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Gantt Chart Software


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Project Insight logo
 
Project Insight is a project and portfolio management solution for project driven organizations. It provides visibility into the workloads of resources, project budget, and status, with real-time reports. Project Insight is a collaborative... Read More
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Project Insight is a project and portfolio management solution for project driven organizations. It provides visibility into the workloads of resources, project budget, and status, with real-time reports. Project Insight is a collaborative... Read More
 
NetSuite OpenAir logo
 
NetSuite OpenAir offers buyers a collection of applications designed to support every stage of the professional services delivery lifecycle. Offered as Software-as-a-Service, the platform includes applications to manage projects, resources,... Read More
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NetSuite OpenAir offers buyers a collection of applications designed to support every stage of the professional services delivery lifecycle. Offered as Software-as-a-Service, the platform includes applications to manage projects, resources,... Read More
 
Workzone logo
 
Workzone is a project management solution that offers document management, project collaboration, customizable reporting, resource and task management and time tracking. The software is cloud-based and offers automated emailed reports... Read More
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Workzone is a project management solution that offers document management, project collaboration, customizable reporting, resource and task management and time tracking. The software is cloud-based and offers automated emailed reports... Read More
 
NetSuite Services Resource Planning (SRP) logo
 
NetSuite SRP is used by professional services organizations to optimize their project-based operations. The software offers integrated project management, resource management, project-based accounting and time & expense tracking applications. Users... Read More
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32
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NetSuite SRP is used by professional services organizations to optimize their project-based operations. The software offers integrated project management, resource management, project-based accounting and time & expense tracking applications. Users... Read More
 
Clarizen logo
 
Clarizen is a cloud-based collaborative work management solution designed to help organizations manage cross-company engagement. The solution provides tools to connect resources, manage workflows and plan activities. Clarizen planning... Read More
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Clarizen is a cloud-based collaborative work management solution designed to help organizations manage cross-company engagement. The solution provides tools to connect resources, manage workflows and plan activities. Clarizen planning... Read More

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Smartsheet logo
 
Smartsheet is a project management application with a spreadsheet-like interface to help teams collaborate, plan projects and manage tasks. The software offers a suite of project management applications, such as document management,... Read More
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Smartsheet is a project management application with a spreadsheet-like interface to help teams collaborate, plan projects and manage tasks. The software offers a suite of project management applications, such as document management,... Read More
 
KeyedIn Projects logo
 
KeyedIn Projects is a cloud-based project management solution for enterprise-level companies offering a suite with features, such as program management, professional services automation and project portfolio management application.... Read More
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8
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KeyedIn Projects is a cloud-based project management solution for enterprise-level companies offering a suite with features, such as program management, professional services automation and project portfolio management application.... Read More
 
Tenrox logo
 
Designed for project-based companies, Tenrox provides a cloud-based solution for workflow-driven project management and services automation. With Tenrox, companies have real-time access to which resources are being used on which projects,... Read More
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Designed for project-based companies, Tenrox provides a cloud-based solution for workflow-driven project management and services automation. With Tenrox, companies have real-time access to which resources are being used on which projects,... Read More
 
Wrike logo
 
Wrike offers cloud-based work management solution that facilitates project management and team collaboration for marketing and creative teams. Users can manage external and internal requests with built-in forms and automatically assign... Read More
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Wrike offers cloud-based work management solution that facilitates project management and team collaboration for marketing and creative teams. Users can manage external and internal requests with built-in forms and automatically assign... Read More
 
Workfront logo
 
Workfront (formerly AtTask) is a cloud-based project management solution that helps teams to prioritize, route, manage and report on their work. It is suitable for businesses of any size and industry including IT, architecture and... Read More
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Workfront (formerly AtTask) is a cloud-based project management solution that helps teams to prioritize, route, manage and report on their work. It is suitable for businesses of any size and industry including IT, architecture and... Read More

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Sciforma logo
 
Sciforma is a cloud-based project and portfolio management solution for enterprises that allows to strategically track and analyze project data and make relevant decisions. It can be sold as a stand-alone portfolio management, project... Read More
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Sciforma is a cloud-based project and portfolio management solution for enterprises that allows to strategically track and analyze project data and make relevant decisions. It can be sold as a stand-alone portfolio management, project... Read More
 
Deltek Vision logo
 
Deltek Vision is a cloud-based project-based solution for professional services firms that is available for cloud or on-premise deployment. It combines project accounting, resource management, project management, time/expense management... Read More
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Deltek Vision is a cloud-based project-based solution for professional services firms that is available for cloud or on-premise deployment. It combines project accounting, resource management, project management, time/expense management... Read More
 
Mavenlink logo
 
Mavenlink offers services and solutions for project management, resource planning, collaboration and financial management. It was designed for professional services and it is suited businesses looking for team collaboration and project... Read More
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Mavenlink offers services and solutions for project management, resource planning, collaboration and financial management. It was designed for professional services and it is suited businesses looking for team collaboration and project... Read More
 
Easy Projects logo
 
Easy Projects is a cloud-based project management platform for midsize organizations. The platform enables users to collaboratively initiate, approve, plan and execute projects, assign resources, track progress, monitor spend and costs,... Read More
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Easy Projects is a cloud-based project management platform for midsize organizations. The platform enables users to collaboratively initiate, approve, plan and execute projects, assign resources, track progress, monitor spend and costs,... Read More
 
InFocus logo
 
Clearview InFocus is a cloud and on-premise-based billing, invoicing and project management solution that also includes financial management capabilities. This is the flagship product for Clearview and its sole focus is to develop... Read More
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Clearview InFocus is a cloud and on-premise-based billing, invoicing and project management solution that also includes financial management capabilities. This is the flagship product for Clearview and its sole focus is to develop... Read More

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Visual Planning logo
 
Visual Planning is a hybrid resource management and scheduling platform that helps businesses to manage their assets and day-to-day operations. The solution can be deployed on-premise or hosted in the cloud. Visual Planning offers... Read More
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Visual Planning is a hybrid resource management and scheduling platform that helps businesses to manage their assets and day-to-day operations. The solution can be deployed on-premise or hosted in the cloud. Visual Planning offers... Read More
 
Sitetracker logo
 
Sitetracker is a cloud-based project management solution designed to help enterprises manage high-volume distributed projects. Key features include collaboration, planning and forecasting, performance analysis, reporting and more. Sitetracker... Read More
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Sitetracker is a cloud-based project management solution designed to help enterprises manage high-volume distributed projects. Key features include collaboration, planning and forecasting, performance analysis, reporting and more. Sitetracker... Read More
 
Deltek Ajera logo
 
Deltek Ajera is an integrated accounting and project management solution built for architecture and engineering (A/E) firms. It is suitable for small to mid-size firms seeking an industry-tailored solution to improve project level... Read More
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Deltek Ajera is an integrated accounting and project management solution built for architecture and engineering (A/E) firms. It is suitable for small to mid-size firms seeking an industry-tailored solution to improve project level... Read More
 
SmartCore logo
 
SmartCore from Ninth Wave is a cloud-based project management solution designed to allow users to collaborate and share information in an adaptable environment via dashboards and reports. Within SmartCore, users gain access to several... Read More
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SmartCore from Ninth Wave is a cloud-based project management solution designed to allow users to collaborate and share information in an adaptable environment via dashboards and reports. Within SmartCore, users gain access to several... Read More
 
Buildertrend logo
 
Buildertrend is a construction management system for home builders, remodelers, specialty contractors and general contractors. It combines project scheduling, project management, financial management, customer management and service... Read More
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Buildertrend is a construction management system for home builders, remodelers, specialty contractors and general contractors. It combines project scheduling, project management, financial management, customer management and service... Read More
 

Buyer's Guide

by Eileen O'Loughlin,
Market Research Associate
Last Updated: June 26, 2018


Gantt charts are a valuable project management (PM) tool. Used for planning and tracking waterfall projects, Gantt charts help stakeholders coordinate and agree on baselines for scope, budget and timeline—metrics used to determine project success.

Gantt chart software automates many PM functions, allowing managers to more easily create project schedules, assign tasks to users, track the progression of work items and share updates with the team.

Whether you're looking to purchase your first PM Gantt chart system or update your current software, this buyer's guide can help you make a more informed decision.

Here's what we'll cover:

What Is Gantt Chart Software?
Common Capabilities of Gantt Chart Software
Benefits and Potential Challenges

What Is Gantt Chart Software?

A Gantt chart is a graphical representation of a project, displaying the scope (e.g., tasks and milestones) on the y-axis, against the schedule, or time, on the x-axis.

Tasks are illustrated as horizontal bars. Their position and length reflect the start date, duration and end date. Dependent tasks are connected using a physical link, e.g., the arrows in the screenshot below, and concurrent tasks are stacked according to their start dates.

A Gantt chart in software platform Mavenlink

A Gantt chart in Mavenlink

Gantt chart software is used to create digital Gantt charts, automating and saving time on various actions, including:

  • Scheduling task start and end dates
  • Assigning tasks to users
  • Identifying the critical path
  • Cascading changes across subsequent tasks
  • Sharing updates with stakeholders (e.g., task status, at-risk items and reprioritization)

The ability to cascade changes across subsequent tasks is a benefit that cannot be overstated. If Task A is late by one day, the start dates and due dates for each task following it will update accordingly. Managers receive an alert so they can schedule notifications to let team members know how the delay will impact their activities. They'll also have the option to notify stakeholders if corrective action is required.

Gantt charts act as visual aids that communicate project status at a glance. Information is centralized, which keeps stakeholders on the same page at every stage of the project life cycle, from planning to closeout.

Organizations can purchase Gantt chart software as a stand-alone or "best-of-breed" solution, or as part of a larger PM platform.

Often, when Gantt charts are included as an application within a larger platform, teams can choose from "multiple views," meaning they can view tasks in a calendar view, list format or in a Gantt chart. If your stakeholders have different preferences for how they want to receive updates, you should consider this type of solution.

Best-of-breed tools are often more specialized than integrated suites. If you have industry-specific needs, or require custom fields and templates, a stand-alone system is more suitable.

Common Capabilities of Gantt Chart Software

Look for the following capabilities as you evaluate Gantt chart tools:

Task management Identify project requirements, break requirements down into deliverables and individual tasks (e.g., work breakdown structure). Assign start and due dates, assign priority and cost, add task notes and assign tasks to users.

Drag-and-drop: Set start and end dates by manipulating the bar length on the calendar. Reorder tasks by dragging-and-dropping them along the timeline.

Critical path: Identify the critical path by highlighting the longest sequence of tasks that determine the minimum amount of time needed to complete a project.
Resource management See each team member's availability and workload. Assign users to tasks based on availability and skill set (recorded and saved in a skills database), or use a placeholder resource until a user with that skill becomes available.
Project planning Form the project initiative; create the work breakdown structure; set baselines for scope, budget and timeline; develop the risk management plan; and develop a communication strategy for stakeholders. Some tools may include project templates you can choose from, or you can create and save your own.

Read more: "Project Planning Checklist: 5 Steps Every Plan Should Follow"
Project tracking See project status at a glance. The Gantt chart acts as a live dashboard showing a bird's-eye view of project progress. Reports will vary, but can include baselines (comparing actuals to the original plan), resource forecasting, time tracking and risk reports.

Color-coding: Use colors to represent task attributes such as status (e.g., all overdue tasks are red), or to indicate who the task is assigned to (e.g., all Bob's tasks are purple).

Task-shading: Use shading to represent percent complete, e.g., a task that's 25 percent complete would be one-quarter shaded.
Document management Upload files to tasks, share with other users and store in a centralized, searchable repository. Ask vendors about storage limits within product tiers, archive or delete tasks and documents and integrate with new or existing content management systems.

Benefits and Potential Challenges

While there are many benefits to using Gantt chart software, small and midsize businesses considering these tools for the first time should also be aware of potential challenges.

Benefits:

  • Gantt charts can be used to convey a wealth of project information, from high-level scheduling to specific task details. Viewers know who is responsible for tasks, when tasks need to be completed and how individual tasks relate to larger project requirements and deliverables.
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  • Tracking project progress publicly can be a great motivator for both individual productivity and overall team performance. Tools with time-tracking can also help users learn to better manage their time and prioritize their queue.
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  • Visually laying out project requirements on a timeline, and breaking deliverables down into individual tasks is a great way to more accurately set baselines for scope, budget and timeline. Users can clearly see how adding items to the scope will push the project out, or how costs will increase.

Challenges:

  • As is true of any tool, the quality of the output is only as good as the data put into it. The value of Gantt charts is reliant on the accuracy of resource estimates used to create budget and timeline projections.
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  • Gantt charts require upkeep. Especially if you want to use them for project tracking, you will need to assign ownership of the Gantt chart to a manager and require them to update the system accordingly.
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  • Gantt charts don't automatically account for Murphy's law—whatever can go wrong will go wrong. So it's important to leave some cushion in the system to account for issues when you're building out project schedules.
 

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