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Managing Projects with SmartDraw VP

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A Gantt Chart, or Project Chart, is used extensively by project managers and other people involved in scheduling. While it is similar to a timeline in that it deals with time and events, the format ...

A Gantt Chart, or Project Chart, is used extensively by project managers and other people involved in scheduling. While it is similar to a timeline in that it deals with time and events, the format and purpose of a Gantt Chart is very different. The Gantt Chart is a table with one task for each row and time in the columns. The unit of time chosen depends on the length and detail of the product, but some common units are weeks, quarters, months, and years. Usually there is a column at the left listing the tasks, then columns for start date, end date, and duration, followed by the columns for time. Each task has a bar extending across the time columns, representing the duration of the task. Milestones and critical path lines may also be used to add further detail to the chart. Milestones are important checkpoints or deadlines represented by small symbols in the time columns. Critical path lines connect task bars to indicate a dependence of one task upon another's completion or commencement.

Gantt Charts are especially useful for organizing and maintaining the schedule of a product. It also shows how certain tasks are dependent upon the completion or commencement of others.

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