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Why should I use Dependencies in Project Plan?

Posted by Marcus Shane on Monday, March 11, 2013, In : Gantt Chart Excel 
Whether you are using Chart Gantt Excel or another project planning tool, it is critical that you use task dependencies, to improve reporting and delivery.

Planning a project with dependencies takes a little more time upfront than planning without dependencies, however the time investment will pay off significantly once you move into the deliver phase of your project.

So what are project dependencies?

Dependencies are effectively relationships between your project tasks.  There are 4 primary typ...
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How to plan a project with a Gantt chart!

Posted by Marcus Shane on Thursday, February 7, 2013, In : project planning 
Planning a project the first time can be daunting. Many first time project managers are unsure where to start. A Gantt Chart can provide a great starting point for visualising your project and managing it in a more effective manner.

One of the first things to do when planning your project is to consider the task hierarchy. A task hierarchy enables you to quickly and easily navigate through your project and understand an overview of the project at a higher level.  A task heirarchy is simply p...


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3 Tips on Creating a reporting engine for your Excel Gantt Chart

Posted by Marcus Shane on Thursday, January 24, 2013, In : Gantt Chart Excel 
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....
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Gantt Chart Excel Reporting

Posted by Marcus Shane on Tuesday, January 22, 2013, In : Gantt Chart Excel 
Chart gantt is taking it's products to the next level with a range of Excel gantt chart templates with reporting.  After initial discussions with our existing clients, we realise that reporting and navigation are key features that many clients are looking for.

A number of existing customers have built their own reporting engines onto their existing gantt charts (Chart Gantt Basic, Dependent, Effort and Cost, or Ulitmate).

Research has indicated that there are 3 primary Excel Gantt Chart reports...
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4 Steps to Successful Project Establishment

Posted by Marcus Shane on Thursday, January 3, 2013, In : project planning 

 

Summary

Nearly all projects that go off the rails (over 80%) usually go off the rails in the early planning and team formation stages. This article explores 5 key tips for structuring your project correctly to give it the best chance of delivering advantageous outcomes.

Body

Whilst it's not possible to guarantee project attainment, there are a number of things you can do from the very start of your project that will promote your chances considerably.

Step 1 - Get Active - Expression is tough wor...


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Chart Gantt Products Embedded in the Business Planning Toolbox

Posted by Marcus Shane on Tuesday, August 21, 2012, In : Business Planning HQ 
Chart gantt products are now being used by Business Planning HQ in their main product, The Business Planning HQ toolkit, but also more recently as an additional discrete element of their Tool Box Product.

The founder of Business Planning HQ says, "We are pleased to see continued value and demand for the Chart Gantt products and services as an integrated element of the Business Planning Offering.  For over  a year now, our clients have benefited substantially from having an embedded gantt chart...
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Why Should I use Excel to create my next Gantt Chart?

Posted by Marcus Shane on Monday, June 4, 2012, In : Gantt Chart Excel 

Organisations large and small are turning to the power and flexibility of Excel to better manage and control their project activity.  Even a few short years ago, it would have been unthinkable that NASA would be using Excel Rather than structured an proprietary software such as Microsoft project in some areas.  The power of excel is only now being realised by many.  These powers relate to the flexibility offered.  Users are able to leverage their existing knowledge of Excel and apply it to th...


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4 Tips on Running Better Projects Using Chart Gantt

Posted by Marcus Shane on Sunday, June 3, 2012, In : project planning 
Abstract
A must read article for all Business Owners interested in smoothly running great Projects.  Once a company achieves a reasonable level of growth and size, projects become an inevitable part of running a business.  Many business owners do run projects, but those that don't are usually focused on managing via the rear view mirror, rather than looking forward.  There a some project owners that choose to establish and run projects on an annual basis. Whilst this may be effective for large...

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4 Tips on Project Planning in Excel

Posted by Marcus Shane on Tuesday, August 30, 2011, In : project planning 

Abstract

 

A must read article for all Project Managers. Project Planning in Excel  Many project managers have tried using MS Project and other proprietary tools, but often find the way these systems operate imposes severe restrictions on the way they plan and manage projects  Many project managers are not aware that Excel based project planning exists.  They do not fully understand the immense graphic capabilities that Excel offers, enabling the simple creation of gantt and pert charts.  T...


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Using Excel for Project Planning

Posted by Marcus Shane on Monday, June 27, 2011, In : project planning 
Planning your project is easier with excel based gantt charts.

Using a proprietary project planning package means that you are locked in to the developers way of thinking.

With a well crafted excel based solution, you are able to embed your way of thinking into the tool.  If you want to use effort based scheduling, calculate project costs, or determine actual's in the way you want then excel is your answer.

For more on excel based project scheduling
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5 reasons a Gantt Chart can help improve your project planning

Posted by Marcus Shane on Wednesday, September 1, 2010, In : Gantt Chart for Management Vs Gantt Chart for Planning 

Gantt Chart Reason#1: Finally you can see what you are doing!
Looking at a column of start and finish dates for tasks, is the primary alternative to using a
Gantt Chart.    Each row of your plan requires you to think about the dates, and position those dates in the context of preceding and dependent tasks.  This thought process, attempting to visualize your dates in your head, takes valuable thinking time, and more importantly can only be performed effectively on one or two tasks at once. A Ga...


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5 Reasons you should create your next Gantt Chart in Excel and Not Project

Posted by Marcus Shane on Wednesday, September 1, 2010, In : Gantt Chart for Management Vs Gantt Chart for Planning 

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 experience...


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Using Excel a new level of flexibility in gantt chart planning

Posted by Marcus Shane on Wednesday, September 1, 2010,

Contrary to the beliefs of the main gantt chart software packages, every project and every plan has its own special requirements.

Some project plans may require you to measure and manage effort for billing purposes.  Other plans may need minute based planning.  There are so many different requirements of project planning that it is difficult to build these into a single gantt chart tool.

This is where MS Excel has some very substantial advantages in preparing gantt charts.  The major, and o...


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The Making of Chart Gantt Ultimate

Posted by Marcus Shane on Wednesday, August 4, 2010, In : ChartGantt Ultimate 
The features discussed below are only available in Chart Gantt Ultimate, to be released in August 2010

 We set ourselves the ambitious task of re-creating standard functionality in major project planning software tools.  One of the main challenges in building an excel based gantt chart is the use of WBS (Work Breakdown Structure).  There are a number of issues with the use of WBS in excel.

Whilst we have seen other excel based tools that attempt to offer WBS, they do this via a combination of m...
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We did it! View by day, by week or by month! Chartgantt 2.0 Release

Posted by Marcus Shane on Tuesday, June 22, 2010, In : Chartgantt 2.0 Release 
We are very excited by the launch of Chart Gantt 2.0.  We set ourselves the ambitious task of adding significant functionality to Chart Gantt without the need for macro's.  The issue with macro driven Excel based Gantt Charts is that they are inherently unpredictable.

By steering clear of Macro's we have created a stable excel platform that just works.  This enables users now to view as much as 3 years of chart in the one screen.  This is a minor breakthrough in the Gantt Chart world, and took...
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Gantt Chart for Management Vs Gantt Chart for Planning

Posted by Marcus Shane on Monday, February 15, 2010, In : Gantt Chart for Management Vs Gantt Chart for Planning 
Management Gantt Charts are significantly more complex and tailored than Planning Gantt Charts.

The incorporation of actual figures into the planning process significantly complicates any planning model, as anyone who has used Microsoft Project to manage a project will attest.

The significant issue with the vast majority of management Gantt Charts is that they are driven by duration rather than effort.  Whilst tools such as MS Project do allow for effort driven management, the underlying premis...
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Building Gantt Charts in Excel

Posted by Marcus Shane on Monday, February 15, 2010, In : Chart Gantt Build Your Own 
For anyone who would like to take the time to build their own excel based templates please see the below links and blogs.

In our view, all of these approaches are time consuming and allow for significantly less flexibility than the Chart Gantt solution.  However please explore these options if you are curious and have some time to kill.

  1. Building charts Using the Chart Function within MS Excel
  2. This approach whilst it does produce a clumsy result will draw gantt charts.  This approach does not...

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