Keeping a construction job on time and within budget is the dream of every project manager. However, there are always things that can cause disruptions or delays in a construction project. That is why it is important to be as prepared as possible by having a plan and a realistic timeline for the construction job. One of the ways you can prepare yourself is using a Gantt Chart for construction project management. This will help you to make a construction schedule and to keep an overview of the complete timeline of the project.
Read on to learn:
Gantt Chart Explained: What is it?
A Gantt Chart is a visual representation tool primarily used in construction project management to display and track all tasks related to the job. The chart itself is a bar chart and is very useful to get a clear overview of the construction schedule and what phase of the construction planning is next.
Certified Project Manager Professionals (PMPs) will recognize key features of a Gantt Chart as horizontal bars, a timeline, tasks, dependencies, and responsibilities.
When looking at a Gantt chart, you will immediately notice that there are horizontal bars. These horizontal bars indicate a task or an activity of the project. The length of these bars corresponds to the duration of the task that they represent.
The horizontal bars are placed on a horizontal timeline, which includes the start date and the end date of the project. This timeline visually represents when a task will start, its duration, and when it ends.
On the vertical axis of the chart, all the tasks will be listed, these are the individual activities or steps required to complete a project. This can range from big tasks to particular but necessary tasks to make sure the project is completed successfully
In many construction projects, some tasks have to be done before other tasks can start. In a Gantt Chart, these tasks will often be indicated with an arrow or with a line connecting the bars of these tasks.
In some cases, the Gantt Chart is also used to show who is responsible for a particular task and how resources are allocated over time.
4 Advantages of Gantt Charts for Construction Project Management
When managing a construction project, time and task management are two very important elements. Gantt Charts are a great way to manage these tasks and keep an overview of the timeline of the full project. Using a Gantt Chart can be beneficial for the project manager of a construction job. It helps by improving the construction schedule and keeping track of tasks. Other benefits of using a Gantt Chart are:
1. More Efficient Planning
By having a visual overview of all tasks that need to be completed before new ones can start, it is easier for the project manager to make a construction schedule for different teams. This will help to make the building process a lot more efficient, and it will increase the productivity of all workers since the chances of clashes between teams are less likely.
2. A Clear Understanding of the Next Step
Without having a clear timeline, figuring out the next step can be quite difficult. A Gantt Chart can give you a complete and clear understanding of the next step that needs to happen after a task has been completed, and what tasks are dependent on certain processes being finished.
3. You Can Divide the Project Into Milestones
Instead of working with only the end goal in mind, a Gantt Chart can help you by setting up smaller milestones in a project. Each of these milestones can be an indication of a new phase of the project. This helps with the productivity of workers since they have more reachable goals.
4. More Accountability
In a Gantt chart, all tasks will be appointed to different people or teams. Whenever there is a delay or problem with a certain task, the project manager can immediately talk to the person responsible for that specific task to find a solution. It is also a good way for team members to showcase when they exceed expectations and get credited for the delivered work.
Elements That Define a Good Construction-Gantt-Chart
Not every Gantt Chart is a good Gantt Chart, but certain elements make a Gantt Chart more beneficial for construction planning. Some of the elements that define a good Gantt Chart explained:
Clear Descriptions of Tasks
When setting up a Gantt Chart as a project manager, you are going to place all tasks on a timeline and allocate them to different teams. Since there are tasks that depend on each other, each team must know exactly what their job is. Therefore, a good Gantt Chart should include a clear description of every task that is put onto the timeline.
Label Tasks or Processes
Labeling tasks or processes in a Gantt Chart will help with communication between teams and managers. This way, teams can be very specific with the updates they give about each task they’re working on without unnecessary confusion or miscommunication.
Since a Gantt Chart is a timeline tool, you must have enough due dates for each task. This is why the Chart itself should have indicators of when a process is supposed to start and when it needs to be completed.
These are some of the basic elements of a good Gantt Chart. This does not mean you need to include everything from this list, or that you can’t expand on the chart to include more information. However, it is recommended to keep the information as clear, and as simple as possible, so there is less chance of miscommunication or confusion about certain parts of the chart.
Improving Your Construction Planning With a Gantt Chart for Construction Project Management Software
As a project manager, finding the time to make an extensive Gantt Chart can be quite time-consuming. Luckily, some tools can help cut the process time of making these charts almost in half. Don’t know where to start? Contact Trimble ProjectSight, and let’s talk about how we can help your project management processes go more smoothly.