Although the idea of the Gantt view is not new, how teams are able to leverage the visual information of a Gantt to produce better, more relevant deliverables is quickly becoming a necessity for the fast pace of today’s business world. Gantt charts provide a standardized, easily consumable visual representation of projects for all stakeholders involved. Some stakeholders need detailed information whereas others need a high-level overview, and an intelligent project management solution should offer both.
We recently had a chance to chat with one of our product managers, Lilit Makaryan, about how Workfront’s project Gantt view has evolved to better help teams optimize their resources and gain visibility into project timelines, which directly impacts their company’s long-term strategic objectives and goals.
What do you feel are the most useful benefits of Gantt charts?
As a product manager, when I look at how and why teams seek different tools to be more efficient, it most often revolves around how they can be more effective, gain greater visibility, or streamline processes to help produce more relevant deliverables. These fundamental needs seem to show up over and over again for both large Fortune 500 companies as well as small-to-midsize businesses. What’s really nice about Gantt charts is that they help address all those needs in an easily consumable, visual model.
How does Workfront’s approach to Gantt charts help address these needs?
Workfront provides a single, comprehensive solution designed to provide teams with the flexibility, agility, and transparency they need, regardless of size. Workfront provides the added benefit of the option for those teams to visualize not only the project timeline, related tasks, and key milestones, but also the relationship of tasks as they impact deadlines, team resources, and overall project timeline.
Workfront’s Gantt charts ensures that all the stakeholders are on the same page, which helps avoid confusion and keeps everyone on track.
Additionally, project managers and other stakeholders can easily toggle between details of tasks and subtasks as well as the high-level project overview. Having this functionality definitely helps teams provide clarity to external stakeholders while improving communication amongst the team.
Our Gantt charts can also be applied to reports, so if you need to look at the timelines of different projects, or a combination of tasks from different projects, you can simply create the report template and generate it at any time. We’ve also seen teams increase their collaboration efforts and form new partnerships, because the Gantt chart provides the “one source of truth” so stakeholders are more likely to engage.
How have Gantt charts evolved in Workfront?
At Workfront, we continually enhance our solution to better fit the way teams work, and our Gantt chart feature is no different. Initially, the Gantt view offered a visual representation of critical paths, key milestones, progress status, percentage completed, projected and actual dates, and any predecessors that impacted the overall project timeline. As the functionality evolved, teams were able to watch the Gantt chart adjust in real-time as project tasks and subtasks changed.
We ensured that the level of detail could be adjusted by the user, from daily and weekly views to quarterly and yearly or project duration views. Recently, we added functionality that allows teams to export and print Gantt charts so they can be shared with other stakeholders.
How can teams use Workfront’s Gantt charts to help sustain and plan for their long-term strategic objectives and goals?
I’m a big believer in, when you know better, you can do better. Visualizing the different components that feed into a successful project helps managers make decisions about resources and timetables but also creates best practice templates that are repeatable.
Having that level of detail allows teams to make better decisions on budgets, bandwidth, timelines, and allocation of resources. Workfront is a great conduit to helping teams work smarter, and these Gantt charts are another resource to leverage in that effort.
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