Visit the website on project management below. Click on and read several of the articles in the series “Using Gantt Charts.”
Prepare a 1,400 to 1,750 word paper in which you describe a project you believe would be better managed through the use of a Gantt chart.
- Explain the benefits of using a Gantt chart.
- Explore the advantages and disadvantages that your project would experience by being managed through use of a Gantt chart.
- Describe the result you would expect from using a Gantt chart for the project in question.
Introduction to Gantt charts
The initial chart that evolved to Gantt chart was developed by a polish engineer, Karol Adamiecki in 1890s. Henry Gantt was an American engineer who developed his own version of the chart produced by Karol Adamiecki and it got the name of Gantt chart (“What is a Gantt Chart?”, 2010).
In the modern world, there are many software applications that can be used to design and develop a Gantt chart for planning activities. In my opinion, the most powerful application that can be used to develop a Gant chart is MS Project. This application can help plan different project activities and convert them into a Gantt chart really easily.
The purpose of this assignment is to shed some light on the use of a Gantt chart in accordance with the activities of a project. Therefore, I would like to discuss the project of construction of a housing scheme for the employees of any organization. Gantt chart would be helpful in planning the project and allocation of different duties to different people during the construction of the housing scheme and the allocation of houses to the employees of the department. The following is a detailed account of the use of Gantt chart, its advantages and disadvantages and the expected results.
Benefits of Gantt charts in the construction project
I think that Gantt chart would prove to be really helpful in defining different activities in the construction project. For example it will be helpful in placing the following activities on their appropriate places in respect to the number at which each activity might occur. Also there are some activities that may be occurring simultaneously. Gantt chart will also specify these activities in the right place, in relation to each other. Following are some of the activities that would be a part of the housing scheme project.
- Leveling the land
- Digging the foundations
- Construction of walls
- Putting up the roof
- Electric wiring
- Plumbing works
- Painting the houses
- Setting up the sidewalks
- Building roads
- Power supply
- Electricity supply
- Gas supply
Apart from the above activities, there would definitely be more activities. So what can Gantt chart do with these activities? or what would be the benefits of utilizing the Gantt chart?
Gantt chart can be helpful in planning and implementation of the above activities in the following ways.
- Gantt chart would be used to place activities on their appropriate places. I mean there has to be a specific position of the activities. For example, Gas supply cannot be given to the homes unless they are constructed.
- Gant chart would add clarity to the duties of different teams who will be part of the overall projects. There are people who would be doing cement work, others will perform plumbing duties, electricians would have their own duties and so on. The project manager would not want all of them to arrive to the project site on the same exact day. Instead he would want them to be there when it is time for their activity.
- Different teams involved with different tasks would be able to look at the Gant chart and know about the time that is allocated to their activities. This way, it would be possible to plan their activities and manage their time. So Gantt chart can be a source of time management for the project team/teams.
- The project manager would also feel in control of the project as he would himself be clear about the progress of the progress and hence allocate more human resource and technical resource where needed. He/she would be able to assess the performance of different employees who are the part of the project. This assessment can be used as a future reference in making employees a part of future projects.
- The manager would also be able to effectively communicate with different team members about their responsibilities and when their services are required. Gantt chart would add clarity to the project activities. For example the project manager would not need to be confused about which team is required to be in action when a certain set of activities are reaching their ultimate end. So if the roof is put up, the project manager can get the electricians on to put up electric wires.
- Some activities might be happening side by side. For example plumbers and electricians might be able to world at the same time. Gantt chart has this facility available to put these activities side by side on the actual design of the chart.
There could be a lot more benefits that can be achieved with the proper utilization of the Gantt chart. That would be clear if I had the opportunity to practically work on Gantt charts and use them in the projects that I would be involved in the future.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Gantt Charts
In this section, I would like to talk about the specific advantages and disadvantages of Gantt charts for the project under discussion.
There are several advantages of using Gantt charts. Some of them are as follows.
Set realistic goals: during the proposed project or any other projects, when the flow of different activities is understood, the realistic picture becomes more evident and realistic goals for different milestones would be set.
Organize Activities: Different activities are organized in such a manner in a Gantt chart that they are clear to even those team members who do not possess any experience with Gantt charts. The beauty of the Gantt charts is that it puts the activities in a logical framework which is easy to understand by most of the people.
Create picture of complexity: The project activities that I earlier stated seem to be really easy to understand. But if each activity is broken down, the project would seem more complex and could go over the heads of the readers. But if a Gantt chart is used and all the activities and sub-activities, which could be in hundreds, are put into it, a picture of the complex situation would be created which would then not be so complex to comprehend.
There are some disadvantages of the Gantt charts which need to be understood before getting in trouble due to Gantt charts. Following are some of these disadvantages.
Added Complexity: breaking activities is a useful tool. But there are times when many sub-activities belonging to different parent activities may occur at the same time. The graphical representation of these activities in the form of Gantt chart may add to the complexity instead of minimizing the complexity.
More space than one paper sheet may be needed: The construction project that I have suggested earlier is going to have literally hundreds of activities. Putting them on one sheet of paper in the form of a Gantt chart would be a challenge. If they are put on one page, the zoom of the chart would need to be minimized which might affect the visibility of the Gantt chart.
Constant update: Gantt chart needs to be constantly updated when activities are completed. In the case of the project under discussion, there are hundreds of activities and the Gantt chart could literally require a lot updating. There are two downsides of the constant updating. First is that extra human resource may be required to keep track of the activities and keep the Gantt chart updating. The second downside is that Gantt chart may be required to be re-distributed to the concerned people after each update.
Again, there could be more disadvantages of using Gantt chart which would be clear to me once I have a practical experience with Gantt charts. I hope to learn the development of Gantt chart with the help of MS Project. But prior to that, I think that I need practical project experience as well.
Results that I would expect from Gantt chart in my project
I would expect Gantt charts to help the project team plan activities properly and execute these activities on time so that the project can be completed on time. I would also expect Gantt chart to help plan activities ahead of time as the big picture that I would get from developing a Gantt chart would make it clear if any other additional activities are required apart from the already planned activities. Gantt chart would definitely add productivity to the project. It would also help in motivating different team members to perform their duties effectively once they see other team members completing their duties on or before the deadlines.
What is a Gantt Chart? Gantt Chart Information, history and Software. (2010). Gantt.com. Retrieved 27 January 2017, from http://www.gantt.com/