Why do We Keep Using Gantt Charts

Why do We Keep Using Gantt Charts

Written by

Thursday, 06 April 2017 11:33

Just as the sand in an hourglass, time is continuously flowing in one direction and that direction cannot be reversed.
We struggle to be on-time and we have to cope with an ever-increasing amount of activities, finding ourselves to juggle multiple things at a time.
We need something to bring clarity into this otherwise messy process...


The Need for Clarity

While working on a Construction Project (or any other kind of large and complex Project) Clarity is something that should always be prioritised.
Considering many activities to be performed and the large number of resources involved, knowing the direction where to go, the sequence to follow and the exact point where we are currently at, is a very valuable asset.

Bringing clarity on the workplace (and on-site) should be one of the most pressing desires of every good Project Manager. In fact, as the one person who is running the show, you want to have everyone on the same page and moving at the same speed.
You want everyone to be aware of what is coming next and aware of the steps to follow to make it happen.
You also want everyone to be aware of all the rules that shall be followed on your show.

In order to get that, you have to play the part of the Conductor and sometimes this means you have to raise your voice and point out where is that your resources are falling behind or could perform better.

As a Conductor, you must know the music by heart, better than your players. You must know what's coming next and for this, you must have a clear plan and you must keep reminding the music to all your players.

That very plan is the Gant Chart.


Success is in the Planning

They say we should spend more time listening and less time talking, more time thinking and less time doing.
That is exactly true when working on a Construction Project.

Listening to feedback shall be a priority (and a good habit) as it can bring useful insights on what's going on on-site, on Clients and Stakeholders' concerns, on other external factors that have not been taken into account so far. Listening (good communication skills/habits) can play a big part in preventing "disasters" from happening.
Talking shall be kept to a minimum and only to give clear instructions or to clarify something.

However, most of your productive time shall go in thinking.
In this article on planning, we went through the most important phases of planning... and they all are direct products of a deep thinking process:

  • Defining Work Tasks
  • Defining Precedence Relationships Among Tasks
  • Estimating Resource Requirements
  • Estimating Task Durations
  • Execute and Track the Progress

 

As a matter of fact, these phases are the basic ingredients you need to build a Gantt Chart.
They all are independent variables and they all are necessary to guarantee the good execution (success) of your Project.

A Gantt Chart is then that one-and-only tool that is capable of representing on a time scale ALL the ingredients necessary to cook a perfect Project.


Investing Time to Save Time

Many are overwhelmed by the quantity of information necessary to set up a Gantt Chart... and so they either never start one or they do it in a very sloppy way.
Others spend time in collecting information, making estimates and manage to come to some degree of accuracy... but then totally fall off the wagon on the execution and progress-tracking part.

Yes, estimating and collecting all the variables required to fill up a Gantt chart correctly can be very time-consuming but the amount of time it can save during the implementation of the Project is of far higher magnitude.
If you are overwhelmed or confused by estimating time and resources, perhaps you should read a bit more about that. Here is a short and straight-to-the-point article on how to set up your Gantt Charts with realistic time estimates. Read it and try these tips... they work wonders!


Finally, the Gantt Sofware

Finding a good Gantt Chart Software can be challenging. Many of them offer just basic features, others are just too complicated to use, some do not have Teamworking capabilities... so it might take a while just to get started with Gantt.
A few weeks back we wrote an article about the selection of the right Gantt Chart application, so if you haven't made your choice yet, you should have a look at it.

Other than, Gantt Charts are an awesome and unique tool that we cannot replace with anything else. Make sure you become friend with your Gantt Chart Software and everything will be just fine!!! 


 

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Published in Masterplan/


Read 323 times Last modified on Tuesday, 11 April 2017 05:35

Andrea Bronzini

Brilliant and committed professional.
Andrea has been working in construction industry since 2004 and he was certified as Passivhaus Consultant in 2010.
Among other skills, Andrea specialises in Sales and Marketing and collaborates with Leansite in quality of Marketing Consultant.

Website: andreabronzini.com