Gantt charts are useful tools for project planning and scheduling. They help you evaluate how long a project will take, determine the necessary resources and plan the order in which you will complete the tasks. Gantt charts provide a graphical illustration of a schedule that helps you plan, coordinate and track specific tasks in a project.
A Gantt chart is divided in two parts: the left side list with the tabs that help you set up all the details of a project and the right side where you add connections to the tasks and monitor the progress.
Create your Gantt Chart
If you want to make a Gantt chart, use a breakdown structure. Use TAB and ENTER keys to create tasks and subtasks and give them a title. Alternatively, new tasks can be added from the context menu of the main task.
Each main task will work as a summary task, which is the very top row in the list of your project’s tasks, and represents how all summary tasks and subtasks roll up to the project level. If a task has several subtasks, they can be expanded or collapsed by clicking on the '+' or '-'.
Use the Indent and Outdent options to change the hierarchy of the tasks and subtasks. You can turn tasks into sub-tasks and vice versa.
Click on Indent to level down a topic/subtopic (or use Ctrl + -->).
Click on Outdent to level up a topic/subtopic (or use Ctrl + <--).
Edit your Gantt Chart
Click on the numbering of each task to open the Comments panel and add notes, guidelines or reviews.
The Comments panel will contain all information of a task, such as the deadline, the duration and completion of it, as well as to whom the task was assigned to.
Additional resources (pictures, videos) can be added by browsing into your computer, Google Drive or Dropbox.
To assign a task, click the option Add people. You will be redirected to the Share page where you type in the email address(s) of the collaborators you want to invite. The assignees will be displayed in the Assigned tab.
Set a schedule
Set the period of a task by clicking on the Start and End tab and open the calendar.
The timescale will be automatically calculated in days and displayed in the Duration tab.
A task needs to be accomplished within a defined period of time or by a specific deadline and can be broken down into subtasks. The subtasks also have a defined start and end date or a deadline for completion. The execution of a task is manually set in percents, in the Completion tab. Any change of percents in the subtasks will automatically calculate the completion of the main task.
Each task has its rank in the entire execution of a project and it can be set from the Priority tab. Double click on the row of the task and choose from the various options (from 'very low' to 'critical').
The Milestone tab appears as a diamond-shaped symbol in the Gantt chart. Generally, milestones are used to indicate significant project plan dates, often key events or goals. Use Milestone to mark desired completion dates or meetings for project review.
Create connections between tasks
On right side of the Gantt charts, you can add dependencies to create connections between tasks. Dependencies show you how tasks overlap and relate with one another.
Click a task bar, hold the mouse on the black dot and drag it to another task bar to create a relationship.
The chart shows the connection between the tasks in a project. Some tasks will need to be completed before you can start the next one and others can't end until preceding ones have been finished.
Against the main task there is a progress bar which changes its development, depending on the completion of each task and subtask. The advancement of tasks is visible inside the blue rectangle, with a darker shade of blue, when the percents in the completion tab are updated.
The tabs can be hidden by dragging the line that separates the two parts.
Update your Gantt chart as soon as changes occur. This will help you keep up to date your project and your team. When you reschedule a task with dependencies, all dependent tasks are automatically rescheduled.
Whenever a task is completed, the owner of the task will be notified via e-mail. Assignees will receive e-mail notifications when new comments, files, or other changes appear on their tasks.
Notifications of all tasks due or set to start the current or the following day are sent once a day, in the morning.
Notifications of all tasks due or overdue the current week are sent once a week, on Monday morning.
Collaborate in real time
Planning is an integral part of managing a project and it requires cooperation from the team at all times. In your effective team collaboration, Gantt charts can significantly help and Mindomo lets you create shareable and collaborative Gantt Charts. As you collaborate on tasks, your project plan updates automatically and in real time for everyone.
A pop up window will notify you that a new user joined the Gantt chart and all the people working on it will be displayed on the bottom right corner.
Change view of Gantt chart
Gantt charts can be turned into mind maps (1) and the first task becomes the central topic. All the other tabs will be topics and subtopics, according to their hierarchy. Gantt charts can also be converted to Outline mode (2). Click on the left toolbar and change the view.
All other details, such as schedule, assignees or additional resources attached are preserved in the mind map or Outline view.