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Best Gantt Chart Software - Checklist

Best Gantt Chart Software

Product

Category

Pricing

Training

Mobile App

Free Trial

ZilicusPM Project Management Software

ZilicusPM

Mid to Enterprise

$25 per user/month

Optional

Yes

MS Project Management Software

MS Project

General Purpose

$30 per user/month

Mandatory

No

Smartsheet - Project Management Software

Smartsheet

Basic, General Purpose

$25 per user/month

Optional

Yes

Oracle-Primavera

Oracle Primavera

Complex Enterprise

$125 per user/month

Mandatory

No

CA Clarity Project Management Software

CA Clarity

Complex, Enterprise

$55 per user/month

Mandatory

Limited

No

Liquid Planner Project Management Software

LiquidPlanner

Complex, Agile

$45 per user/month

Mandatory

Yes

Yes

Clarizen - Project Management Software.jpg

Clarizen

Complex, Enterprise

$45 per user/month

Mandatory

Yes

On Request

Gantt Chart

Gantt chart is scheduling technique to visualise the project activities and their inter-dependence along a timeline. In Gantt chart, every project task is displayed as a bar which has a start date and due date. When multiple tasks are displayed as horizontal bars along with inter-dependence, it becomes a Gantt chart. Gantt chart is considered as a next step to creating work breakdown structure (WBS).

Is Gantt Chart Popular?

Well, that’s not the correct question to ask. Gantt chart has been considered as one of the most popular project management tool; so much so, most people think of Gantt chart, when there is a mention of project management. Its history goes back to its inventor ‘Henry Gantt’ and in turn Gantt chart got popularity when it was used by US army during first world war (WW1). Since then Gantt chart has been used virtually, every industry under the sun. There are several advantages of Gantt chart, yet, there are some limitations to it as well. Yet, no one can deny the fact that Gantt chart is de facto used as a most popular project planning tool across industries. Agile project management is also popular, but let’s face it, in its truest form, agile is not for everyone. So at the risk of making a stereotype statement – ‘like it depends’; I always argue that, even a traditional approach (such as using Gantt chart tool), can very well be exercised as lean-agile.

Benefits of Gantt Chart

Well, there are certainly reasons why Gantt chart is still in use. Project management professionals have seen solid benefits of using Gantt chart, such as

 

  1. It enables detailed planning of a project schedule
  2. As you go deeper, it uncovers risks in scheduling, resourcing, costing
  3. Anyone can easily understand Gantt chart, as it is super visual to track
  4. Contrary to assumption, it enables collaboration, transparency
  5. It establishes responsibility and accountability in a project team

Gantt Chart software

Bit of a history of Gantt chart software:
As with an software, Gantt chart software enables users (usually project planners and managers), create project schedule electronically. It was long before computers come into picture, Gantt chart were created using pen paper, wooden bock and what not; very difficult to manage and maintain. All those painful things vanished with Gantt chart software. Now, there are likes of Microsoft Project, Primavera software which are desktop based tools however new edge Gantt chart software are cloud based, offers range of functionality (variations) linked to project management.

 

Welcome to Gantt chart software – It makes life of a project planner, project manager so much easier than before. Sharing Gantt chart is easier, it an be a file or as simple as a link to online schedule. Gantt chart allows project managers create, update, manage project tasks: set task dependencies, priorities, assign resources, estimate cost, track actual cost, earned value and much more. Best Gantt chart software simplifies schedule tracking even for project sponsors, clients and other senior management. 

Features to Look for in the best Gantt chart software

There are specific aspects as well as soft aspects of the features such as
  1. Task bar with start date, due date, option to set duration
  2. Set task dependencies (all types F2F, S2F, F2S, S2S) and lead/lag time
  3. Assign one or more resources to task
  4. Set task as milestone, set priorities
  5. Upload task specific document or link to it
  6. Add task comments
  7. Baseline, Tasks on Critical Path
  8. Tracking estimated cost, actual cost
  9. Zoom in/out task bar – Gantt chart view
  10. Compare task progress, planned vs actual
  11. Recurring/repeating tasks
  12. Link project issues, risks changes to task
  13. Task filters, reports
  14. Email based update, team collaboration

Guide to Select The Best Gantt Chart Software

You will not find the “one ultimately” best Gantt chart software in this universe. The Gantt chart tool that works well for your team considering following, is your best Gantt chart software.

  1. It must be online intuitive, faster to use
  2. It should be easy to share, enable collaboration with the team
  3. It must give clear picture as far as planned schedule and current progress
  4. It has all the features that you need to create, track and manage schedule
  5. Team members should be able to use it (optionally) and must be able to update it very easily
  6. Project team members must be able to know what is pending/due on their name, when
  7. It should have ability to share/unshare Gantt chart with team members, clients
  8. You know your projects better; if you have projects with 100+ tasks each, the Gantt chart tool should allow you to create, view, track and manage those 100+ tasks pretty fast without any glitch or performance issues. In short task management should be easier.
  9. If you have 1000+ tasks, then you should be able to break those tasks into multiple projects and set dependencies among those project tasks (intra-project as well as inter-project task dependencies)
  10. It should allow you to track project schedule KPIs through linked Dashboard and reports
  11. Templates: you should be able to use-reuse project schedule template with Gantt chart
  12. Do you also do project portfolio management? Then you will need a way to track portfolio of projects in a Gantt chart in easy way, trace projects milestones through portfolio dashboard.

Keep few important things in mind while choosing the best Gantt chart software

  • Don’t get tricked by project management tools that are actually task management apps or somehow manage to show Gantt chart as sideline charts
  • You should be able to take a free trial, without contacting vendor
  • Gantt chart should be explicitly available, accessible and should not be under-a-wrap like seen  in some of the tools
  • You should be able to do it all by yourself – be it creating schedule by adding tasks, creating milestones, setting dependencies interactively, assigning resources, adding comments, uploading docs, track cost, link issues/risks
  • You should decide whether you need a capability to add tasks on the go. Really?Who does that, without knowing its impact on other dependent tasks, resources, cost?
  • The tool should be available accessible 24×7, across locations
  • You should know how the data is backed up, how frequently it is backed up

We have compiled a list of the best Gantt chart software.. Let’s look at the list..

ZilicusPM

Pricing

$ 25 /user/month

Rating

Website

ZilicusPM provides robust Gantt chart software features as a part of its comprehensive project management software. It offers all the bells and whistles for a project planner to plan schedule, track all tasks, set traceability among tasks and issues, risks thereby you will know the impact of such issues and risks. It even allows portfolio managers to track progress using portfolio Gantt chart.

Top Features

  • Interactive Gantt chart to drag-drop tasks as well as dependencies
  • View portfolio Gantt chart with progress indicators, zoom
  • Add repeating, recurring tasks
  • set and track cost elements at task level & roll up automatically
  • Link project issues, risks to tasks
  • Portfolio/project manager can easily drill down from portfolio, project dashboard to specific tasks & milestones.

 

How Does ZilicusPM Help You?

ZilicusPM is a complete project management tool in itself that offers robust Gantt chart software features. It is well integrated with issues, risks, change request management, budgeting, cost tracking, time tracking, meeting management and more. It means, you do not need to use a separate Gantt chart tool for scheduling purpose and different time tracking tool or excel for resource management and PPT to create dashboard manually.

The beauty of ZilicusPM software is, as a project manager plans and delegate tasks to team members, they are automatically informed about it. Team members are also reminded about pending activities using various alerts and notifications. ZilicusPM also makes it incredibly simpler for team members to update their own tasks and as they update tasks, the progress automatically reflects in the online Gantt chart.

Thus using one central tool, managers can clearly track health & status of portfolio of projects and team members can remain top of their things & clearly know the things they need work on. ZilicusPM is your best Gantt chart software.

Microsoft Project - Project Management Tool

Pricing

$ 940 For Individual

Rating

Website

MS Project as it is known among project management professionals, has been undoubtedly standard scheduling tool used. Unfortunately, MS Project has had its days. As more and more businesses started moving to cloud, MSP has kind of lost in the race. Though few folks who do not want to change and embrace new things are still holding on to MS Project. Good luck guys!

Top Features

  • Easy to get started and scale up
  • Share dashboard with external people
  • Mobile app to visualise dataset
  • Auto fetch & refresh of data from 3rd party applications e.g. Salesforce, 
  • Integrates with R, Google BigQuery, Hadoop and other BI tools

How Does MS Project Help You?

MS Project though favourite among civil contractors and engineering firms, newbie needs thorough training to start using Microsoft Project. At one point, it certainly was the best Gantt chart software. since it used to offer tremendous capabilities around task scheduling such as unlimited baseline, critical path, automatic scheduling, etc however it misses on collaboration. Today collaboration is THE biggest thing in any project delivery. If one has to keep referring MS Project files, their versions and therefore implied confusion. Hence in today’s business world, MS project file lesser utility as far as growing businesses are concerned. Legacy firms in sunset industries who are not willing to understand or embrace the shift in technology and leverage the power of more collaboration, more productivity will grapple with their own challenges really hard.

Best Gantt Chart Software - Smartsheet

Pricing

$ 25 /user/month Billed Annally

Rating

Website

smartsheet.com

Smartsheet is excellent tool to manage and automate collaborative work and it also provides features to create Gantt chart, as well as project KPI dashboard for premium users. With a spreadsheet-like interface, Smartsheet to help project teams, sales team, finance team track schedule using its Gantt chart.

Top Features

  • Online Gantt chart
  • Team resource views
  • Shows tasks on critical Path
  • Task dependency, lead/lag time

Things to consider

  • Remember, it is essentially online spreadsheet designed for team collaboration and reporting. Be watchful of performance as your data grows and as your number of sheets grow.

How Does It Help You?

You can create or edit a Smartsheet Gantt chart like an online spreadsheet. Using Smartsheet you can visualise, summarise, as well as share Gantt chart with your team, clients. Since it is available online, status/progress also reflects automatically as and when team members update it. Smartsheet is used more for work collaboration such as basic/simple projects, sales-lead tracking, issue tracking, file sharing, etc.

Oracle Primavera - Project Portfolio Management Software

Pricing

$ 125 /user/month  min 200 users

Rating

Website

Like Microsoft Project, Oracle Primavera is one of the earliest player in project management tool market (It was just Primavera, before Oracle acquired it). It primarily used for construction and engineering projects. It provides standard project KPI dashboard and reporting capabilities.

Top Features

  • Project scheduling
  • Create work breakdown structure
  • Gantt chart with baseline, critical path
  • Standard project KPI dashboard, reports

 

How Does It Help You?

Oracle Primavera has these famous versions of its product, that its fan followers keep calling by P2, P3, P4, P5, P6 (while the latter is the latest one launched in 2008). It was also popular among civil construction contractors as it combines document sharing, cost management, scheduling and resource tracking, budgeting. The user interface of Primavera especially Gantt chart as you can see above, looks pretty much like a legacy software but it can be configured. Once a darling of project managers in non-software-industry, requires significant training before you can start using it. .

 


 

ZilicusPM All In One Project Management Software

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About Zilicus

Zilicus offers the best project portfolio management tool ZilicusPM, with robust project management tools capabilities and easy ways to track project management KPI,

Know more about project portfolio managementGantt chartbest project management toolproject management office, project management tips, project planning guideproject risk managementproject scope management, effective project management, project manager guides and know more about Project Portfolio Management Software, Project Management Software Guide.

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ABOUT
Dhan

I am a co-founder of Zilicus Solution and I write about project management, collaboration, productivity, project management software, cloud computing, requirement management and business empowerment.