If you’re looking for a Chart Template to help you manage projects with time-sensitive elements, the Gantt chart layout is probably for you. The Gantt chart was considered revolutionary in its day when it was invented in the early twentieth century, and is now used by project planners everywhere. This chart is distinguished by its use of bar graphs to illustrate how project activities span against a time frame. At a glance, it is super useful and worth getting to know.
If you’re not already using some form of the Gantt chart, or if you are looking for a template you can modify to use in no time, check out this collection of free Gantt charts you can download and modify for Microsoft Excel.
Research Gantt Chart in Excel
Project Management Gantt Chart in Excel
Resource Gantt Chart Excel
Free Gantt Chart in Excel
How Do I Read a Gantt Chart?
A Gantt chart is a visual-graphic representation of a project along a time frame. Down one column will be a list of activities, and along the top will be your timeline. Each action step in the project will be represented by a bar that will span across the time frame until it is completed. You can see how this will be useful. At a single glance, a Gantt chart will show you
- how many project activities are running,
- the status and duration of each activity given its preset time allotment,
- how much each activity overlaps with other activities, and
- how all these fit with the status of the overall project (where you are vs. where you should be).
This chart is then the perfect option for any long-term project that requires you to juggle multiple activities at the same time while still keeping track of them.
Choosing a Gantt Chart
We already know the Gantt Chart Template is incredibly useful, and a Blank Chart Template set in the Gantt layout is even more so. These templates were set to serve different types of projects, so be sure to check them out depending on what you need.
For most general projects, be it something for work or something you’re working on personally, most of these charts should work for you.
Your choice will then depend on your preferred layout. As Excel sheets they are completely editable to suit yourself.
- The only tailored options are the Research Gantt Chart for research projects, as well as the Yearly Gantt Chart Template for the longer projects. These too can be edited to match your other project if it matches the same structure.
Project Gantt Chart in Excel
Blank Gantt Chart in Excel
Gantt Chart Generator in Excel
Downloadable Gantt Chart Template
Yearly Gantt Chart Template
Limitation of the Gantt Chart
It is clear what the advantages are (clear illustration of current project status), but one downside of a Gantt visual planning presentation is the lack of clarity you can get regarding task dependency.
You can immediately tell the status of each activity, but even on an automated Excel Chart Template, it is difficult to tell when a particular activity is overstepping and causing delay in the overall project.
To remedy this, you might also want to check out the PERT chart to properly track interdependency of project activities.