Chris Croft's Personal Blog

January 14, 2013

There are no alternatives to Gantt charts

Filed under: Project Management — Tags: , , , , — chriscroft @ 10:02 am

There are no alternatives to Gantt charts – that’s why they are still around, everywhere, after 100 years. Resistance is futile.

I was sent this by a friend of mine just now…

Interesting article, but he’s wrong of course.

His first alternative to a Gantt chart is to use a spreadsheet to produce it. Well, I think that’s still a Gantt chart?! I would certainly recommend Excel as a good way to make a quick Gantt chart, and you CAN show dependencies and float without it getting too messy.

His second alternative is to use a network diagram, which is what you should use anyway, BEFORE you make it into a Gantt chart. It’s the step before, it’s not an alternative. In fact it’s impossible to do a proper Gantt chart without a network diagram first.

His third alternative is to use a list instead and his fourth alternative is to use a summary diagram (e.g. “percentage complete”), and for both of these he recommends using a Gantt chart first and then simplifying it for other people to see. So he still needs a Gantt chart, it’s not really an alternative at all. (and of course if he’s planning to use cost reports without knowing the progress from his Gantt chart then he’ll fall into the trap of thinking he’s under budget when really he’s behind). And these so-called alternatives do the job of communication less well than the original Gantt chart.

So basically all of those alternatives are not as good as the original. Gantts rule and that’s that.

There, that’s told him!


CC – The Gantt Chart Guy


1 Comment »

  1. CC, we have spent 4 years building an alternative to MS Project (with most of the functionality – and new functionality) that has been created in Excel. It is a common mis-conception that large organisations won’t use such a tool. We are fortunate to count NASA and the US Department of Defense as clients.

    Comment by Gantt Chart Excel — March 15, 2013 @ 5:15 am

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