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 over-riding advantage is flexibility.  With excel you can decide what you want to calculate and how you want to calculate it.  If you want to convert 368 minutes into one day, then you can do this quite simply.  If you want to view resources, or not view them you can either hide or delete the resource column.

Due to the flexibility of excel many project managers start their planning in excel, attempt to transfer their plan out in to project or some other planning tool.  Then when they are trying to manage the project, they bring the data back into excel again for manipulation.

Therefore the question must be, that if you could create the graphical capabilities of a gantt chart in excel rather than a customises project planning solution, then surely you could streamline the process.

Rather than exporting data in and out of tools, just stay in the one tool that gives you the flexibility to do exactly what you want, in the way that you want to do it.  To this end we have developed the gantt chart template.  This provides all the graphical capabilities you may expect from a fully featured gantt charting software solution, but with the added flexibility of excel.   Our customers find that this approach can save them days of frustration, and reduce the room for error in the planning process.