When you click on the Schedule tab, the Gantt interface opens. This article will help you familiarize yourself with the interface.
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Tasks are organised in the left-hand side grid into a hierarchical tree.
Columns displayed include task name, start and end date, task progress percentage, date and time of completion, display on dashboard flag, and the linked stage-gate milestones. The column headers offer a context menu to display additional columns or hide the default columns in this grid.
It is possible to edit task items inline. Double-click in a cell to make your changes inline in the task grid without accessing the Edit Task form.
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 that contains additional menu options.
Column Header Menu
The column header features a context menu. Right-clicking on the grid column header 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 a leaf-level task, you will see different 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 beneficial when used in conjunction with the Project filter. When you are within a portfolio with many projects, the Projects filter on the Gantt interface allows you to access specific projects quickly.
The Gantt interface's right-hand portion 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 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 about the task will be displayed on hover.
You can perform the following actions directly on the chart portion of the interface.
- Modify task duration - Click at the taskbar's endpoint and drag the handle to stretch or contract it.
If the chart shows benefits, costs or resources, you can alter it in the same way. Please note that the schedule's overall duration will adjust accordingly if any item is dragged forward or backward to dates outside its current duration.
- 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 predecessor taskbar's endpoint and drag the connection line to the successor task's beginning.
- Mark task progress - Hover over the start of the taskbar to view a handle. Click and drag the handle to mark the progress.
- View Resource Demand and Capacity (this is only available in the program model)
- View and change the duration of Costs and Goals (available in program model).
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 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 ribbon's top header 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
The magnifier " Zoom" buttons are easy to locate at the top-right of the chart. You can zoom in and out via having the cursor in the right-hand section of the Gantt, holding the Ctrl Key and scrolling the mouse wheel.
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 chart items, 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 contains a few settings that can be turned on or off to display or hide specific data on your new Gantt interface. You can use these options to see only the data you want to display in the Gantt view. The project span will reflect the options that you selected in the Features button.
For example, if you have selected Resources in the Features Menu, it will contribute to the project's duration and summary tasks above. To see the project timelines without bothering about the resource timelines, clear the Resources option. The Gantt will hide the resources data and show only the data included in the Features filter.
Click on the Features Menu to view options for enabling:
- Critical paths
- Stage-gate milestones
- Risk review dates
The Gantt chart shows a distinct bar to represent each type of data. Stage-gate milestones and review dates are indicated as diamonds. Baselines display as grey bars underneath each item.
Working with Baselines
If you are looking to display the current baseline, you will now find the Baseline option within the Features menu. This option replaces the Show Baseline button.
Enabling this option will display the baselined durations on the chart.
If baselines are captured for the parent initiative, the Save & Update Baseline button will become available when changes are made to the schedule.
Highlighting the Critical Path
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.
Displaying impacts/benefits on the Gantt
Project benefits can be displayed on the Gantt so that you can link them to a schedule milestone. If your project has benefits defined, they will display as a bar on the Gantt.
You can modify the date range of the benefit by dragging the bar to the desired point. However, if actual values exist for the benefit, you will see a warning stating that that action will delete all existing actuals.
From version 21.2 onwards, you will be able to capture start and end dates for costs. You can add dates via the Add costs form or integrations.
Gantt will show bars for each cost defined for your project. To display costs on the Gantt, access the Features button and select Costs.
You will be able to change each cost's duration by dragging the bar or editing the grid's value.
If your site is using the program model configuration, you will see Goals on the Gantt.
Displaying Stage-gate Milestones
If your project implements the phase-gate process, you can see the stages on the Gantt chart. To view them, you will need to enable the Stage-Milestones setting from the Features menu.
Risk Review Dates
The Gantt can also display the review dates of your project's delivery risks. Enable the RAID Items option to display the dates.
You can differentiate risk items easily on the Gantt chart as orange coloured diamonds denote them.
Creating Custom Views
Unlike previous versions, the latest Gantt interface is designed as a reusable view. You can customise the default view and save it under a new name. There are a lot of things you can do with this functionality. If used in conjunction with the filter and column options, you can set up views that only shows projects that you want to see with only those columns of information that you require.
You can use the project selection button to filter projects, column selection options in the context menu, filter button on the column headers, etc., to create views that contain only the data relevant to you.
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).
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