Gantt chart software for project management

Tracking complex projects with large teams and multiple tasks can be challenging for any project manager. Gantt chart software, a project management tool, helps simplify the job by providing a visual approach using horizontal graph bars representing each task and milestone in your project.

Why teams use Gantt chart software

Gantt charts serve as a visual reference point for all work down to the task level and benefit the entire team. The tasks include start and end dates, resource assignments, dependencies, progress, and milestones.

JSW timeline

When integrated with product development tools, such as Jira, task-level changes get reflected immediately, providing the current view of the entire project.

Task scheduling

Scheduling tasks helps the team and stakeholders know what to expect and when, and Gantt chart software defines clear start and end dates for each task. 

Dependency mapping

Task dependencies occur when one task cannot begin until another is complete. Assigning dependencies becomes easy with tools for mapping and visualization, such as Gantt chart software that simplifies task sequencing, prevents downtime, and optimizes team resources.

Project tracking

Gantt charts provide a current view of a project’s status, open and completed tasks, dependencies, and bottlenecks. As teams log progress against tasks, Gantt chart software tracks project progress to completion in real time.

Date shifting

Adding new tasks to an existing project can result in a cascade of shifting dates when those tasks have dependencies. Gantt chart software automatically adjusts dates for all dependent work when tasks are added or changed.

Resource allocation

Efficient project management optimizes resource allocation by focusing on skills, availability, and constraints. Gantt chart software visually represents all resources across the project timeline, showing when they are needed and how long they will be working on each task.

Roadmap views

Project managers rely on visual roadmaps to clearly communicate the vision, priorities, and progress of the project with everyone. Advanced and basic roadmap views in Gantt chart software help tailor the information by providing the right level of detail for the audience.

Limitations of Gantt charts

Gantt charts are beneficial in visually representing projects in real time. However, as projects become more complex and the team grows, Gantt charts can quickly become overwhelmingly complex. It’s important to find a tool that allows the team to quickly and easily drill into details to understand priorities, dependencies, and the amount of work each task requires. 

Gantt chart software for agile teams

At its core, a Gantt chart aims to promote greater flexibility, collaboration, and customer-centricity. Gantt charts, or tools that offer Gantt chart-like capabilities such as Jira, can be used by Agile teams practicing Scrum or Kanban methodologies.

Jira’s Timeline view allows individual teams to visualize the timing, duration, and dependencies of tasks within a project. The timeline offers a simple way to plan your project with respect to important dates and deliverables. Map dependencies within your team to identify and account for potential blockers in your project plan. Keep your teams and stakeholders in sync with software designed to help you release more predictably, pivot with agility, and stay aligned to the big picture goals.

This is a powerful view for teams across the organization. For example, marketing teams can visualize all the tasks related to a specific launch, while software development teams can see the same detail for the next feature they’re building.

timeline view

Plans is an advanced planning feature available in Jira Premium. Where the Timeline visualizes work from within a team, Plans allows organizations to ladder work from multiple teams and projects to company-wide initiatives. This simplifies data sharing between teams and improves resource optimization and release date scheduling. Plan at the organizational level based on capacity, track dependencies, manage competing priorities, and explore alternative scenarios with a single source of truth on the current and future health of your initiatives.

timeline view

Advanced Roadmaps

Atlassian’s Advanced Roadmaps combine issues from multiple projects to create a master plan encompassing multiple teams. The visual hierarchy provides a view of projects across the company, including upcoming priorities, dependencies, and areas at risk. This simplifies data sharing between team members and improves resource optimization and release date scheduling.

Gantt chart software: Frequently asked questions

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Project managers find that Gantt charts provide flexibility and support incremental progress and continuous improvement. And they can be created with various ubiquitous office tools, such as Microsoft Excel.

For customer-centric teams that work collaboratively, including Agile, Kanban, and distributed teams, Jira can provide more flexibility in collaboratively defining, refining, and reprioritizing tasks.  

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Gantt charts can help Agile teams map sprints and create product development roadmaps. However, sprints include fewer tasks in faster iterations, which may not require the level of effort it takes to create a Gantt chart. Tools such as Jira assist teams with breaking tasks into smaller units, helping teams remain focused.

DevOps teams, where members work across the entire application lifecycle, also find Jira useful for bug tracking and product updates because it automates and accelerates multiple processes.

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Choosing the best software for Gantt charts depends on the needs of your company. Many project management software platforms include Gantt charts, but advanced tools that support specific methodologies, such as Agile and Kanban, can improve overall success. Project management companies focused on best practices also offer free reviews and insights into the best tools based on a methodology for specific areas of product development.

For many modern product development teams, collaboration, speed, and user-centric decisions are key drivers when defining projects. Agile, Scrum, and Kanban teams often use alternatives to Gantt charts, such as Jira, because these are tailored to the needs of these methodologies.