and how you can use it in a research project to maximize efficiency and promote greater transparency. We’ll also share how you can use monday.com’s project management Work OS to simplify any research project further.
What is a Gantt chart?
A Gantt chart is a bar chart popularized in the early 1900s by (and named after) Henry Gantt. It lets you establish a detailed project plan according to when you need each task completed. If done correctly, a Gantt chart creates a realistic time frame for a project by establishing a start date for the whole project and each task. Then, you can pair these start dates with an estimation of how long the task will take, broken down by days, weeks, or months.
What makes a Gantt chart unique is that it establishes dependency relationships between all relevant tasks, which can help you better understand necessary workflows. For example, let’s say you’re creating a research proposal. One of your tasks is to promote awareness and garner support for the proposal on social media. However, before you can do that, you need to create informational materials you can distribute and have the proposal outline ready for viewing. Since these necessities are clearly outlined in the Gantt chart, you can plan your project timeline accordingly.
By clearly highlighting dependency relationships between project tasks, a Gantt chart promotes greater transparency to all project stakeholders.
How can you use a Gantt for research projects?
Research projects are vast undertakings that require a lot of your time, effort, and brain power. Sometimes it’s easy to get sidetracked or confused about what comes next in your research or how you should put it together. A clear understanding of objectives and deadlines can help you organize even the most complex research project undertakings. Even better, a Gantt chart provides clear step-by-step instructions with dependency relationships marked to ensure every team member understands their responsibilities.A Gantt chart ensures all research project team members clearly understand objectives, deadlines, and task dependency relationships.
Best practices for planning and scheduling a research project
Understanding the best practices for planning and scheduling a research project can help you get the most out of your Gantt chart. A few best practices include:
- Have a clear goal: Before sitting down to plan your research project, ask yourself some crucial questions. What are you trying to achieve? Why are you trying to achieve it? When do you need to complete it?
- Use scheduling tools: Use task and resource scheduling tools when possible to reduce the risk of human error.
- Get the team involved: Gather your team together for a brainstorming session, if possible, when developing a list of tasks required to meet your final objective.
- Consider dependency relationships: Consider the dependency relationships between objectives carefully and be realistic about time frames. Ensuring your team has enough time to successfully and thoroughly complete each task from the beginning sets your research project up for success.
- Identify potential issues: Identify risks and potential roadblocks in your schedule and have a backup plan for each to ensure a steady workflow with minimal pushbacks.
- Consider resource requirements: Consider the resources necessary to complete each task. Remember to include work hours as resources and schedule each team member appropriately to achieve objectives in the desired time frame.
- Plan for reporting: Assign specific times, or interval periods, for progress reports and compare these with your initial estimations. If these reports show alterations are necessary, don’t be afraid to make changes.
- Identify KPIs: Before the research project begins, identify key performance metrics and track them as you go to define your success clearly. You may find using a relevant tool or platform the easiest way to track performance metrics.
Proper knowledge and skills are half the battle in a research project. Having the right tools can increase efficiency, decrease downtime, and ensure objective deadlines are not only met but exceeded.
Managing research projects on monday.com
monday.com’s robust project management Work OS makes managing research projects easier by:
- Centralizing projects from start to finish: Our Work OS lets you centralize all projects from conception to completion, with customizable dashboards that show you the information you deem most important. Quickly assess risks, bottlenecks, and roadblocks to keep your research project moving forward.
- Streamlining project workflows: Streamline workflows by automating routine tasks and assigning teammates to the work they’re most qualified for. Then, track individual and project-wide progress in real-time with regular task updates. Use color coding to make task management even more straightforward.
- Enabling communication across teams: Our Work OS promotes communication between project members and across different teams, so all stakeholders know where things stand at all times. You can share documents, leave notes, and work together in real-time for more effective communication that allows you to exceed every deadline and meet every objective.
A Gantt chart template pairs perfectly with monday.com’s project management. However, other templates can make other critical aspects of managing research projects easier.
A basic Gantt chart can help you plan your research project in detail. You can use other templates to fine-tune other essential aspects of your project.
Keyword power tools template
Our Keyword Power Tools Template uses a Gantt chart format to help you visualize project timelines and monitor each phase of your research projects from one platform. This template can help you make the most of man hours and materials by enabling a high level of project resource organization. Proper resource allocation is crucial to your project’s success and can significantly increase productivity, efficiency, and employee satisfaction. Getting team members the tools and resources they need equips them for success.
Publication and journals template
Our Publications and Journals Template is an excellent tool for content publishing companies. You can use our template to:
- Manage your publication process: Our template enables whole-process management from submission to approval. Easily track article status and monitor writer workload to ensure you meet publishing deadlines.
- Visualize your publishing pipeline: Customizable dashboards allow you to receive a high-level overview of all current and upcoming articles and where they stand.
- Track individual contributions: Ensure each writer meets minimum contributions and isn’t given too large a workload by tracking individual contributions. When authors receive enough work, they feel valued. When you ensure their workload isn’t too much, you can prevent staff burnout so they can continue performing at their best.
By now, you should have a working idea of Gantt charts and how they increase transparency and efficiency in project management. However, if you still have questions, we’ve answered a few FAQs below.
How do you create a dissertation in a Gantt chart?
To create a Gantt chart dissertation, you should first understand your timeline and deliverables. Once you’ve written these down, create detailed task lists of how you’ll accomplish each deliverable and consider dependency relationships between each. Finally, use the Gantt chart to outline your dissertation from start to finish.
What should be in a dissertation timeline?
In a dissertation timeline, you should include the following:
- Role assigning (if applicable)
- Research tasks
- Experiments, social or scientific (if applicable)
- Data collection and analysis
- First draft completion
- Submission to the advisor (first) and dean (at completion)
How do you create a Gantt chart in Word?
You can create a Gantt chart in Microsoft Word by:
- Opening a new Word document
- Change the document orientation from vertical to horizontal
- Insert a bar graph into your document
- Make format alterations as necessary to make the graph look like a Gantt chart
- Insert information and customize as necessary
Any team can increase transparency in their research projects with monday.com
Using a Gantt chart to create a detailed project timeline can help increase transparency and promote greater efficiency in your organization’s research projects. When you pair a Gantt chart with monday.com’s robust project management system, you have the tools you need to meet deadlines, complete objectives, and exceed expectations.