Gantt Chart Software
GANTT CHART SOFTWARE
Worth A Thousand Words!
Gantt chart software uses the computer to produce a horizontal bar graph. Easy to read, and essential for scheduling tasks, resources, operations, processes...
Of course, this software can also be produced with a paper and pencil [known in today's technical world as a matrix device and pointing tool...], but what a pain in the neck when you have to make changes to consider all the what-if scenarios that your stakeholders will want to explore! [Anyway, we don't think anyone has come up with a new technical name yet for the erasers that you will use in great quantity...]
For history aficionados, we note that a Gantt chart is named after Henry Gantt, who developed this graphical presentation technique in the early 19th century.
Here's a sample, produced by our favorite software...
Generally, the tasks, resources, individual operations, job processes or whatever else you want to schedule are listed down the left side of a chart.
Time periods are shown horizontally across the top. They might be in days, weeks, months or even years - whatever is appropriate for your project.
For each task [or operation, resource, process], the software marks the duration by showing a line from beginning to end of the time period.
Benefits of Gantt Chart Software
- Speed - to make changes
- Flexibility - to look at alternatives
- Track many projects, each with many tasks
- Communication - print reports or send software file to stakeholders or post results on web site
Features to Look for in Gantt Chart Software
- One click dragging to mark duration
- Drag and drop jobs
- Flexibility to add and delete tasks, and capability to outline on several levels in order to group and prioritize tasks
- Resize rows and columns with the mouse
- Zoom in and out
- Jump to other displays and master tables
- Customize the text font and color schemes
- Highlight items that are behind schedule
- Display lines to show how one task is dependent on another [e.g. task 2 cannot start until task 1 is completed]
Gantt Chart Software - A Warning About Features
Generally, the more features a gantt chart software product has, the more it costs and the more complex it is to learn and to use.
As with most any purchase, make sure you really need the features before you buy them. We have seen far to many cases where the buyers don't plan carefully and realistically for what they really need...
...so they buy too much capability...
...and get overwhelmed. Result?
They don't use the product, and have wasted time and money and frustration to get exactly nowhere!
Want our rundown on three gantt software products? We have used two extensively and have written a review about them. The third is one we have not used ourselves, but looks like it would be great for companies in the process or production fields where resources and processes are so interdependent.
Click on the heading above, read our comparison, and save yourself a lot of grief!
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