1.Create a Smart Task List
Before you add anything else to your gantt chart, you need to start by creating a list of all the tasks that will be involved in your project. Donâ€™t leave anything out! This may also include breaking up larger tasks into smaller phases, which will make it easier to track their progress. For example, if part of your project involves filming a TV commercial, this large task should be broken down into individual steps, such as completing a script, hiring actors, filming the commercial, editing the content, and figuring out distribution.
When making this task list, be sure to prioritize the list by what needs to be completed first. Then, simply add your tasks to the appropriate column in you gantt chart template!
2. Make a Project Timeline
Without a clear timeline of when certain tasks need to be completed, many projects flounderâ€”and this is equally true when using a gantt chart template. After youâ€™ve created your list of tasks, the next step is to add start and finish dates for each task in your project. In the likely event that youâ€™ve been given a firm deadline for the complete project, it can be helpful to work your way backwards from the target date to determine when you need to start working on each individual task.
3. Determine Duration
As part of creating your project timeline, it is important to consider how much time will realistically be needed to complete each task. Gantt charts will use the start and end dates you input into the template to give you a clear view at how many days you are allocating to each task, which can make it easier to adjust your timeline if necessary.
For example, while it would be really great to be able to conduct all interviews with potential actors for your commercial in only two days, for many projects, that isnâ€™t always feasible. Taking a close look at the duration youâ€™ve allowed for each task will help you set more realistic start and end dates so you can finish your project in a timely and effective manner.
While inputting the above information can be of great assistance as you plan your project, if you fail to customize your gantt chart template, project management may be more difficult than expected.
Thankfully, your customization options are fairly straightforward. By adding appropriate titles to your gantt chart and adjusting fonts and task bar widths, your gantt chart template will be easier to navigate and better suited for presentations and reports.
5. Visual Management
A few key visual adjustments will make it easier for you to manage and track your project over time. For example, adjusting which dates are displayed in your chart can remove unnecessary white space for simpler reporting. Using different colours to visually categorize your project tasks can also make it easier to stay organized as you manage your progress.
By implementing the above tips as you plan your project using a gantt chart template, youâ€™ll be better equipped to effectively manage your teamâ€™s efforts and get superior results!