CMU School of Drama

Friday, April 14, 2017

6 Reasons to Use Gantt Chart

Project Management Software ZilicusPM: It is true that we are hearing a lot about agile project management, agile methodology of project delivery. But there are advantages Gantt chart has to offer for those follow traditional way of planning and delivering projects. Thousands of companies and millions of users use, refer Gantt chart to plan project schedule better, be more productive, provide better clarity of project delivery and improve communication.

9 comments:

Kelly Simons said...

I had never seen a Gantt chart in use before I came to CMU. At my undergrad we posted calendars show by show, there was not a lot of overlap in our season. However, I now love Gantt charts, they are so helpful in every way for understanding and catching conflicts before it is too late. I like the snippet from the article about Gannt chart fostering better co-ordination: “Among team members and stakeholders In order to deliver things as per the timeline outlined in the Gantt chart, project team members can coordinate among themselves. This is true, especially in case of inter-dependent tasks. Even the escalation can be highlighted, at right time, looking at the delivery timeline using Gantt chart.” This sums up my feelings exactly about Gantt charts. I can honestly think of no better way to communicate every single department’s conflicts and how each one of them relate to one another. In theatre, communication is absolutely essential.

Julian Goldman said...

I do really like gantt charts, mostly because I think they are a very clear way of representing what needs to happen, when it needs to happen, and what the contingencies are. However, what I think is really interesting is the way that the tools/ paperwork we use can influence the way we look at projects. I actually think I’ve thought about projects differently ever since I learned about gantt charts, because I started thinking of them sort of as a gantt chart in my head. To be fair, I think this was at the same time as the Critical Path project, which fundamentally changed the way I look at organizing a project, but even so, I think thinking about a given project as a gantt chart (as opposed to a task list or a calendar with due dates) forces you to put more thought into the way that time frames of sub tasks need to connect/ overlap.

John Yoerger said...

I don't know if I would necessarily call Gantt charts "easy to understand" because there are plenty of stupid people in the world that you have to endlessly explain things to. I do really like them because they have a "timeline" approach to a project, while also showing objectives and prerequisites for each objective. In terms of "mapping out a project" it really does provide a detailed overview of each step. I do really agree that it is an effective tool in allowing for team members to plan their own tasks and see many of the beneficial points in being able to look ahead at a project and not just on your own individual tasks that have been assigned to you. I do also like the idea of team members being able to see each other's tasks so they can coordinate without directly involving the manager as this certainly allows for a higher level of efficiency. Not being able to bug a busy manager is definitely a huge plus.

Lauren Miller said...

I actually use a gantt chart for my semester schedule. When we all get our syllabuses I input all the assignments and due dates into one master chart (it resembles the school production calendar) and use that to determine priority when doing homework. The unlisted benefit of this system is the ability to guilt-trip yourself about not starting projects on time. For example, I have a nine page research paper due Tuesday morning that I will probably be writing Sunday or Monday night. The way I structure my schedule I can very clearly see that I had planned to have started this essay four weeks ago. Thus, tomorrow night (let’s be honest) when I’m writing like a storm after not sleeping for two nights due to other assignments I have procrastinated on and I have no one to blame for my sleep deprivation but myself. It also helps keep all my school-related tasks in order. If anyone who is interested in this calendar method of self-shaming (and objectively superior organizational structure) just e-mail me and I’ll send it to you.

Vanessa Ramon said...

At first glance, there are many advantages to using a Gantt chart. Many things I like about the chart is the fact that it is basically a timeline of tasks that have to get done and it is visually easy to read what needs to happen when and in what order the project should be completed.For these reasons and more I am not surprised that many companies really like this chart as a visual way of ensuring accountability and collaboration.Its cool how, as the article mentions, today there is new Gantt chart technology that allows multiple people to be a part of making this chart. That sounds cool to me, but it also sounds like that could get crazy or hard to read and update. One of the main reasons people like it as mentioned by the article is the fact that it gives people cleat access to the deadlines of the project, That is something that I hadn't thought of but it also beneficial to large companies.

William N. Lowe said...

My mother is a project manager for a software company, and has been my entire life. Because of this, I began learning Microsoft office at age 5, but mainly only the core three programs. In high school I ventured into OneNote, OneDrive, and was introduced to Access; however, I was not introduced to Project until I came here in Basic PTM II. When I told my mother about it she got really excited and I dug into the program. I really do see the power of the program; however, I see why most companies who use it have a person dedicated to it. The amount of organization required to begin it is incredible, and then the amount of leg work to keep it going is also heavy. That all being said, programs which utilize grant charts really do force a company to keep a deeper level of organization which is lost in today’s busy world, so I think it is important for companies to use a complex program like Project in order for them to force themselves to be more organized.

Chris Calder said...

To be honest the Gantt chart was one of the most useful things that I learned last year. All of the points that are talk about in this article seem to be accurate and I would say your efficiency would most definitely increase with this tool. I actually have classmates that use this style of chart to organize their daily lives and it has proven to be a beneficial add into a daily routine. The one thing that I would disagree with is the clarity of the chart. I think that in order to read this kind of chart you have to be familiar with the format and have and understanding as to what is going on. Once the users have familiarized themselves with the chart I do think it could be considered “easy to read”. As for CMU’s Gantt chart it took me at least week to grasp what was going on and I would say that is an easier one to read.

Emma Reichard said...

From what I understand, the only department at CMU that uses a Gantt Chart consistently is Carnegie Scenic. And I can understand why. As the article mentions, the Gantt Chart has numerous advantages. It seems especially helpful in longer processes where several tasks could be completed simultaneously, and each unit has several steps. This makes a lot of sense for Carnegie Scenic, and really any shop that follows their model. But for the other departments in the theatre world, I question the usefulness of the Gantt Chart. Lighting, Sound, and Media do the majority of their piece in the span of a few days. It’s about prepping equipment, loading in, cabling, and focusing. A lot of those steps can’t happen simultaneously, and the time it would take to maintain the Gantt Chart could cut into time to finish the task. For costumes, I think the use of a Gantt Chart could be really helpful, and I wonder if they’ve considered it here.

Sarah Battaglia said...

I loved when we talked about the Gantt chart last year in PTM. I was fascinated by the way that it worked and how I would use it on a large scale, with lots of employees and more than one project moving at once. I think Emma is right through that it has a vey specific use and I am not sure how I would use it outside of things like the scene shop with lots of moving parts over a long period of time. Where as with something like Lighting most of their process takes place in a few weeks or even a few days depending on where you work. So while it is important for them to organize and do things in a logical and timely order the Gantt chart doesn't really help them as much as it would Carnegie Scenic or other shops. I look forward to learning more about the way that the Gantt chart is used and how I could bring it into a broader management style or in a different setting.

Pics from CMU Drama