The Gantt interface has a new, colourful layout, intuitive design with optimised performance and great additional features. This article will help you get used to the new interface changes.
Use the following links to find out about:
- The tasklist
- Column header menus
- The context menu
- Expand and collapse buttons
- The chart
- Chart features
- The Show/Hide Pane buttons
- The timeline ribbon
- Zooming in and out
- The Features menu button
- Highlighting the critical path
- Saving custom views
- Showing Risk Review dates
For step-by-step details of how you can perform the most common actions on the new interface, see our article about transitioning from the old interface to the new one.
Tasks are organised as before in the left-hand side grid into a hierarchical tree, but there are a few new enhancements.
You will notice new columns here. In addition to the task name, start and end date, columns to display task progress percentage, date and time of completion, display on dashboard flag, and the linked stage-gate milestones have been added. The column headers offer a context menu using which you can display additional columns or hide the default columns in this grid.
You can reposition the order of the data columns by dragging and dropping them to the desired position. The grid also features a context menu which contains additional menu options.
Column Header menu
The column header context menu is another highlight in the new layout. Right-clicking on the column headers of the task grid will display a menu that offers options to add, filter, sort and hide columns in the grid.
A fewer number of options are available on right-clicking the timeline ribbon.
The Context menu
Some of the common operations, including adding and modifying tasks or milestones, deleting tasks, filtering and intending tasks, can be performed using commands in the context menu. To view this menu, you only need to right-click on the left-hand side of the grid.
When invoked from the schedule interface of a child-level initiative, you will see fewer options in this menu.
Expand and Collapse Buttons
In addition to the individual expand and collapse buttons, you will now see buttons to expand or collapse all tasks under the root task.
This button is particularly helpful when used in conjunction with the Project filter. When you are within a portfolio with a lot of projects, the Projects filter on the Gantt interface allows you to access specific projects quickly.
The right-hand portion of the Gantt interface shows an illustrated version of your task list, and this will be the most significant change that you will notice. Bars that run across the timeline represent tasks. Diamonds represent milestones. The colours used to denote different types of tasks vary. Milestones and tasks having subtasks are shown in blue colour, while tasks with no further subtasks are coloured green. Connection lines represent links between tasks or tasks and milestones.
Key information pertaining to the task will be displayed on hover.
You can perform the following actions directly on the chart portion of the interface.
- Modify task duration - Simply click at the endpoint of the taskbar and drag the handle to stretch or contract it.
- Reschedule tasks or milestones - Click on the taskbar or milestone and drag it to a different point on the timeline.
- Connect predecessor and successor tasks or milestones - Click the endpoint of the predecessor taskbar and drag the connection line to the beginning of the successor task.
- Mark task progress - Hover over the start of the taskbar to view a handle. Click and drag the handle to mark the progress.
The Show/Hide Pane button
A vertical bar separates the left and right panes of the Gantt view. You can click and drag this bar to the left or right to increase or decrease the visible area of either portion of the interface. To completely hide one part, move the mouse pointer over this bar. When you see the left or right arrow on the bar, click on any arrow to hide the portion it is pointing. For instance, when you have long task names that take up more than half of the screen space, you can choose to hide the chart portion of the view by clicking on the right arrow.
The below screenshot shows only the Chart portion on the interface. This result is achieved by clicking on the left arrow.
The Timeline Ribbon
The new interface features a double-levelled timeline with granular resolutions allowing you to show more accurate details and capture the precise task durations.
The timeline ribbon at the top of the Gantt features two levels of resolution. The top header of the ribbon shows a base resolution, and the second header shows the specific periods within the base range. By default, the base timeline resolution is five years.
Zooming in and out
With the introduction of comprehensive timeline views, we have also done away with the Zoom drop-down field. The new magnifier " Zoom" buttons are easy to locate at the top-right of the chart.
Below is an example of a timeline zoomed in to quarterly resolution for every year.
Clicking multiple times on the Zoom in button allows you to view lower levels of resolution.
If you have zoomed in more than what is required and have trouble locating the items on the chart, you can resize the chart to fit it to the right panel. Use the Zoom to Fit button to do this.
Use the button to the left of the Zoom buttons to view the chart in full-screen mode.
The Features menu
The Features menu button is new. This button contains a few settings that can be turned on or off to display or hide specific data on your new Gantt interface. Be sure to explore it because we have moved a few settings that were previously available directly on the interface into this menu. It is also the place where you will find some new useful options.
Click on the Features menu to view options for enabling:
- Baselines - Replaces the Show Baseline toggle.
- Critical paths - Shows the critical path.
- Dependencies - Allows creation of intertask dependencies on the chart.
- External dependencies - Displays external dependencies.
- Impacts - Displays impacts on the chart.
- Stage-gate milestones - Shows the milestones linked to stage-gates.
- RAID review dates - Shows RAID review dates.
Highlighting the Critical Path
With this version, you will be able too to see the critical path on the Gantt chart. Features menu has an option that will allow you to show the critical path on the chart.
Once enabled, the tasks that will affect the project start and end dates will be highlighted in red.
Saving Custom Views
Unlike in previous versions, the Gantt interface is designed as a reusable view. You can customise the default view and save it under a new name.
To save a custom Gantt view:
- Click on the Views button.
- Select the Save as option from the Save drop-down menu.
- Type in a name for your view in the dialogue box that displays.
Your custom view will now be available in the view selection menu (seen before the Save button in the above screenshot).
Showing Risk Review Dates
You will now be able to see risk review dates as milestones on the Gantt interface. When a delivery risk is added with a review date, it will appear as a milestone listed at the end of the Gantt table.