Gantt Chart: Pros and Cons

Gantt charts have been a staple of project managers for generations. But like other project management tools they may not be the best fit for every situation. Let's look at some Gantt chart pros and cons.


  • A Gantt chart organizes activities. It lists tasks and subtasks in logical groupings. It also shows who is responsible for each, and dates for starting and completing each task.
  • The visual format is easy to read and understand. Gantt charts give managers and team members a visual overview of when activities will occur, and whether they are dependent upon completion of other tasks.
  • It helps to set reasonable time frames. Breaking down activities into detail and assigning a due date for each creates a better, more accurate forecast of when the entire project will be complete.

On the other hand, these are the characteristics of Gantt charts that users most often cite as negatives.

Gantt chart pros


  • It can become too complex for larger projects. A good project management software program, such as SmartDraw, won't have trouble handling a large project. However, if you find that your project is too large for your Gantt chart to function well, consider breaking it into multiple Gantt charts.
  • It can be somewhat inflexible. This is a complaint commonly heard from managers who use inflexible project management programs, or try to create their own Gantt charts by hand or using a spreadsheet. SmartDraw lets you view and edit your Gantt chart in a mind map view. Any changes you make in one view will be also update the other view, automatically, thus alleviating the inflexibility issue.
  • It must be constantly updated. Projects involve surprises and changes must be made. SmartDraw is designed to make these changes as quick and effortless as possible.
Multiple gantt charts
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