Gantt Chart Excel template
Gantt Chart template
aka Project Plan template, Project Management template
Purpose of this Project Plan template
To plan and manage a lengthy or complex project,
illustrated with an easy-to-understand graphic time line bar chart.
Excel Gantt Chart template
The Top 3 Features of your Systems2win Excel Gantt Chart template
- All the familiarity of Microsoft Excel. Use everything you already know.
- All of the standard features that come with every one of your other 150+ Systems2win templates
Consistent design, easily personalized, free training & videos...
Learn one; you know how to find help for all 150+ templates for continuous improvement
- Work Calendar Adjustment —
If you are working 16 days in December and 23 days in January —
doesn't that affect your answer to the question: "When can we have it?"
That's what Work Calendar Adjustment Factors do.
Sample Gantt Chart example
Bookmark = Training
How to use your Gantt Chart template
Find and open your template
Find and open your Gantt Chart template (Gantt.xlsx)
in the same way that you find and open
your other 150+ Systems2win templates.
Save your working document, following the usual
document storage and naming conventions
established by your leaders.
Edit your drop down lists
Edit the drop down lists on the DV sheet
for your Team Roles, your available project Resources,
your Status codes, your Work Calendar...
in the same way that you edit drop down lists for any Systems2win template.
If English is not your native language
Switch language, just like every Systems2win Excel template.
Open a Blank Sheet
When you're ready to start doing your own real work...
click the button to 'Open a Blank Sheet'
Excel Ribbon bar > Systems2win tab > Open a Blank Sheet
This blank sheet is where you will do your real work
(not on the Sample sheet)
Rename your new sheet
Define your Project Start Date
Your Chart will only work correctly after you...
Enter 'Start Date' in the 'Total Project' row
Select Systems2win menu > Configure Chart
Tips: The sheet must be unprotected to use the Configure Chart button.
If your Project Start Date ever changes, you need to do this again.
Choose your time units of measure
99% of users will use the defaults without changing anything!!!
To change time Units of Measure:
Simply edit the column header to be minutes or seconds instead of hours.
Start and End
1) Edit the column headers
(for example 'Time' instead of 'Date')
2) Change the format of all cells in the 'Start' and 'End' columns
Right-click > Format Cells > Number tab > choose a time format instead of the default date format
Choose your Default Work Calendar Adjustment Factor
For any row where you leave the cell blank
in the column for 'Work Calendar Adjustment Factor',
it will use the 'Default Work Calendar Adjustment Factor'
that you choose (from the drop down list) in the top row.
Tip: If your working calendar never changes
(for example, you always work 5 days a week)
then (after choosing your Default Work Calendar Adjustment Factor),
you can simply hide those 2 columns for WCA.
Create your Project Plan
The Gantt Chart will be auto-created as you enter Start Dates and Durations.
Watch the training video (in the section below)
to learn how to use Excel formulas for precedents, dependents, and absolute fixed dates.
Keep your Plan up to date
Make changes to your Project Plan as things inevitably change.
Option: To make it easier to manage your Critical Path
you might define dates for only phases and milestones within your critical path
and then simply make the start date for all non-critical-path sub tasks equal to the start date for the phase.
Learn how to use Excel
The Help sheet of every Systems2win template has an 'Excel Training' section,
with links to online training and videos teaching you how to use those features of Microsoft Excel
that are most likely to be most useful for that template.
For this template, it is especially important for you to learn the right ways to move or copy entire rows.
Hide or Show Rows
Optionally use Systems2win menu > Hide / Show Rows
to quickly hide or show different levels of detail
for different types of users of your Gantt Chart.
See training video for Hide/Show Rows
Enter % Complete and Status
(and notice that conditional formatting can still work correctly even if using different languages)
Optionally save baseline and/or archive versions.
(saving your copied workbooks using our suggested Document Storage and Naming Conventions)
Advanced Tips for your Chart
Either open your Gantt Chart template in Excel, or scroll up to look at the sample picture above.
Notice that the first line of the chart is for the total project,
As you add or hide rows...
you may need to manually adjust chart height to line up perfectly with your rows.
To make chart alignment easier, try toggling between options for 'Chart Labels'
and notice whether you may need to manually adjust the width of the Plot Area to show the labels.
Chart a "Today" Line
On the Sample sheet...
if you change the 'Project Start Date' to a few days ago,
and then select 'Systems2win menu > Configure Chart',
Excel Gantt Chart
Gantt Chart video
Training to get you started.
Gantt Chart Excel Tips
A few of the most important Excel tips include:
Excel tips video:
How to select, hide, delete,
insert, copy, and move
entire rows & columns
- Don't use Insert Rows
Learn to use the much more powerful Insert Copied Cells
- Don't move individual cells
which will corrupt formulas
- Make sure that Microsoft Office is updated
especially is using Office 2007
You should always become familiar with the 'Excel Tips for THIS Template',
which are always found near the bottom of every Help sheet in every Systems2win Excel template.
Don't skip this!!! Go look at those Excel Tips on the Help sheet now.
Video: How to use
Excel Drop down Lists and Filter,
& Systems2win Copy Sheet
Use Excel's powerful filter features to analyze usage of time and money for any given resource or combination of project resources
(using filters such as equal to, greater than, begins with, does not end with, contains, does not contain, AND, OR, etc.)
Notice that resource usage analysis in this project planning template is in some ways more powerful than most Project Management software because you can analyze both:
- Duration (in days)
- Effort (in hours)
For example... During those 7 days of Duration,
How many hours will be required from my already-overworked Project Manager?
How many hours will be required for that expensive consultant?
Bookmark = Milestone
Gantt Summary Milestone Chart
A Gantt Chart is far too detailed for many stakeholders —
who just want to see a brief summary of your project plan.
Your Gantt Summary Milestone Chart template (Nonsubscriber)
Or... if your project is extremely simple...
you could even plan the entire thing using this simple tool.
Bookmark = benefits
Excel Gantt Chart Template
|Features & Benefits|
|Written in Excel
Familiar. Your people already own it and know how to use it.
|Auto-draws the Gantt Chart
with auto-adjusting time scale, % complete, and a line that shows "Today"
|Easily shared between licensed users|
|Easily shared with unlicensed users|
|Unlimited hyperlinks per row
using Link Icons for graphic hyperlinks that are easy to see, easy to understand, and easy to use
Gantt Chart can expand to any size
|Drop down lists
of user-defined codes for unlimited people and resources
|Calculate start date |
end date, or duration for any line item
|Define simple or complex predecessor relationships |
(e.g., this task starts 5 days after another ends)
with all the power of Excel's formulas, and ability to link to outside data sources
|Multi-layered levels of details |
Easily hide rows & columns of unneeded details.
|Analyze project budgets and costs |
with all the power of Excel
|Analyze Effort (in hours) and Duration (in days)
filtered by people, resources, costs, % complete, and more
|Adjust schedule for your calendar of working days and holidays |
using Work Calendar Adjustment Factors
|Plenty of helpful training|
Reasons you might want to step up to more expensive Project Management Software
|Comparison||Systems2win Excel Gantt Chart||Other|
|Define grid lines||
Yes, but using only whole numbers.
E.g. 7 days = a week. 30 days is close to a month.
Yes. Advanced |
time-based grid line capabilities
Header rows repeat
at top of each printed page
but only for columns — not chart.
Chart has axis labels at top and bottom
|Auto-numbering of complex Work Breakdown Structure numbers||
Just use Edit > Fill Series for (automatic) simple numbering,
or manually enter complex numbers
Auto-number options include outline format
(e.g. 1.1, then 1.1.1)
Select multiple colors
for Gantt chart bars
All Gantt chart bars will be the same two colors
for complete vs. incomplete.
You can, however define those 2 colors.
|Display predecessor relationships on the chart||No||Yes|
|Critical path analysis||No||Yes|
|Earned Value Management||No||Yes|
|Manage resources across multiple projects||
Theoretically, you could use Excel formulas to do this, but if you are managing more than a couple of projects that need to share resources, you should probably step up to high-end Project Management software
If your projects are simple enough to manage without these advanced features,
then why spend the extra thousands?
Download your free trial Gantt Chart
Gantt Chart Excel template — now that's a good idea!