Project management charts are essential tools for project manager that helps them plan, schedule and track the process of different projects. Without project management charts, it would be difficult for the project manager to keep track of everything going on in a large project, which could lead to delays and errors.
The visual representation of the progress of the projects helps PMs discuss the project with all stakeholders more conveniently. It gives a clear picture of the progress of the project. Here is all you need to know about PM charts!
Project managers use different tools and methods to plan, execute, and track projects efficiently and deliver projects on time. The project management chart is a visual representation of the data used in the project, which helps in the process.
The PM chart is an essential tool for project managers that helps them to organise large amounts of data into a visual form that can be useful to share with the client or other members of the organisation to track the progress of the project. There are different types of PM charts that can be used during the different phases of project management.
1. Gantt Chart
The Gantt Chart, also known as the 'Roadmap project chart', is the most recognisable PM chart. The Gantt Chart is a roadmap of all the goals and milestones and displays the project's progress, the work progress of the team members and the activities they are working on together. The X-axis indicates the timeline, while the Y-axis displays the tasks.
The advantages of the Gantt Chart are its ease of use, assigning tasks efficiently and tracking their progress in a single place. The disadvantage is it the time required to create a Gantt chart for a particular project is higher than other charts.
2. Kanban board
The Kanban Board is also known as the Agile Project Chart or Scrumban Board. This PM chart is made up of task cards and status columns. On the board, each status column represented the activities marked as 'In Progress' and To Do'. The task cards direct the specific tasks that need to be completed. The project manager updates the status of each task on the chart.
The primary advantage of this chart is that the cards and columns are flexible and can be customised per the requirements. The disadvantage is that adding new tables to insert more information per project needs is nearly impossible on these Boards.
3. PERT Chart
The Program Evaluation & Review Technique or PERT is a form of project management chart that uses circles and arrows to represent and help track a project's progress.
The advantage of a PERT chart is it makes tracking tasks with uncertain timelines easy. The chart has the option to display non-critical parallel activities. The disadvantage is it is difficult to understand initially and is not helpful for tasks with restricted timelines.
4. Work-Breakdown structure (WBS) Chart
The WBS chart arranges the project at different levels. The first level is general and represents the overall project. The levels below it start breaking the projects into various tasks. This would help the project manager to track every task easily and update it periodically.
The advantages of the WBS chart are that it simplifies a complicated project into several small tasks and helps distribute the budget properly. The disadvantage is that the project's task timelines cannot be observed on this.
The flowchart is a commonly used PM chart. It uses boxes, arrows and colours to represent the tasks and their progress. For a smaller team working on a complicated project, a flowchart helps them to reduce the workload by simplifying it.
A flowchart's advantages are that it presents the project's tasks in a graphic way that helps the stakeholders understand them easily. The disadvantages of flowcharts are they can create confusion when used for complicated projects or when many departments are involved.
6. Cause-Effect Project Charts
The Cause-Effect Project Chart helps the project manager prepare and plan for problems that may crop up during the project execution. By putting out all the possible causes, the project manager would be able to solve the issues and help complete the project.
The advantage of this project management chart is that it helps the project manager forecast problems and prepare a solution in advance. The disadvantage is it has a narrow focus and does not provide any information about the external influence that can disrupt the project flow.
7. Bar Chart
The Bar Chart is considered a classic project management chart. It is simple to create, analyse, and easy to understand. The stakeholders need not be an expert in motion graphics to understand bar charts. One axis represents the measured variables, while the other axis represents the unit of measurement for the variables. This is commonly used for most project management activities.
The advantage of a Bar Chart is it is easy to create and understand. A large amount of data can be compiled for easy understanding. The disadvantage is only one part of the project can be addressed in a single Bar Chart.
8. Pareto Chart
The Pareto Chart is an amalgamation of line and bar graphs. The right vertical axis represents the total units of measurement, while the left vertical axis represents the frequency of occurrence. The X-axis represents the variables that need to be measured.
The advantage is it represents the good points of the bar and line graph, making the chart easier to understand. The disadvantage is it reflects a single purpose and does not show the other aspects of the project.
9. Pie Chart
The Pie Chart is circular in design and displays the breakdown of all project tasks. It is used when there is the involvement of budgets, tasks or assets-related data in any project.
The advantage of the Pie Chart is it displays all the impacts clearly and can be spotted easily by the project manager. It can be shared with the stakeholders as they are easy to understand. The disadvantage is its limited features to cover all aspects of the project.
10. Matrix diagram
The Matrix diagram displays the relationships between the four elements, comparing two elements with a common standard or comparing three features. The Matrix diagrams show how the data sets are related and work together.
The advantage is PMs can customise these charts based on the project's requirements. They can choose their format and fit their data per requirements. The main disadvantage is they are complicated to create and have limited scope.
The project management charts help put all the data in a visual form that is easy to understand and track the progress. There are different PM charts for various projects, and the project manager can use different charts for the same projects. With expert trainers from StarAgile, the candidates can undergo PMP training to equip the professionals with skills to use project management charts to manage projects more efficiently!
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