Tips and Advice
Relax, do it in Excel
Many project managers utilise sophisticated software solutions to create and mange projects.
In our experience all projects end up back in excel at some point in time. Chart gantt was developed to enable projects to be created and managed in the one place. We have had extensive experience in using Microsoft Project and found the flexibility offered by Microsoft Excel provides a greatly improved user experience.
If you have ever tried exporting data from Microsoft project to Microsoft Excel, then you will understand the immense time savings that can be gained by doing everything in excel.
Links to useful resources on Chartgantt.com
A key issue with importing data from Microsoft project is the use of the hierarchy in Project does not import well into excel. Additionally you loose any graphical capabilities you had when your project was in Microsoft Project.
When asked to manage a $200m project whilst working at Deloitte Consulting, I literally spent weeks determining how to import and export several 2,000 line projects. We needed to perform complex calculations that were not possible in Project and there was only one answer - get the data into excel and manipulate it as required.
Chart Gantt was developed as a visual engine, providing the graphical capabilities of Microsoft Project, combined with the flexibility of offered by Excel.
Our templates are not the end point in your planning journey. They provide some of the core functionality you would require for planning your project, however are designed to enable you to flexibly add your own touches. Insert columns, rows or sheets to perform your own calculations, manage leave, public holidays, resource allocation, or any other key issue. Chart gantt gives you a strong base to work from and will save you at least a week in your development efforts.
For those that would like to understand some of the construction principles used in Chart Gantt or to build their own excel based gantt chart, take a look at the "Building your own template" link above.
About Microsoft Project
Microsoft Project is a planning tool offered by Microsoft. It is a project management software program sold by Microsoft which is designed to assist project managers in developing plans, assigning resources to tasks, tracking progress, managing budgets and analyzing workloads. Microsoft did not develop Microsoft Project, but purchased the tool. This explains the lower level of integration between Microsoft Project and the Microsoft Office suite.
Microsoft Project was the company's third Windows-based application, and within a couple of years of its introduction it became the dominant PC-based project management software.
Although branded as a member of the Microsoft Office family, it has never been included in any of the Office suites (Like Visio). This was also the case with Office 2010. It is available currently in two editions, Standard and Professional. MS Project's proprietary file format is .mpp.
Microsoft Project and Microsoft Project Server are the cornerstones of microsoft's entry into the project planning arena.