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How to create an executive-friendly Gantt chart?

Home Forums Discussion How to create an executive-friendly Gantt chart?

  • This topic has 9 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 7 years ago by Dan Connors.
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  • #75917 Reply
    Steven Johnson

    I’m a bit of a novice, but what do you folks recommend for an effective executive presentation, where you have to provide monthly project timing updates to executives? I like the idea of a simplified Gantt chart, but not sure how to make that happen. For example, my task names are full of jargon that the team needs, but that same jargon would be confusing to the executives. Further, it is tempting to only include key summary tasks in this simplified Gantt, however they sometimes roll-up tasks that I’d prefer to ignore for the purposes of the presentation. I could just manually create a shadow MS Project file to craft the Gantt I’m looking for, but the project is so huge, I don’t think that is feasible when I consider how often I will have to make this presentation.

    So, what do you all use to communicate high-level timing?
    Any tips or tricks? Do you use software add-ons like “Milestones Professional” or “OnePager Pro”?

    #76540 Reply

    Hi Steven,

    disclaimer first: I work for a company which develops Gantt chart software. Typically, we sell our software as Gantt chart controls to other software developers so that they can enhance their scheduling applications with interactive Gantt chart functionality.

    Recently, we published a free Ebook in which we provide 13 tips how to empower Gantt charts with intelligent colors. Some of the tips are also centered around the level of information you provide to the respective users. One of the tips had been published as separate blog post and deals with combining both top-down and bottom-up visual alerts. In that way, both people who need a high-level view and people who need to work on all details will get focused on the crucial tasks.

    Does this help you?

    #77800 Reply
    #96665 Reply
    Josh Logan

    Typically managers like the “birds on a wire” charts; i.e., milestones on one page. “OnePager” software is excellent for this. “Milestones Professonal” is more heavy duty, and is also excellent.

    Extracting your milestones into Excel, and color coding and annotating works just as well as anything, and you get to be creative!

    #96880 Reply
    Josh Logan

    Great input Ismet. Thanks!

    #96881 Reply
    Josh Logan

    #96883 Reply
    Josh Logan

    #96968 Reply
    James Norris

    Why not just create a new view in MS Project and place custom columns you know the executives want to see. Then, all you do is click on that view and print it….

    #100414 Reply
    Sarah Kegley

    Good information. Thanks!

    #106581 Reply
    Dan Connors

    Another way is to use one of the general purpose fields, like Number 1. Add that field to your view and put a 1 in front of all the tasks you want the executive to see, leaving the rest blank. Then filter that column to show only tasks with a 1 in this field. Then hide the field.

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