Gantt views are great for project management, as they create a Gantt chart next to your worksheet to track task progress. More than this, the Gantt view itself lets you visualize dependent tasks, parent tasks, and the critical path to hit your project's deadline.
Topics in this article
- Creating Gantt views
- Gantt Chart Features
- Adjusting your Gantt Chart
- Project Management Settings
Creating Gantt views
Gantt views can be created in any worksheet by clicking “+ New view” in the view selector dialog and choosing Gantt, or selecting "Create new Gantt view" from the View menu.
When the first Gantt view is created in a worksheet, Spreadsheet.com will guide you through enabling Project Management on that worksheet. Here you can configure which columns are used for task management, settings for working days and hours, and whether or not to enable task dependencies:
Gantt Chart Features
Expanding Tasks and Dragging Tasks
Each line in the Gantt chart corresponds to a row in your project plan and can be edited either in the worksheet or directly from the Gantt chart. Double-clicking on a line expands the line, just like expanding the row. Similarly, you can drag and drop lines to adjust their timing and duration.
Lines in the Gantt chart can indicate the % complete for a given row as a function of days remaining and project status. For instance, in the project plan below, we can see that our "Product Use Case Definition" is 100% complete, so the entire bar is shaded green (matching our status color), while the "Marketing Plan" is only 26.2% shaded because it's only 26.2% complete.
Rows in hierarchies calculate their completeness as a percentage of child cells and the days remaining.
Dependencies allow you to track tasks that must start after another task has finished. Dependencies can be established between tasks by dragging connections between taskbar antennae, as shown here:
See our article on task dependencies for more details.
Setting a task's duration to 0 days will create a "milestone" notated as a diamond in your Gantt chart. Milestones are often used in projects as critical, intermediate check-points, moments when you assess progress, and the project plan overall.
Tasks in your project plan may feed into overarching parent tasks. For instance, developing a product plan could be an overall track of work, composed of child tasks to define business requirements, compose a launch schedule, and define use cases. Children and parent tasks are similar to, but not the same as task dependencies. While parent tasks do depend on child tasks, those child tasks roll up to the parent. The parent work track is generally not a task itself.
For instance, in the Gantt view below, we can see that our "Product Use Case Definition" task and our "Business Requirements" task are children of our "Product Plan" parent. Parent taskbars bracket the child tasks beneath them and inherit attributes like end dates from their child tasks.
See our article on task hierarchies for more details.
Your project's Critical path
Project Management allows you to trace a task or series tasls that most affect the overall project's duration, identifying important tasks to meet deadlines. We call this series of relevant tasks a Critical path, the longest sequence of tasks from the beginning to the end of a project. I.e. the critical path traces the shortest amount of time a project could take.
In the Gantt view below, this critical path is traced in red and follows from a task at the beginning of the project all the way to the launch at the end.
You can show a project's Critical path by selecting the Critical path button in the Gantt view toolbar.
See our article on Critical path for more details.
Adjusting your Gantt Chart
A Gantt toolbar above the chart provides quick ways to zoom in and out of the chart, along with additional features such as bar labels, and highlighting the critical path:
Taskbars can be moved and resized using the mouse, via the zoom level in the Gantt toolbar, the zoom in and zoom out options in the toolbar, and can be widened or narrowed with the Gantt slider.
Project Management Settings
You can return to and modify the project management settings of a Gantt chart in the project management menu.
From the Project Management menu, you can adjust which columns are used for a task's start date, end date, user, duration, status, and more. You can also account for days off, start times, and set up dependencies between tasks.
Note: Columns selected for project management must remain the data type needed for project management. For instance, you cannot change an end date column to the text data type.