Gantt charts are helpful for quality improvement projects because they establish a graphical time line of various activities and their start and finish dates. They can keep your projects organized and completed on time.
They’re especially helpful early on in the planning stages because they force you to identify the major steps of the project and estimate the time you and your team will need to complete all the steps. They can help you answer the following questions:
- What activities must we do?
- In what order must we do these activities?
- How long should these activities take?
- How long did these activities take?
- What is the time status of the project?
I’m a bride-to-be, and I only wish I had known about Gantt charts earlier! I'm officially tying the knot this August 13th, and most of my planning is already complete. One thing I have learned along the way is that wedding planning can be very easy if you’re using effective project management techniques. So for all you prospective brides-to-be: Gantt charts are a sure-fire way to keep you organized and from turning into a Bridezilla!
Use Companion by Minitab’s Gantt chart form to easily enter the activities you need to accomplish, their start and end dates, and the progress of your activities:
There’s also a space to add footnotes if you have extra information you want to accompany each task.
Milestones, like the project end date can be added as well. In this case, use your wedding date:
As you enter your information into the activities and milestones charts, the Gantt chart automatically updates with your new information, creating a graphical representation of your tasks, the current progress of each task, and how close each task is to your project end date.
While Gantt charts might be most helpful at the beginning of your project, they also come in handy as your project progresses—allowing you to quickly identify bottlenecks that can delay your project. You can also create individual Gantt charts for tasks that have become more complex and involve multiple steps.
It’s good advice to keep modifying your Gantt chart as your project progresses. Planning the entire project at the beginning and not adapting to changes that happen along the way (such as a budget change or developing a new gage) will keep your chart from reflecting reality.
What kinds of projects have you used Gantt charts to help manage?
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