Gantt Chart for Multiple Projects
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- October 1, 2019 Updated
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Nowadays, many project managers are tasked with working on several projects at once. This often depends on and is the result of the industry, nature of the projects, and even resource limitations.
One of the best ways to manage multiple projects is by documenting and communicating progress. And this is when our Gantt Chart for Multiple Projects template can help.
By entering your projects and milestones or tasks, you have a single document that holds each project timeline. This then allows you to communicate the progress of each project without the need for overwhelming project management software.
By using this Gantt Chart for Multiple Projects template, you can:
- focus on each of your projects without jumping to different tools or sections of software,
- balance multiple projects by having a clear view of key dates and milestones,
- track the progress of your task list and dependencies,
- visualize your workload for better planning of your project management tasks, and
- prioritize or reprioritize with a comprehensive view of a project timeline and its critical path.
Now that you know the benefits of this chart template and how it can help you manage your resources, tasks, and projects, it’s time to create your Gantt chart. And we’ll walk you through just how easy it is!
Create Your Gantt Chart
This template gives you one large area to see both the work breakdown section for your projects and milestones on the left and the Gantt chart view on the right. With these two sections working hand-in-hand, you have a nice, clean picture of your project plan and critical paths.
You can start by entering simple details for your chart and then move on to the work breakdown structure section.
The basics for this chart template include the Company Name and the Start of Planning date. You’ll see these fields in the upper left corner of the template. Just click each line to enter these details.
Tip: You can put your company logo in the field labeled Gantt Planner for a more personalized chart appearance.
For the Start of Planning field, enter the start date for your first project. Use whichever date format is most comfortable for you and the template with reformat it as you see it. So, you can enter June 4, 2019 or 6/4/19 and the template will format it as 04-Jun-19.
Once you enter this date, it will automatically update the dates in the Gantt chart view. Keep in mind that the chart week date will always start on Monday. So, if you enter a Start of Planning date of Tuesday, June 4, the Gantt chart timeline will start on Monday, June 3.
Work Breakdown Structure
When you finish with the basic details, you’ll move to the work breakdown structure section to enter your project and milestone information.
Enter the name of your first project in the row and cell labeled Project 1 and then continue with additional project names in the subsequent project rows and cells.
You won’t enter any dates or work day numbers in those rows labeled for projects because those elements will calculate and populate automatically based on the milestone details you enter next.
Tip: If applicable, you can enter names for your lead resources to the right of the project names in the Responsible People column.
This chart template has rows for four projects and four milestones or tasks within each. If your to-do list includes more than four projects, you can insert additional project sections.
- Select a project section including the project row and milestone rows by clicking the row numbers on the left side of the Excel sheet and dragging through the range.
- Right-click and select Copy.
- With the rows still selected, right-click and select Insert Copied Cells. This should place your new project section directly above the one you copied.
Milestones and Responsible People
Once you enter the project names, add the names from your task list in the Milestone rows for that project. You can then enter the names of the resources directly to the right in the Responsible People column. This gives you a quick way to see which project team members are responsible for which tasks.
If a project has more than four milestones or tasks, you can insert more rows if needed.
- Select a milestone row by clicking the number on the left side of the Excel sheet.
- Right-click the row and select Copy.
- With the row still selected, right-click it and select Insert Copied Cells. This should place your new milestone or task row directly above the one you copied.
Start and End Dates
If you have the start and end dates for the project tasks ready, enter those next or as you enter the milestones and responsible people data.
Just like the Start of Planning date, you can use whichever format is easiest for you and the template will reformat it for you.
Once you add the start and end dates, those columns will populate in the project rows automatically. For example, for Project 1, the start date will be the earliest start date of all milestones in that section and the end date will be the latest end date of all milestones in that section.
Work Days Number
Do not enter any data in the Work Days Number column. The fields in this column will calculate automatically as you enter the start and end dates for each milestone. And like the start and end dates, the Work Days Number in the project rows will also populate from your data.
The Chart View
The Gantt chart view on the right is where you can see your project schedule and critical path. The template uses the start and end dates you enter in the work breakdown section to give you an easy-to-read timeline view of your project’s progress. Simply scroll to the right in the Gantt chart view to see the upcoming weeks.
The template is designed for 16 weeks. To help you plan your project and view it clearly, each week begins on Monday, contains five workdays, and alternates lighter and darker blue for easier viewing.
Below the dates, you will see dark gray boxes for your projects and dark blue boxes for your milestones. These boxes represent the number of work days it will take for each to be completed.
For instance, you can see that Project 1 is scheduled to start on June 4 and end on August 11, which is 49 work days. And Milestone 11 is scheduled to start on June 4 and end on June 20, which is 13 work days. So, the project will display 49 gray boxes and the milestone will display 13 blue boxes in the Gantt chart across those dates.
Note: The number of gray boxes for Project 1 extend beyond this screenshot.
This comprehensive view lets you easily see how far out the current projects and milestones will be completed. This type of detailed view lets you update your team and stakeholders without manual calculations.
Easier Project Management of Multiple Projects
Project managers need the right tools for the job, especially when it comes time to plan and manage multiple projects at once. With flexibility, an intuitive interface, built-in formulas, and an attractive appearance, this Gantt chart template is an ideal tool.
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