W9.2 – Ahmed AL-Abri- Create a Basic Gantt chart in Excel


1. Problem Definition

A consultant company wants to present their Schedule for the client in the kick of meeting and it does not have a planner and the company does not want spend money in the training of any of their staff or hiring professional planner . Moreover the consultant company dose want to advanced program in planning and scheduling.

2. Identify the Feasible Alternative

There are many techniques to express about the schedule and the three common programs are:-

  • Primavera
  • Microsoft project
  • Gantt chart in Excel

The project manager of the consultant company decided to create the Gantt chart in excel.

3. Development of the Outcome for Alternative

The table below summarizes the task, start date, duration and finish date

Figure 1- Task Data

Figure 1- Task Data

 4. Selection Criteria

. This selection of the Gantt chart in excel based on the following criteria:-

  • Less cost.
  • Required Unprofessional staff to create the chart.
  • Only five tasks in the project as shown in figure-1
  • Training time for the program should be short.
  • The purpose of the chart is only a presentation.

 The steps to create the Gantt chart in excel are explained clearly in the below link of YouTube:-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sA67g6zaKOE

For our case the implementation of the instruction in the above link will result to the following Figure:-

Figure 2- Gantt Chart in excel

Figure 2- Gantt Chart in excel

 Another option is to use Microsoft project program and the comparison will be shown in the next step based on the requirement of the consultant and not based on the efficiency of the program.

5. Analysis and Comparison of the Alternative

Figure 3 below is self-explanatory of the comparisons between using Gantt chart in excel 2010 and Microsoft project based on the requirments of the consultant company.

Figure3- Comparison table

Figure3- Comparison table

  6. Selection of the Preferred Alternative

From figure 3 it is clear that creating Gantt chart in excel is the best choice for the consultant company because it meets their selection requirement and it does not mean that Microsoft program is not a good program but it is not required for this company.

The advantages of use Gantt chart are list below but not limited:-

  • It shows schedule of the project in simple way (bars).
  • It organizes the ideas by method that can be read easily.
  • It explains the sequence of works and the duration together.
  • It assists to organize the realistic of the time to complete the project.
  • It is a good indicator about the critical path and Milestones.
  • It shows how much of the plan has been completed.
  • Using Gantt charts during critical projects allows both project managers and participants to track team progress, highlighting both big wins and major failures.

The disadvantages of use Gantt chart are summarized below but not limited:-

  • It cannot be used for complex projects.
  • The size of the bar does not indicate the amount of work.
  • The size of the bar does not indicate the amount of work.
  •  it needs to be constantly updated and changes to the schedule require a redrawing of the chart,
  • It estimates must be completed before the chart can be drawn.
  • resource assignments are not easy to illustrate,
  • The Gantt chart does not highlight WBS elements with the highest risk of failure or delay.
  • Several scheduling possibilities cannot be shown in the same chart.
  • It is difficult to show slack and critical path without additional notation.
  • A Gantt chart does not effectively address the dependencies between jobs.
  • resource assignments are not easy to illustrate.

 7. Performance Monitoring and the Post Evaluation of Result

A Gantt chart, commonly used in project management, is one of the most popular and useful ways of showing activities (tasks or events) displayed against time. Each activity is represented by a bar; the position and length of the bar reflects the start date, duration and end date of the activity. This allows you to see at a glance:

  • What the various activities are
  • When each activity begins and ends
  • How long each activity is scheduled to last
  • Where activities overlap with other activities, and by how much
  • The start and end date of the whole project

To summarize, a Gantt chart shows you what has to be done (the activities) and when (the schedule).

For presentation and small assignment a Gantt chart might be presented in excel. For big and complex project a primavera or Microsoft project are prefrable to be used due the above mentioned lists of disadvantages of use A Gantt chart .

The selection of use A Gantt chart in excel or other programs such as primavera or Microsoft project depends on the requirement and the need of the user.

8. Reference:

  1. Jodi Sorensen (2013, July). How to Create a Gantt chart in Excel Retrieved July 06, 2014, from http://www.smartsheet.com/blog/gantt-chart-excel?page=27
  2. Chart Director (2008, December). Simple Gantt chart. Retrieved July 06, 2014, from    http://www.qrb-bw.de/pdf_pool/pythondemo/cdpydoc/gantt.htm
  3. Project smart. (2013, August). How to Create a Gantt chart Using Microsoft Excel. Retrieved July 06, 2014, from http://www.projectsmart.co.uk/creating-a-gantt-chart-using-excel.php
  4. Borysowich , C. R. (2008, February 2). Pros & Cons of Gantt Charts. Retrieved July 8, 2014, from http://.toolbox.com/blogs/enterprise-solutions/pros-cons-of-gantt-charts-22233.
  5. Hut, P. M. (2009, June 25). The Project management. Hut. Retrieved July 8, 2014, from http://www.pmhut.com/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-gantt-charts.
  6. Taylor, J. O., & McDonough, M. I. (2013, June 30). Bright hub pm. Retrieved July 8, 2014, from http://www.brighthubpm.com/templates-forms/2434-top-ten-benefits-of-a-gantt-chart/

 

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2 thoughts on “W9.2 – Ahmed AL-Abri- Create a Basic Gantt chart in Excel

  1. AWESOME Ahmed!!!! EXCELLENT job!!! Nice work this time……

    Very proud of you for not getting discouraged and sticking with it until you got it right!!!

    BTW, this is yet another question very likely to be found on your PMP exam, so I can pretty much promise you that the research you have just done will NOT be wasted,

    Keep up the great “Leadership By Example” and looking forward to seeing more postings like this in the remaining weeks.

    BR,
    Dr. PDG, Jakarta

  2. Now another challenge for another blog posting……. What is WRONG with the activity names you used? Go review my handouts, Day 2, slides #71-72. Check out your schedule against those “best practices”…. What didn’t you do?

    BTW, that too is a question you are likely to see on your exam, so it would pay to investigate it……

    BR,
    Dr. PDG, Jakarta

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