Gantt charts are an essential part of project management.
They show you the tasks, dates and processes each person is working on, and any transitions or delays that have occurred—everything you need to know about your project.
In fact, a Gantt chart could be called a more polished bar chart, making life easier for teams trying to execute big project plans. But without the right tools, creating a Gantt chart can make things harder rather than easier.
In this article, we will explain how to create a Gantt chart on Excel and the easiest way to create a Gantt chart.
Gantt chart: a brief history
In 1896, Karol Adamiecki discovered a new way of showing interconnected processes. He called this visual project management chart he discovered a harmonogram, or harmonograph – the precursor to what is now commonly known as the Gantt chart.
So why isn’t it called the Adamiecki table?
Unfortunately for Adamiecki, his original work did not gain much international recognition because he published it in two non-English languages, Polish and Russian. By the time he published a more detailed report in 1931, Henry Gantt’s chart had already been circulating for several years.
Since it was originally done by hand, it was very timely and inefficient to manually draw from the beginning with every change that took place in the project.
The Gantt chart was used by the United States during World War I, but wasn’t used for business processes in companies until personal computers became commonplace in the 1980s. The spread of the Internet in the 1990s led to the further development of Gantt charts, and by the end of the millennium the Gantt chart was one of the most used project management tools on the market.
Gone are the days of hand-drawn Gantt charts. It is no longer necessary to create a new Gantt chart for every small change. Instead, project management software enables companies to quickly and efficiently monitor teams’ project progress. Modern Gantt charts (like our monday.com site) allow users to create boards, add tasks, assign team members, and easily visualize entire project progress from A to Z.
How to create a Gantt chart in Excel?
Actually, Excel does not have the ability to create a Gantt chart. Instead, you need to create a stacked bar chart and edit it to look like a Gantt chart.
How to create Gantt chart on Excel on computer
1. Create an Excel spreadsheet of your project calendar.
Separate everything by task and write each in columns. You can add a start and end date as well as the task duration.
2. Turn your Excel spreadsheet into a stacked bar chart
Select a blank cell, then click the “Insert” tab. Select “Stacked Bar” from the Charts section. Do not select “100% Stacked Bar” as this option will distort your Gantt chart.
3. Format your stacked bar chart.
Next, you need to reverse the quest order so that your progression starts with quest 1. Select all the tasks in the vertical portion of your Gantt chart, click the “Bar Chart” icon and select “Format axis”. Then you will see a checkbox called “Categories in reverse order”. Click this checkbox. And now you have a Gantt chart.
How to create an Excel Gantt chart on Mac
Are you creating an Excel Gantt chart using a Mac? Creating a Gantt chart on a Mac computer is a little easier than creating it on a regular computer.
Just follow these steps:
1. Create your Excel spreadsheet.
Make a task list and place it in an Excel spreadsheet.
2. Convert your Excel spreadsheet into a stacked bar chart.
From the “Insert” option, click “Insert Bar Chart” and then select “Stacked Bar Chart”.
3. Format your Excel Gantt chart
Click on your data, go to the “Format” tab, then select “No Fill” over “Shape Fill”. To get your Gantt chart in reverse order, hold down the control key and select your vertical axis. Next, click on “Format Axis” and select “Reverse order categories” under “Axis Position” section.
That’s it. After completing the basic configuration, you can make minor customizations such as color coding (for example, you can change bar colors) and save your new Gantt chart as a template for future use.
Is there a Gantt chart template in Excel?
Both yes and no. There is actually a Gantt chart template in Excel, but it’s not available on every computer. For example, if you are using a Mac, you have to create your schematics yourself.
You can find the Gantt Project Plan template for Microsoft Excel on the Microsoft Office website.
Actually your best bet for creating a Gantt chart would be a Work OS like monday.com.
What is the easiest way to create a Gantt chart?
If you have plenty of time, you can create a Gantt chart in Excel. But time is money, right?
So creating a Gantt chart using a Working OS will save you plenty of time (and when it comes to business OSs, you won’t find better than monday.com).
Want to know how easy it is to create your own Gantt chart on monday.com?
All you have to do is:
- Create a board and add your tasks.
- Add a “Task Timeline” column to your dashboard.
- Go to “Views” and select the Timeline or Gantt view.
You have a Gantt chart that you can customize in just three simple steps. It takes a few minutes at most. You can even view the percentage of completion of your tasks. Also, did we mention that it looks much more aesthetically pleasing?
If you want to save time and have a more dynamic (and nicer) Gantt chart, try monday.com Working OS.
So you want to save time and improve your project management by creating Excel bar charts? See how easy it is to create Gantt charts using monday.com. Try monday.com for free!