Gantt Chart Critical Path | Discover the Differences?
Managing and tracking the progress of a project can be challenging, as one small mistake can take your project off its trajectory, causing issues for your business. So, it’s essential to have proper knowledge about the tools and techniques that can streamline the project management process and help you stay on track with the timeline. Gantt charts and critical path methods are among those tools and methods that are essential for all businesses and make them more aware and efficient. So, if you want to know more about Gantt charts and a critical path, we got you covered. Let’s discuss the Gantt chart critical path and how to identify the critical path in a Gantt chart!
What is a Gantt Chart?
Gantt chart is a horizontal bar chart invented by Henry Gantt. It represents or visualizes project schedules from start to end. The Gantt diagram is the fundamental feature of project management software. With this, you get to know about the progress of your projects, such as the timeline and status and the people responsible for each project task.
Typically, the Gantt chart is divided into two parts: the left has all the tasks listed with their timeline and priority, while the right reflects the information collected or progress made on the left side. Here are the primary things the Gantt chart helps you with:
- How the project is going to break down into smaller bits or tasks.
- The timeline for each task – when it will start and end.
- Information about important upcoming meetings and events.
- People who have been assigned particular tasks.
- The dependence of each task on the other.
What is a Critical Path?
The concept of the critical path is driven by the critical path method – a project planning and management technique. The critical path is also known as the longest sequence of tasks that needs to be completed for project closing. As Gantt charts enable you to visualize the schedule and progress of your project, you can find the critical path in a Gantt chart.
With the help of a critical path, you can manage all your critical tasks and deal with the ones that are on the top-priority list first and then with others. Additionally, it allows you to have a realistic image of your project and its completion. Once you know about the crucial tasks, you can get a better idea about what tasks should be skipped and what should be completed according to the budget and time it takes.
What is a Critical Path Method in a Gantt Chart?
When an individual delay or disrupts a sequence of tasks in a project. It puts the entire project off track; it’s called a critical path in a Gantt chart. You can easily find out if a particular task is rightly on the critical path or not by checking whether that task is causing hurdles in your project or delays its overall duration.
In contrast, if a delayed task doesn’t cause any change in your project timeline, it’s non-critical. The critical path method helps you identify the shortest and most effective path to complete each task of the project. Gantt chart critical path method is best for businesses looking for tools to assist them in on-time and effective project completion.
Gantt Chart Vs. Critical Path: Major Differences
Let’s have a look at Gantt chart critical path and their differences:
- Gantt chart is typically a timeline view of a project, independent tasks, work left, time duration, etc. While the critical path is the series of tasks that determines the time it’ll take to complete the project.
- Gantt chart is a timeline plot of project tasks against time mentioned at the x and y-axis. On the other hand, a critical path is a diagram having all the tasks that need to be completed from start to end at once.
- A Gantt chart is used to get an overview of project progress. It also tells you about the different tasks and resources needed to do the project. In contrast, the critical path helps you calculate the complete project duration based on the time it takes to complete individual tasks. It also enables you to cut the project cost wherever possible.
- Gantt chart is only used for project management, while a critical path helps you manage, schedule and time estimate a project.
How to Identify the Critical Path in a Gantt Chart?
Many businesses fail to get good projects because they either mismanage the timeframe or budget. Critical path identification and proper usage can take your company on the road to success. To make the best out of it, you should know how to identify the critical path in a Gantt chart. So, let’s discuss it:
List all the Tasks
Tasks are the small steps you take to complete your project within the given time frame. So, to find out Gantt chart critical path, you first need to list all the tasks and activities of the project. You can easily do it utilizing a breakdown diagram.
The duration of a project refers to the total time it’ll take to complete all the collected tasks. For this purpose, you first calculate the duration of each listed task. Once you know the timeline of all the tasks, add them. Then you will have the final deadline for your project. You can do it by checking the history of similar projects or setting a meeting with your team and stakeholders to get a better idea.
Find Out the Dependencies
First, find out the dependencies of the listed tasks and separate the task you need to complete to move on to the next one. After that, pen down all of your critical tasks that you can’t leave unfinished due to money or time shortages. This helps you plan ahead of time and allocate proper resources.
Lastly, add milestones to your project tasks which is the time you set for the completion of each task and the start of the next. Add the deliverable items to your Gantt chart. After that, identify the longest sequence of tasks from the start to the end of the project.
Gantt chart critical paths are the best methods for businesses to schedule and track the duration of their projects. However, to make this whole process more smooth for you, Teamboard ProScheduler is perfect! It’s an all-in-one app that manages everything from the work tempo of your project & portfolio and tracking progress. With this tool, you can mark important dates to keep up with all the meetings and events. In addition, you can also get a detailed report of project costs and invoices. So, don’t wait and get the Teamboard ProScheduler now to streamline all the project scheduling and tracking.