What is a Gantt chart
A Gantt chart is a project management tool that visualizes work over a period of time. A Gantt chart consists of the left side with a list of tasks and horizontal bars which represent the timeline of the tasks or projects.
Use Gantt charts to:
- Build complex projects with dependencies between tasks.
- Visually plan out your project timeline.
- Monitor the health of projects and make adjustments.
Where to find Gantt charts in OneDesk
In OneDesk we have 2 different Gantt charts: The task-level Gantt (where the bars represent tasks), and the project-level gantt (where the bars represent projects).
The task-level Gantt can be found in the Tasks application. Select Gantt under 'Views.'
The project-level Gantt can be found in the Projects application Select Gantt under 'Views'. Make sure to select the “all projects” level (from the project scope selector) to see multiple project bars.
Planned vs Actuals bars
The planned schedule of tasks is represented by blue bars. The planned schedule is defined as the days you and your team expect to work on this task. Once you start to work on your tasks, things may turn out differently than planned. As your team logs time on tasks, OneDesk will capture what are known as “actuals”. These are represented as green bars on the Gantt chart and reflect the real start and finish dates of the tasks.
Having the ‘actuals’ bars next to the plan allows you to easily visually compare how reality is matching your plans. This allows you to deal with tasks that are taking longer than expected, by re-assigning, adding more resources or extending the schedule. It also provides the tools needed to analyze past projects to become a better planner.
Interactive features on the Gantt chart
OneDesk’s Gantt chart is very interactive.
Creating and breaking links
You can link tasks to create predecessor-successor relationships between them. OneDesk supports: Finish-to-start (FS), Start-to-finish (SF), Start-to-start (SS), and Finish-to-finish (FF). For example, finish-to-start indicates that one task must be completed before the next can begin.
Hover the blue bar of a task.
Drag and drop the circle to link tasks.
Double-click the line to remove links.
Note: tasks must be in the same project to create dependencies.
Change the duration of a task
Drag the start or end of a task to change its duration.
Change the completion percentage of a task
If you hover a task bar a triangle icon will appear.
Hover the triangle and drag to change the %complete of a task.
Move a task earlier or later
Hover the blue bar and your cursor will change to indicate that you can drag and drop it to an earlier or later date.
Change the time-scale
You can zoom in and out on the gantt chart by changing the time-scale.
Hold Ctrl and scroll your mouse wheel in or out. Or, click scale and select the desired range.
You can scale from the minute level to the year-level.
More on using the Gantt
Creating your own custom Gantt charts
You can create and save your own custom Gantt charts by creating a custom view. In each custom view, you can filter your projects or tasks to only show what you want, or group tasks or projects by your preferred criteria.
- To create a custom view, hover over the view panel and click the 'plus' icon beside My Views.
- Under layout, select Gantt.
- There are a number of customizations you can choose for your view. Under 'Options' you can select the scale and whether or not to display the actuals. Filters allow you to limit which items appear on the Gantt. Groupings will change how the task or projects are arranged together on the Gantt.
Roll-ups (also known as summary bars) are bars that represent things that encompass multiple tasks. In OneDesk you will have summary bars for portfolios, projects, folders, and groupings. The blue rollup bar will appear and get darker with more tasks overlapping at the same time. This is a handy way to tell if a certain time period is busy.
Use the smart scheduler to automatically schedule your project. The smart scheduler takes into account the project start date, any finish-to-start links and date constraints. (Click 'reschedule' on the top left of the Gantt to run the scheduler).
When tasks are linked together in predecessor/successor relationships, OneDesk will optimize the schedule (using the ‘critical path method’) to produce the shortest overall project duration and will calculate the “critical path”. This is the string of linked tasks that determines the overall project length. This means that modifying tasks on this path will result in a longer or shorter project plan. The critical path is indicated on the Gantt chart as a red outline.