A Gantt chart is commonly used in project management because it can easily show activities such as tasks and their dependencies, as well as, tasks and events in relation to time. As project management evolved throughout the years, tools and software used for it also evolved in many ways. Static Gantt charts have been replaced with dynamic charts that have predictive functionality. Advanced software components and modern web technology have added more features and improved user experience in using dynamic Gantt charts especially in online project management software.
The Top 5
Some time last year, we reviewed five of the best Gantt chart components available for software developers. Now, we are presenting the top 5 online project management solutions that use these very helpful and efficient dynamic Gantt charts. We focused primarily on the feature sets, ease of use, tight integration and superior user experience of the Gantt chart as among the criteria in creating this selection.
Mavenlink cloud-based project management software has dynamic Gantt charts designed to help its users collaborate and manage projects with ease. Mavenlink’s Gantt charts enable users to create a visual timeline of a project’s progress, optimize a team’s productivity, and quickly assess task dependencies. The charts allow them to get a quick snapshot of a project’s current progress, providing them the visibility to immediately be informed when a project is at risk of being late or go over budget. In addition to standard Gantt chart functionality, some of the key features are dependencies, dependent task notifications, lag, cascade changes, baseline and Global Gantt. It is available in Teams and Premier plans.
Wrike dynamic Gantt charts are available in Professional and Enterprise plans. Also called the Dynamic Timeline View, it is a powerful tool that makes planning stress-free and efficient. Wrike’s Gantt chart maker enables its users to create interactive charts to achieve precision in project planning, to update project schedules with a few clicks, and to visualize their plans in real time. Once the project dates are scheduled in the task view, the Gantt chart automatically populate the tasks and allow the users to see and adjust timelines instantly. Users are able to illustrate and visualize every step, from day one to the end, connect tasks with dependent relationships, and track project progress to make sure deadlines are met.
Smartsheet online project management software has an interactive Gantt chart that allows its users to visualize their project in great ways. Users can customize their Gantt chart with conditional formatting to highlight tasks or indicate status levels with different colors. The critical path feature allows them to quickly identify all the tasks that directly impact the project’s completion date. The drag-and-drop editing is easy to use so teams can focus on collaborating in real time and staying current on project progress instead of learning how to use the software. Smartsheet’s dynamic Gantt chart is available to all users, from Basic, Team, up to Enterprise customers.
Sciforma has powerful features, including a Dynamic Gantt chart, that enable project managers to administer all aspects of project, resource, risk and change management. Its interactive Gantt chart allows users to schedule a project and its tasks easily. Users can start with a template with predefined tasks that can also be customized. Then, the work breakdown structure can be created to consolidate activities within a hierarchy branch. An unlimited number of hierarchy levels can be created. In the Gantt, the task is viewed in a timeline whose granularity can be adjusted. Sciforma PPM software’s Gantt chart capabilities include critical path, WBS, interactive tasks, lead and lag links, and more.
AceProject project management software has an interactive Gantt chart that enables users to visually track project and task progress, as well as view deadlines and task dependencies. The dynamic Gantt chart is available to all AceProject plans, from the Basic to the Gold premium plan. Like any other interface of the software, using the Gantt chart results in a convenient, interactive and superior user experience. Users can modify start and end dates visually. Click-and-drag functionality allows users to set new dates and reorder task lists. Also, dependencies can be set within the chart by clicking the end node of one task box and dragging it to the start node of another task box. Percent progress can also be changed and updated visually within the chart.
Gantt charts provide several advantages especially to project managers. The charts help them to be organized as well as to be efficient in their organization. Timeframes are established in Gantt charts, and the highly visual form provides an excellent way for project managers to see the bigger picture, yet can drill down to details if necessary. Some may argue that Gantt charts are overly complex, needs to be updated, and do not show the whole picture. These issues are now being addressed by dynamic and highly interactive Gantt charts that are easier to build and have predictive, graphically automated features.
The comprehensive features, business intelligence, and end-to-end approach of modern PM software such as the five mentioned above also now can link and relate information of tasks, schedules and resources in Gantt charts to other data such as workload, priorities, risks and opportunities, time entry, and other business processes to give a more accurate, real-time and high-level picture of projects as well as that of the whole business.