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Creating Gantt Charts Using Microsoft Excel

A typical Gantt Chart would consist of the tasks column, start-date and end-date of each task and calendar with horzontal bars for each task row representing the duration of the tasks across the calendar in a graphical form.

A more extensive gantt chart would also consists of lines connecting the tasks showing the dependencies of each task.

While we can use readily avaiable project tools to plot out the gantt charts, sometimes, we just need a avery simple high level gantt chart and it seems the easiest ways to do it is using Microsoft Excel as the charts can be easily distributed and Microsoft Excel provides many features for you to format the chart. Unfortunately, to do it manually takes time and we would like to look for easier to do that.

There are a few methods that one can use to create a Gantt Chart using Microsoft Excel. You can eithe user the Charting tool in Microsoft Excel to do it, or another very popular way of doing it is to use condition formating and some simple Excel formula to automate this task.





To create a gantt chart like the above in Excel is very easy. All you need is to use the condition formating for the gantt chart area. The formula would check if the cell date falls within the start and end dates of the task. So for example in Cell G 1, the formula would be:

=IF(AND(G$1>=$C2,G$1<=$D2),1)



That's all that you need to enter in the condition formating window for this cell. After that just duplicate this formula across to all the cells.

Of course there are tools that are available to help you plot this easily with many added functions. One such free too is XL-EasyGantt.


You can check out these sites for other methods:

http://www.xleasygantt.com/excelmacros.asp

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/excel/HA010346051033.aspx

http://peltiertech.com/Excel/Charts/GanttChart.html

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I use EasyProjectPlan (www.easyprojectplan.com) which is an Excel Gantt Chart and Project Plan that syncs with Outlook and MSProject.

www.easyprojectplan.com

I use the Outlook and Calendar sync features to distribute and collect task information to my team members.

I distribute the EPP Excel file to all team members either by email or I post it in a shared folder.

My team members can edit the EPP excel file and send the changes back to me.

Most of the companies I work for have no PM task management system so EPP allows me to walk onto any project and immediately distribute and collect task information to all team members. Considering that most companies use Excel and Outlook, there is nothing to install on any computer.

In my experience, team members prefer to view task information in Excel and Outlook.

Excel Gantt Chart Template said...

Good to know about gantt chart. It is a project management tool that represents the timing of projects or tasks as they occur within a given time line. Thanks a lot....

Mike said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mike said...

Great post - good work. I've created something similar with a downloadable example as well... www.mlynn.org/2012/05/excel-project-planning-spreadsheet/

Matthew said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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