A Gantt Chart is a project-time-accountability managing spreadsheet that visualizes the time scale, spaced resources, and delegated tasks needed to be accomplished and lets the stakeholders and the project manager communicate and understand:
- Initializing with:
- The Scope and the end-result of the Project.
- The Objectives and future Financial Projections (optional).
- The contractors, budgets, timeframe, and subcontractors are involved to implement the project on schedule.
- Person Responsible for a task done and answering accountability questions:
- Are we on time?
- Do you need more resources?
- Are there any active contingencies?
- Did a subcontractor leave the project?
- How can I help you to optimize this business process?
- Do you have any questions?
- Are you ok and need personal/sick time?
- Lessons Learned Journal.
- Resources needed to finish the project on the specified timeline.
- Name of tasks and the details thoroughly written if stakeholders need visibility.
- Show the status of each task:
- Not Done
- Working on it
- Needs Review
- Any contingencies inside the project are already calculated subjectively/objectively and it’s signed by both parties to start the project and keep track of progress.
- Build tasks according to these words: As a… I want… so that… example:
- “As a brand manager, I want a form that captures user’s information in a unique landing page with this offering, so that we can generate leads to the business and tie it to end results through a CRM system.” (This is a simple sentence, but you can go into detail in the description area of the task.)
- Color Coding Cells:
- Red means it’s not done and/or hasn’t been started.
- Orange means that this will be worked on either soon or it has been started.
- Yellow means it is in progress and it’s in the “doing” sprint process.
- Green means that the task is done 100% and it’s implemented according to the task’s description and dependencies.
- Blue means that this task is done 100% and it’s being tested after the completion and it’s put on a “benchmarking” state, if applicable, like a Conversion Rate Optimization Experiment.
- Investors and stakeholders are only responsible for the Positive financial benefit that was created by the finished project’s result and future profit projections unless otherwise written differently on the contract.
- Immediately communicate with the stakeholders about any active contingencies and if you need:
- More money
- More Resources
- More subcontractors
- More Time
- More Tasks
- More Managers
- More Tools or Equipment
- If equipment or digital tools are rented or purchased monthly and according to the project’s timeline, communicate with stakeholders if you need more depending on the scope.
- There can be disclaimers and finer details in the Gantt chart, but it’s best to put these on a separate document if it’s more convenient for both parties to keep them separate or together for any specific actions or to understand any confusing parts of the project.
- The bigger the project and higher the price, the more risk, motivation, reward, and profit can someone generate from the initial investment of the project, they view things in a higher future state asking questions that are long-term such as the business sales cycle, project maintenance long term cost, selling the project to another entrepreneur, executive, or buyer; or if the cost will increase and profit diminishes(Innovation-Disruption paradoxes).
- The project manager must forecast what are the maintenance costs.
If the project costs are more to maintain in the future and there is no increase in sales and growth, the project must describe it in detail and be completely transparent of such, and take initiative in doing what is best for the stakeholders and end-users.
- If there is a reason to stop the project for illegal, immoral, unethical, or breach of contract reasons, both parties are responsible to investigate the cause of this incident and share to all parties and the Court all the necessary information that shows the truth about these actions and make the ones responsible to file a case to solve these issues, terminate the subcontractors or assistants and replace them immediately, explain stakeholders about such situation, and have them decide what can happen, be improved, changed, or make sure to make the best decision with what both parties have moving forward.
- The Gantt Chart can be updated every Monday and Friday to check weekday and weekend tasks and communicate daily to stakeholders and investors any milestones and the status of the project.
- Project managers and stakeholders are responsible for communicating any changes, updates, delays, scope creep, or improvements that can benefit the project itself.
- Examples: New tools, more resources, accelerated rate from the start-to-finish timeline, resource optimization, contract updates, new policies, diplomacy, bonuses, etc.
- When the project is finished and presented to stakeholders, it is optional to ask for project feedback so that project managers can efficiently optimize business processes to improve the project timeline, use fewer resources, and need less money to spend but have all contractors and subcontractors paid more for them to invest that money on themselves to improve their lives such as education, courses, workshops, tools, etc.
- Creativity and brainstorming take time, adding time to the project for creativity and analysis to be added to the timeline will benefit all people involved.
- The greater the projects with less time to finish and greater the quality, the more clients you will have that are helping your business optimize itself.
- Any negatives or costs that are derailing the project to have less quality, the project will take longer to finish, or the cost going higher every day, shall be negotiated with project managers, investors, and stakeholders to verify the disclaimers on things that might create downtime for both parties:
- Digital tools and equipment failures.
- Servers not working.
- Miscommunication or unclear objectives.
- People doing a sloppy job.
- No Quality Assurance processes.
- DDoS Attack, Worm, Virus, or Trojan infiltration.
- Poorly written code.
- A subcontractor not understanding the task.
- Someone that does something malicious to both parties.
- Lack of creativity and motivation – Evaluate if it is the project task, salary, personal reasons, etc.
- Subcontractor fatigue.
Gantt Chart Template
If you would like to use a free Gantt Chart Template, Google Sheets provides a great one that you can use and practice to be accountable to stakeholders: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/u/0/
Practice practice practice! Using a Gantt Chart every day will help you release the fear of being committed and push yourself to do what’s right according to the chart.
Remember to communicate effectively and almost every day that the North Star is still pointing in the right direction and touch bases with everyone involved in the project regularly.
“Extreme Ownership” is what is all about and to be accountable for every single detail is your responsibility.
If you would like Hunabkuh to help you with your digital endeavors, send us your information and we call help you create one for your project or advice in your own Gantt Charts.