Many users start building their excel gantt charts using conditional formatting as shown on a range of videos on youtube etc.

One of the key issues with this approach is that they tend to use the gantt chart as both an input and a reporting engine.  Ie.  The user inputs tasks, resources and dates, and the system just outputs a project plan or gantt chart.

There are three primary reports that should be a key function of any gantt chart, whether created in excel or a proprietary planning package.  Before we get into the individual reports, however, it is important to understand the difference between input fields are reporting fields.  

An input field cannot be an output field.  Many users of Chartgantt, wonder why we are unable to output the revised start and finish dates associated with the use of dependencies, in the input fields.  Input fields (to be secure) need to not be over-written with new values.  

Manually created reports, particularly when dealing with multiple projects, or very large projects can be both costly and time consuming.  Ideally all required reports should be either completely automated, or should be only one click.

When creating Chartgantt V3 we used a combination of standard excel reporting with a series of specific pivotcharts to provide on plan and off plan reporting of gantt chart information. 


 When creating Chartgantt V3 we used a combination of standard excel reporting with a series of specific pivotcharts to provide on plan and off plan reporting of gantt chart information.  Off plan reporting enables summarisation and preparation of reports for distribution to the resources involved in planned delivery.

Report No 1 - Tasks Completing within 7 Days

This Gantt Chart report should highlight the tasks that are completing within the next 7 days to ensure that those tasks that are due to complete soon receive adequate focus.  In building Chartgantt 3 our focus was on enabling these flags to be seen in 2 ways.  They need to be seen in the core planning worksheet, but also need to be available as a bespoke report.  The bespoke report should be oriented around resources.  Ie, by resource, by task level (or WBS), and then by task detail.  This enables an overview of the number of tasks outstanding per resource, but also enables a drill down to an individual task level.

 
Marcus Tarrant is a leading author developer and management consultant in the field of planning.  He has planned major projects for some of the worlds leading companies including NASA and the US Department of Defence.  He decided to focus in creating a range of Excel Based Gantt Chart products and has now invested 4 years in the development of these tools which are used by thousands of customers around the world.  He is now broadly consider the world leading in Excel Gantt Chart products.  His experience with the creation of Chart Gantt .com has also made him a sought after advisor to others seeking to commerciailise their spreadsheet endeavours.