Gantt Chart Reason#1: More Control

Using excel gives you more control over the gantt chart creation process.  It provides you with the freedom to control key planning variables as you see fit.  For example if you would like to convert 8 hours, or 7.5 hours into one day, it is straight forward to do with a simple formula.  If you would rather plan in minutes, you can do this too.  Whilst structured planning tools such as MS Project do have a place, experience suggests that for an experienced project manager, more precise control can be established using excel.  This provides you the freedom to calculate fields as you see fit, and ensure your Gantt Chart more closely complies with your requirements.  Not every project is the same and different information is critical for each project you might plan.  Give yourself greater freedom and control, give excel a go.

Gantt Chart Reason#2: More Flexibility

Every project is different, and sometimes you need to display different information in your gantt charts.  Perhaps you need to see resource utilization by day, or by hour.  When creating your gantt chart in excel with a leading, structured template, you are free to insert columns and plan as you see fit.  When selecting your Excel based Gantt Chart template, be sure to look for one that does not use macros for major calculations.  These can limit your ability to insert rows and columns, and can increase the risk of unpredictable results

Gantt Chart Reason#3: More Column Options

Whilst it is true, that MS Project has an almost unlimited number of column options for planning your project, running calculations between columns is complex and challenging.  In excel you can calculate and insert columns exactly the way you would like without having to learn programming in the process.   Given that in excel you can insert hundreds of planning columns into your spreadsheet, a further advantage is to be able to easily arrange them displaying only the columns that are relevant to you.

Gantt Chart Reason#4: Determine how you want numbers or dates calculated

It is likely that you want to use some logic for calculating your project dates.  In our experience when you rely on the inbuilt logic in MS Project, you end up with quite unpredictable results.  Results that can severely impact on your plan itself, but more importantly, impact on your and your team’s confidence in the tool itself.  When using a Excel Gantt Chart Template you can drive your task dates off any database or calculation method you may like to specify.

Gantt Chart Reason#5: Use standard scaling features in Excel to print and insert in documents and presentations
Have you ever tried to print or insert a MS project plan into a document or powerpoint presentation?  If you have, then I don’t need to say much more about this.  For those of you that haven’t tried it yet, here’s the tip.  Don’t even try it!  After a day of frustration you are likely to give up and settle for a very below average screen shot of not exactly what you wanted to capture.  A tool like chart gantt excel can greatly improve your embedding process by using the inherent scaling functions in MS Excel.