Gantt Chart Templates Free Download : Excel, PPT, DOC and MPP

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Advantages and Features of Gantt Chart Explained

  • Provide an easy and natural way of viewing the project time frame of project tasks against a background of time with dependencies clearly highlighted. 
  • Very effective in finding out the delivery timeline for a project.
  • A Gantt chart will have task, duration, start date and end date for the task and predecessors / dependencies.
  • Using them a project manager can clearly articulate the task dependencies and the how they play a role in the timeline of the project. 

  • Viewing the critical path for the projects provides the task that should be given priority is something again driven by Gantt Charts.
  • They clarify the resource work load.
  • Can be very effective in showing a high-level view of the project phases.
  • Can help with project tracking.
  • They are part of all the major project management templates and tools
Project Timeline Gantt
Project Timeline Gantt

Now some disadvantages

  • A lot of different varieties of chart are used which can confuse people (an example is above).
  • Not suitable for high level management as can get very detailed.
  • Tools often lack functionality to view and print large Gantt charts.
  • Often need to be supplemented with additional data or tables for task information.

Best Practices when working with Gantt Charts

  • Always include task dependencies and predecessors in the project plans.
  • Ensure that you consider account for holidays and major leave plans.
  • Using different colors for different phases can make the Gantt Chart more readable.
  • If the plan is tool complex add high level project phases of tasks.
  • Mention the key milestones or tasks in the plan as separate tasks.

  • Document the tasks in chunks of slots of up to 5 days as making them more granular can make the chart unreadable.
  • Always store the previous copies of the updates for comparison. It’s a good idea to store the copy with a date prefix (Gantt_Plan_12-Feb-2016.xlsx).
  • Before publishing the final version it’s good to get peer reviews and/or do a dry run with your manager.
  • When publishing check to ensure all the readers have the tool or you can publish using a PDF format.
  • Always include some amount of contingency in the tasks which have cross dependency.
Gantt Chart Excel Template
Gantt Chart Excel Template Free Download

Features of the Gantt Chart Excel Template

  • The template allows users to enter start date of the view.
  • The timeline for Gantt chart can be adjusted. You can view timeline for 1, 2 or 5 days or even more.
  • Allows use of predecessors for tasks.
  • Auto calculates end dates for tasks based on start date and effort.
  • Highlights when tasks are not 100% complete beyond the current dates.
  • Highlights the current date on the Gantt Chart.
Note : 
  1. When creating a task always copy-paste the existing tasks so that the conditional formatting also gets copied to the new task.
  2. You can change the color of the Gantt by changing the conditional formatting options.

Gantt Chart Explained
Gantt Chart Explained

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