The Project Planning Fallacy
Gantt Charts – A History In Perspective

A little over 100 years ago Henry Gantt further developed an existing visual tool for plotting the intricacies of project scheduling. Now referred to as a Gantt Chart, obviously named for its’ creator, this process has remained largely unchanged and unchallenged since its inception. What has changed in the past century, especially in the United States, are the types of work that professionals are conducting.

report published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics outlines the differences between the professional arena in 1915 and 2015. Striking differences can be seen between manufacturing jobs which decreased from 32.4% to only 8.7% of the overall employment for US workers. On the other hand, professional services positions increased from 3% to the largest employment arena in the United States at 28.9% of total workers.

Considering the employment and services shift that has happened throughout the past century, businesses must ensure that they are adapting and addressing their clients and projects with tools that are capable of handling the new environment they are operating in. Learn how to use Excel to generate Gantt Charts.

Gantt Charts – Use and Design

Gantt Charts were originally created to increase the efficiency of visualizing project management timelines. The renaming of task names, start dates, duration, and end dates are represented by cascading horizontal bar charts. Critical aspects of the project are visualized within this chart. This visualization hoped to streamline the project management and oversight process, and for simple non-dynamic projects it did just that.

Where a gantt chart falls short is integrating large amounts of project planning data, dynamic personnel data, and ever changing timelines. Every professional services manager understands the need of having every aspect of a project understood, managed, and visualized all at the same time. Even contemporary charts are incapable of bridging the requirements gap that new fast-paced firms are levying on there business tools.

As a project manager/business owner, nothing is more frustrating than having to reference numerous static tools to manage one project.

Gantt – Shortfalls Explained

For everyone who is too tired of creating endless Gantt charts that no one reads and few understand, we are here to explain why they just don’t work for contemporary businesses anymore:

  • Gantt Charts Are Incapable Of Being Fast Paced: Your agency is dynamic. You have numerous people working for you at any one time, each of those individuals cost different rates, work at different paces, and not all of them are focused on the same goal. Gantt Charts, due to their static nature, are good tools for visualizing an projects overall process, but are incapable of meeting all of the intricate demands of your fast paced business. Your business cannot afford to struggle planning work with a system that only outlines one aspect of your process, demand more.
  • Project Managers Limit Gantt Chart Ability: An inherent limitation in a system built locally though a program like Excel is that it immediately becomes centrally managed by a single individual. While this may not be an issue for project managers, a centrally maintained chart doesn’t allow for up to the minute inputs by every team member involved and limits the accuracy of such a chart. Gantt charts become dependent on their manager which creates project planning limitations if that one individual is called away or unavailable for some reason.
  • They Don’t Account For Your Billable Rates: Gantt Charts don’t look at people by their billable rate. Planning a project by its’ benchmarks is great, but not knowing what each benchmark is costing the firm or who is involved just delays the creative process. In today’s market, a program/tool that only performs one function is antiquated and potentially costs more to use and maintain than it saves. Learn more about setting your billable rate.
  • Gantt Charts Don’t Suggest Improvements: Bar graphs are exciting, to a point. However, what bar graphs don’t do is examine your big data trends, create graphics aimed at explaining project shortfalls/successes, or inform you when your project is overspent. Gantt charts only give you the data that your chart manager puts in, and all of that data is largely predictable before the chart is competed.
  • They Don’t Interface With Your Other IT Services: Busy professionals cannot stand having their entire personal life streamlined by interconnected technology only to be burdened by antiquated processes at work. Gantt charts are isolated from your network and most commonly created and managed in Excel. Not being linked to payroll, your firms calendars, and bidding processes ensure that the data contained in it are an afterthought at best.

The Gantt Chart Fix – Say Hello To Bric

To address these shortfalls, we here at Bric have dedicated ourselves to the pursuit of streamlining the way professionals conduct business, and it’s this mission that has lead us to develop the Bric software suite. Improving on the Gantt Chart process in every way, Bric’s software provides clients with a seamless way to integrate their project planning with the rest of their business.

In order to ensure Bric provides your business with the best possible solution to your project management needs we have divided the process of doing business into five critical elements:

  • Project Management – No matter how perfect your project plan is, the unexpected will happen. Bric gives you tools to respond confidently to those changes.
  • Project Planning – We ensure more accurate project plans by eliminating double entry, applying analytics to improve forecasts, providing your actual and forecasted time side-by-side, and we alert you when you are over schedule.
  • Reporting – Bric provides employees alerts to potential issues and opportunities, as well as detailed analytics to assist them in making the best decisions.
  • Time Tracking – We allow you create roles, assign people, save templates, and compare actual and forecasted time. Our ‘big data’ analytics also collect data to improve tomorrow’s project plans.
  • People – Our primary focus is on what makes your company great- its’ people. We provide them with what they need: roles, rates, work feedback, and the right permissions to keep everything running smoothly.

Designed with your whole team in mind, Bric provides the integration necessary to ensure your business is capable of addressing all of the dynamic demands on its’ time and resources. Gone are the days of worrying that your excel spreadsheets are up to date. With Bric all of your business planning needs, project management, and employee utilization needs are integrated together in one easy to use system. Best of all Bric provides all of these benefits at a fraction of the cost. Quit paying a single employee to manage your projects, save money, and integrate your entire team with Bric.

Click here to start a free 30-day trial of Bric.

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