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What are the advantages and disadvantages of Gantt charts?

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I want to know more about Gantt charts, particularly their advantages and disadvantages. What are they?
asked 4 years ago by anonymous

1 Answer

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Advantages of Gantt Charts include:

- It gives an easy and visual idea about the status of the project, is it on time or not?
- It tells us who's working on what.
- It shows the dependencies of the tasks.
- It can easily adapt to changes in the project.
- It shows us the total cost of the project.
- It tells us how much, in percentage, of a task is complete (although, as I will later explain, it is misleading in that aspect).
- It is understood by management, as it doesn't need any technical background to understand.
- It doesn't require any skills to create (in most Project Management Software). The project manager just creates the project schedule and the Gantt Chart is created automatically by the software.
- It is universal, every project manager on this planet knows what a Gantt Chart is and what it's used for.

Disadvantages of Gantt Charts:

- It is misleading, for example, it shows that one task is 90% done, for the untrained eye, this means that if the first 90% took 9 hours, then the remaining 10% will take 1 hour. This is wrong in almost every case. In the last 10% of any task, a lot of factors come into play, and on top them the Pareto principle (80-20 rule, where 80% of the task takes 20% of the time, and the remaining 20% of the task will take 80% of the time).

- It can become quite complicated for large projects, nearly impossible to read.

- Dependencies can easily become a mess, especially for larger projects.

- It is nearly impossible to print the Gantt chart on one page, even one big page, for every non-small project. I bet that every project manager has experienced this problem. The workaround used by most project managers is printing the Gantt chart on different papers and then scotch-taping the papers together.
answered 3 years ago by TheManager (6,220 points)
In addition, you will need to understand that Gantt charts are great communication tools between project managers and possibly the project team.  The project team may just need to know their tasks and the project sponsor/senior executives will not want to view the Gantt chart -- I usually organize a simple milestone table in Word or Excel for their benefit.
3 years ago by sdcapmp (45,840 points)

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