How a project brief can save your project

A project brief is a crucial document to communicate the project’s main objectives so that everyone understands what they are supposed to do.

Projects don’t just pop up.

There is a lot of work to be done before they are approved, and once they are greenlit, even more planning and detail are required.

Therefore, this article explains how a project brief can save your project.

What is a project brief?

A project brief is a document that outlines the goals, scope, and end results of a project.

Its primary purpose is to provide a clear overview to all stakeholders, regardless of their role or level of technical capability.

A well-defined brief significantly impacts the success of a project because it can set expectations straight and minimize misunderstandings.

Although it is not a comprehensive document like a project plan, it is nevertheless a very important part of project management because it not only outlines scope and objectives but also acts as a communication tool.

A good brief is the foundation for building a robust project plan and ensuring success.

Who is in charge of drafting the project brief?

Drafting a project brief is a vital task, and in most cases, the responsibility does not fall on one person. It is usually a collaborative process involving several key players.

Here is an insight into the key individuals responsible for drafting a project brief:

1. Project manager: In most cases, the project manager is responsible for creating the project brief. With a comprehensive view of the project’s scope, objectives, and resources, the project manager is in an ideal position to clearly outline what the project needs to achieve and how. He or she is also responsible for ensuring that the brief aligns with stakeholder expectations and is easily understood by all team members.

  • Specific tasks: The project manager gathers input from various stakeholders, structures the document consistently and clearly, and ensures that all relevant information is included. This may include details such as objectives, deliverables, timeline, needed resources, and potential risks.

2. Project sponsor or promoter: This is often the one who has the authority to initiate the project and who provides the necessary resources for its development. This figure may be an executive or a group of executives within the organization.

  • Specific tasks: sponsors provide strategic vision and outline overall project expectations. They work with the project manager to define key objectives and ensure the project aligns with the overall business strategy. They also approve the final brief and provide support to resolve any issues.

3. Main stakeholders: Stakeholders, particularly those with significant interests or investments in the project, can contribute valuable information or requests that cannot be ignored.

  • Specific tasks: Stakeholders provide valuable input based on their needs and expectations. They may include team members, end users, external partners, and other relevant figures. Their involvement is crucial to ensuring that the brief accurately reflects the project’s needs and does not overlook important aspects that could influence its success.

4.  Subject matter experts: Depending on the nature of the project, experts in the relevant field could be brought in to lend their expertise, especially regarding more sensitive issues, such as sustainability. They may be internal to the organization or external consultants.

  • Specific Tasks: These experts contribute specialized knowledge that can be critical in defining the technical aspects of the project. Their expertise is precious in complex or highly regulated areas, where detailed understanding is essential to avoid costly errors and to ensure regulatory compliance.

Project brief example

There is no single way to create a project brief, but what follows is a detailed guide on how to structure a project brief, with each element explained in depth.

a) Project name: The project should have a descriptive and clear title that reflects the essence of the project.

Example: “Development of an e-commerce platform for local handicraft products.”

b) Project manager: Specify who will lead the project and include contact information so that anyone with questions can reach the person in charge.

Example:

  • Name: Maria Rossi
  • E-mail: maria.rossi@example.com
  • Phone: +39 123 456 7890

  • c) Stakeholder information: include the contact information of project stakeholders. These are all those people who have a vested interest in the project and its outcome.

Example:

  • Project sponsor: Luca Bianchi (luca.bianchi@example.com)
  • Main client: Marco Verdi (marco.verdi@example.com)
  • Representative end user: Anna Neri (anna.neri@example.com)

d) Project team: List all team members and their roles. For a large project, this may include only the key team leaders. A clear definition of tasks ensures that each team member knows what to do, leading to a more efficient workflow.

Example:

  • Team Leader: Giovanni Gialli
  • Front-End Developer: Laura Blue
  • Back-End Developer: Paolo Grigi
  • Designer UI/UX: Greta Rosa
  • Marketing Specialist: Federica Viola

e) Project goals: What will be the final results, and what criteria will measure success?

Example:

  • Primary Goal: To create a user-friendly e-commerce platform for selling local handicraft products.
  • Secondary objectives:
    • Increase the online visibility of local producers.
    • Integrate a secure payment system.
    • Implement user review and feedback features.
  • Criteria for success:
    • Achieve 10,000 monthly visits within six months of launch.
    • Achieve a user satisfaction score above 4.5/5.

f) Project timeline: The timeline should specify the start and end dates of the project, including critical milestones.

Example:

  • Start date: June 1, 2024
  • End date: December 31, 2024
  • Milestone:
    • Planning phase completed: June 30, 2024
    • Prototype development: August 31, 2024
    • Testing and corrections: October 31, 2024
    • Platform launch: December 31, 2024

g) Project budget: Include all project-related costs and account for any unforeseen expenses.

Example:

  • Total estimated: € 100,000
    • Software development: € 50,000
    • Design: € 20,000
    • Marketing: € 15,000
    • Operating expenses: € 10,000
    • Contingencies: € 5,000

h) Risks and Constraints: Every project involves potential risks and constraints. Identifying them early on can help mitigate any future problems.

Example:

  • Risks:
    • Developmental delays: Mitigation through a detailed work plan and continuous monitoring.
    • Payment system integration issues: Mitigation with early testing and dedicated technical support.

  • Constraints:
    • Limited budget: Wise resource management and strict cost control.
    • Tight timelines: Careful planning and agile methodologies to adapt quickly to changes.

In some cases, more information may be included, but a design brief is intended to balance what is relevant and what becomes a detail.

Project Brief with Twproject

Twproject is a powerful project management software that offers a comprehensive suite of tools for effective project management.

This tool facilitates the drafting of the project brief and supports the entire management of activities and resources.

The project manager can structure the brief in detail, integrating objectives, resources, timelines, and responsibilities into a single accessible and customizable platform.

All project stakeholders will be constantly updated in real-time, improving communication and efficiency.

With features that can plan, track, and create reports on progress and performance, this software will be enough to handle all the aspects we have seen in this article (and more).

In addition, project management software such as Twproject supports the planning and tracking of activities, allowing the project’s progress to be monitored against the established schedule and prompt action to be taken in case of deviations from the original plan.

This streamlines work management and better aligns expectations, contributing significantly to project success.

By following the guidelines in this article and using Twproject, project managers can create an effective project brief and manage tasks efficiently.

Still in doubt? Well, you can try yourself with a free demo.

The best project tracking software of 2024

Tracking the progress of projects in a company is at the heart of project management. But what are the best tools for doing this? In this article you will find a list of the best software for tracking your projects.

But first, let’s look together at what falls within the scope of project tracking, also known as project monitoring and control.

This term refers to the general control carried out by the project manager to ensure that all tasks are proceeding correctly and on time.

Project tracking looks at individual phases to identify obstacles, bottlenecks or gaps and tries to solve them to increase project efficiency.

The monitoring process starts as soon as the project itself begins and continues throughout the project’s life cycle.

A system that helps track the project effectively allows us to see the work progress clearly and at a glance.

Main goals of project tracking

Each project has its own characteristics and depending on the business environment, certain objectives may be more important than others for its realisation.

But generally speaking, we can say that the objectives to keep in mind when tracking projects are as follows:

  • Setting goals: from the outset it is useful to make it clear, and possibly written down, what the ultimate goal of the project is. In other words, what are the expected results for customers and stakeholders. To do this, it may be useful to implement a scope management activity.
  • Determining the parameters: once the goals have been set, we will then have to report what emerged from the analysis in terms of budget, timetable, use of resources, etc. This database will constitute our initial baseline, i.e. the ideal progress to be followed, from which we will deviate more or less during the actual execution of the project.
  • Collecting data: as the project gets underway, it is important to have the right tools to periodically collect data such as direct and indirect costs, hours worked, phases completed. The easier this data can be collected and entered into the system, the more the project manager’s work will benefit.
  • Analysing data: to ensure that the data collected does not remain meaningless, it is useful to try to interpret it. Examples of analysis are comparing the timelines expressed in the baseline with the actual timelines or analysing costs, distinguishing between planned, estimated and actual costs.
  • Reporting: exporting the data collected, together with its interpretation, is useful for sharing the results obtained with stakeholders and team. The configurability of reports is therefore essential to diversify the target audience fort data sharing.
  • Creating models for future projects: In order to optimise the efforts made, project monitoring can also include the creation of best practices for projects with similar characteristics. This will take place at the end of the project and will serve as a database for planning future projects.

Types of project tracking

Going into further detail, let us now look at the types of project tracking, i.e. all the approaches that can be taken when monitoring the progress of activities.

The various typologies apply to all the objectives seen above, but declined according to the issue to be tracked.

  1. Process monitoring: also known as activity monitoring, it mainly aims to monitor resources and inputs and to understand how outputs and results are delivered.
  2. Beneficiary monitoring: this type includes requests from beneficiaries, possible complaints and general satisfaction. Beneficiaries may be either direct or indirect.
  3. Compliance monitoring: aims to establish that the project complies with contracts, applicable laws, ethical standards and general project compliance.
  4. Financial monitoring: monitors the financial efficiency of the project, including a cost-benefit analysis.
  5. Results monitoring: includes everything that determines whether the project is on track to achieve the expected results. It also serves to collect data on the overall impact and effects of the project.

But let’s cut to the chase: we will give you a short but comprehensive list of the best software to carry out company project tracking, minimising efforts and optimising productivity.

Here is the list of the best project tracking software:

1. Twproject

Twproject for project tracking

If you are looking for a comprehensive tool, the first choice is definitely Twproject, the software that has all the fundamental tools for project monitoring and control.

Starting with its agile and dynamic Gantt chart, then its comprehensive WBS that is easy to compile and update, and again its impeccable resource and cost management, full of automation and customisation, and so on.

In fact, Twproject originates as an all-round project management system, capable of supporting the project manager’s work from start to finish.

It has an intuitive interface that makes it smoother for the whole team to adapt to the tool and reduces the learning process, whilst promoting teamwork.

Moreover, it is a suited tool for teams and projects of any size. Its scalability makes it suitable for any type of company and the advantage is that Twproject modifies and grows along with the business and project complexity.

Best features:

  • Dashboard: the main view, showing at a glance the situation of projects in real time.
  • WBS: allows projects to be divided into tasks to be carried out, set deadlines and assign roles with great speed.
  • Gantt Chart: evolves over time and is always up-to-date, being well integrated with the other components of the software. It allows work to be assigned and shared easily.
  • Critical path: easy to set up and identify, it helps tracking the workflow and avoid bottlenecks.
  • Automated real-time calculation of project progress: to get an immediate idea of the progress of the project but also of each individual phase.
  • Kanban board: for those who prefer agile working, it allows easy assignment of tasks and an overview of activities, highly customisable according to requirements.
  • Cost management: project costs, both direct and indirect, are managed in one environment, together with revenue and resource costs. The comparison of the initial and current cost planning clearly highlights risks and budget overruns.
  • Workload management: the time spent by each resource to complete tasks is calculated accurately, distinguishing between task types. This allows performance to be analysed effectively.
  • Timeline: a tool on the statistics page and within the Gantt itself, which allows to review the initial planning at any time during the life of the project, for more effective monitoring.
  • Sharing and reporting: thanks to customisable reporting and analysis, you get clear and shareable information on the performance of the project and its individual parts.
  • Template: each project or its sub-phase can be used as a template for similar projects, to save time in future planning.

Pricing: from € 4.89 per user/month.

Pros: Twproject is useful for any business strategy and model. It has advanced and feature-rich tools for all aspects and types of project tracking. It therefore adapts to every business sector and grows as a company grows.

Cons: Such comprehensiveness leaves no room for negative aspects.

Twproject revolutionises the concept of project tracking, letting you discover a wealth of functions that simplify and speed up your work.

2. ProofHub

ProofHub project tracking

ProofHub is an all-in-one project management and team collaboration tool that brings everything together in one place.

It creates a central hub for all your projects, teams, files, discussions, and tasks, eliminating the need to juggle multiple apps together.

The platform is highly efficient, allowing you to stay in sync with the real-time progress of projects.

Also, you can easily track every project activity and ensure projects get delivered with ultimate precision.

Best features:

  • Gantt chart to set task dependencies, visualize project timelines, and stay ahead of deadlines. 
  • Kanban boards to get a bird’s eye view of tasks across stages, spot bottlenecks, and create unique workflows.
  • Table view for seamless project tracking using easy sorting and filtering. 
  • Powerful collaborative features like built-in chat, discussions, task comments, and @mentions to ask for updates. 
  • Seamless file sharing between projects and tasks for easy access and document collaboration.
  • Robust task management features to create, manage, and assign tasks for enhanced accountability and keep everyone on track.  
  • Track time spent on tasks manually or with a built-in time tracker to get valuable insights into project and team efficiency.  
  • Timesheets to monitor team productivity and identify workflow hurdles. 
  • Centralized file storage to stop information hunting and asses files anytime, anywhere. 
  • Detailed reports to get real-time insights into task progress, locate areas for improvement, and make performance reviews.
  • Online proofing to review, approve, and provide feedback on assets directly. 

Pricing: from $ 45/month for unlimited users

Pros: It has a good, clean and intuitive interface with a minimal learning curve; it is customisable and scalable as required and offers full administrative control.

Cons: It might not be that suitable for solopreneurs; its notifications may be overwhelming.

This feature-rich tool boasts some great functionalities that make it a top choice for teams aiming to enhance their project-tracking capabilities and ensure success from start to finish.

3. ActiveCollab

ActiveCollab

ActiveCollab is a tool that defines itself as project-oriented and therefore suitable for the tracking and control of individual projects.

It is an essential software, which includes the main work management functionalities of the project manager: time recording, task dependencies and automatic rescheduling, invoicing, collaboration options, third-party integrations.

Thanks to its versatility, it is suitable for teams and companies of all scopes and sizes: from international companies to small start-ups, although some ‘overview’ functions are missing.

Best features:

  • Project view: choose among Kanban, Gantt, list or calendar.
  • Project Template: allows you to create reusable templates.
  • Chat, comments, suggestions.
  • Time reports: possibility to filter time records by project, customer, assignee, job type, month, year and more.
  • Estimating and tracking: tools to compare estimated time values with tracked values to identify risky activities.
  • Assignment overview: overview of all assignments, including overtime and non-working days.
  • Time and expenses incurred: tracking of billable hours and expenses.
  • Warnings: in case of time and cost overruns.
  • Project profitability: overview of the budget status with control over the percentage of the amount spent.
  • Reports: in particular to highlight uninvoiced work.

Pricing: from € 8 per user/month.

Pros: convenient, precise and with an easy interface; useful for managing large-scale projects with numerous stakeholders.

Cons: It has no built-in workflow and is not ideal if you have more advanced project tracking needs. Time tracking also needs improvement.

A software that does the job it sets out to do, but which should grow a little in versatility and overview.

4. Teamhood

teamhood

Also Teamhood is a software that combines professional tools such as Gantt, time tracking, Kanban, and reporting into a single management system.

In fact, it is designed for medium and large-sized companies to manage and execute projects.

Teamhood works with workspaces, customised whiteboards with time tracking capabilities, and collaboration tools.

It also offers visual reporting of metrics, especially agile metrics.

Best features:

  • Kanban board: its rows can distinguish different teams, types of work items, projects, etc. Capability to set spending limits and other parameters that signal overruns.
  • Gantt chart: its functions are rather standard, but it has some customisation options. Possibility to choose whether phases dependent on others are auto-scheduling.
  • Hourly rates: possibility to set hourly rates for project collaborators and see the project costs in real time.
  • Baseline vs Actual: tool that sets agreed deadlines for the project and over time compares the actual situation with the original plan.
  • Timesheet Report: comparison of actual time spent with original estimates. It allows the calibration of estimates.
  • Workload visualisation: allows you to manage the workload of the team, balance resources and optimise time.

Pricing: from € 7 per user/month.

Pros: Good flexibility in terms of configuring settings while maintaining basic simplicity.

Cons: Time management is not very flexible and has certain limitations which then affect the accuracy of the monitoring data.

A productive and efficient tool with its own particular approach to the agile philosophy.

5. Miro

Miro

Miro is a platform aimed at improving workflows by mapping processes, dependencies and so on.

Although it has some native functionalities, Miro functions rather as an aggregator of different applications within a single platform.

Its strength and starting point is the Kanban board, through which team members collaborate and exchange information, and the project manager assigns tasks and keeps track of schedules.

Its agile approach to project monitoring may be limiting for some, but it certainly offers advantages for others.

Best features:

  • Kanban board: flexible board structure for managing projects and processes.
  • SWOT Analysis: similar to the Kanban board, it subdivides tasks between the various categories of the SWOT analysis.
  • Gantt chart: more similar to a timeline, it allows assigning tasks and setting dependencies between activities, it does not have more advanced functions.
  • Roadmap: another visualisation of activities not based on the timeline but on that of the main project phases.
  • Retrospectives: tools for reviewing the initial planning, which can be shared with the team.
  • Presentations: various templates for creating sharable reports and for setting up project meetings.

Pricing: from € 7 per user/month.

Pros: It keeps business processes intact for those who have already started monitoring individual aspects of projects with different platforms.

Cons: Need to integrate several applications into one to achieve a complete framework. Process optimisation is therefore slightly affected.

Agile solution for those who need visual project management.

6. Roadmunk

roadmunk project tracking

As its name suggests, Roadmunk is a tool that uses roadmaps as a focus point for monitoring company projects.

It therefore focuses on the sequencing of macro activities and their sub-phases for workflow management, with an analytical approach to work.

The assumption is therefore that the initial planning is flawless, or almost flawless, in the division of work categories.

This works well for structured and experienced companies with planned projects and processes; on the contrary, it can be blocking for small companies or newly established teams.

Best features:

  • Roadmap: integrates with timeline, manages activities through initiatives, objectives and milestones
  • Swimlane: simplified roadmap type
  • Sharing: in HTML or via protected URLs
  • Export: various formats including images
  • Presentation: transformation of input data into slides for company meetings

Pricing: from $ 49/month for project manager and team of 5 users

Pros: Very specific tool for teams working on the completion of project phases planned from the ground up.

Cons: Lack of fundamental secondary views such as Gantt or project budget management.

Suitable for teams that need to collaborate virtually on structured projects and share information quickly.

Some final tips

We have seen that project monitoring is a very subjective process and techniques vary with time and experience.

In this sense, the tools used can vary greatly, not only between different companies, but also within the same company, to manage different projects.

We have therefore tried to provide a list of software with more functionality within them, so that the project manager can vary according to requirements.

Before finishing, let us give you some suggestions in the form of best practices for monitoring and controlling your projects:

  • Carry out research and initial meetings to understand the project
  • Create a short project description based on what you have learnt
  • Develop a project plan
  • Prepare a resource plan
  • Do not create unrealistic expectations
  • Always maintain clear and constant communication with the team
  • Ask for feedback and make changes if necessary
  • Make sure every aspect is properly documented
  • Review the project plan after completion and try to learn from it for the future

Twproject is the tool that allows you to carry out every tracking task mentioned here with ease and precision. See how easy it is to get started:

If you choose Twproject, you don’t have to give up anything, which is why it is the top choice of hundreds of project managers worldwide.

Try Twproject for free for 15 days and do not forget to let us know if you found this ranking useful.

Project Managers and Public Tenders: key tools

The project manager in public tenders is central in ensuring that projects are managed with the right tools.

In this article, we will examine how project management applies to public tenders and which key tools should be used.

Plan your projects with Twproject

Project Management in public tenders

Public tenders refer to the procurement of works, supplies, and services by public administrations at the national or community level.

Just as in any other company-level project, the five typical phases of project management can also be applied in the public domain: initiation, planning, execution, control, and closure.

More specifically:

    • Initiation: this stage is the scheduling According to Legislative Decree 36/2023 (Public Procurement Code) in Italy, there is currently a two-year schedule for procuring goods and services based on needs.
    • Planning: in the public field, it means understanding the auction base, the tender domain, the technical level, etc., and
    • Execution: that is, the contracting of the service.
    • Control: regarding all economic operators. Should the result be negative, the assignment will be revoked.
    • Closure: usually coincides with reporting, which, in the case of public tenders, also involves a bureaucratic closure to wrap up activities formally.

Project management, thematic groups, and public tenders

Besides the project management stages, we find other similarities between project management within private companies and public tenders. For example, the scope can be compared to tender requirements and the main and secondary services framework within a tender.

Stakeholders, in this case, are public administrations and other bodies with their respective needs and demands.

The timing issue in public tenders can sometimes be much more inflexible than in the private domain. In particular, the assignment must occur within six months after the call for tenders, while the subsequent conclusion of the contract must be formalized within two months.

Also, there is little room for error when it comes to costs in the public domain.

In a public tender, costs and quality levels are clearly detailed in the tender, and if not met, penalties can be imposed.

Sometimes, the tender notice can specify in detail the human resources that can be used for work in the public field.

Another subject, that of risks, mainly concerns disputes.

In this case, a typical situation is potential claims by operators who have not been selected for the job, which could lead to a slowdown of the project.

And lastly, communication. Regarding public tenders, it is crucial to fulfill transparency and anti-corruption obligations.

That is why all communications concerning the tender must be made public and accessible to everyone.

The R.U.P.’s role in public tenders

According to the ANAC guidelines, the RUPResponsabile Unico del Procedimento – must possess adequate training in project management.

The R.U.P. holds a pivotal role in project management and supervision.

According to the new procurement code, the RUP must have a minimum of five years of professional experience in the subject area of the work to be contracted and hold a master’s or specialist degree in that subject area.

The RUP must ensure that the planning, design, assignment, and execution of public contracts comply with the applicable regulations and adhere to the principles of legality, transparency, and efficiency.

The tasks of the RUP are diverse, including:

  • Supervise the planning, design, contracting, and execution phases of the operation.
  • Ensure that the project is carried out following ANAC guidelines.
  • Ensure the contracting authority complies with the procedures for contracting particularly complex works.

According to the ANAC guidelines, the RUP must possess suitable project manager skills gained also through successful project management training. This training is vital to ensure the RUP can best manage particularly complex works entrusted by contracting authorities.

The RUP must also have at least three years’ professional experience in the subject field of the work to be entrusted or complete training courses in project management.

The assistance of project management software in public tenders

In addition to having the knowledge and skills to manage complex tasks within a project, the project manager must also be equipped with the best tools for managing work.

That’s why project management software such as Twproject can be a great support, even for public tenders.

Specifically, project managers in the public domain face a complex and highly regulated environment that requires absolute accuracy and complete traceability.

Twproject is designed to streamline and optimize every stage of the project management process, whether public or private.

project management

Here’s what this project management tool can ensure:

  • It is essential to plan activities with precision in public tenders, often meeting non-negotiable deadlines. Twproject allows you to create extensive plans and visual timelines that clearly define your project phases and their progress in real-time.
  • Documentation in the public sphere must be accurate, clear, thorough, and easily accessible. Twproject provides a one-stop hub to collect and manage all documents efficiently.
  • Public projects usually involve many stakeholders and are complex to manage. Therefore, multidisciplinary collaboration is essential. Twproject allows managing working groups and communication in one channel, thus avoiding losing valuable information.
  • Public tenders are complex and entail a higher level of risk. A tool such as Twproject helps predict potential bottlenecks and take timely action through informed decisions.
  • As we saw earlier, fulfilling transparency obligations and ensuring that projects follow applicable regulations and laws are crucial when it comes to public tenders. Twproject facilitates traceability and reporting, which are essential for passing inspections and audits.
  • Data analysis is crucial in every project. Twproject can transform large volumes of data into understandable, user-friendly, and customizable reports.

Hence, adequate project management software becomes a central tool in public tenders.

Plan your projects with Twproject

 

Supply chain management with Twproject

Supply chain management involves supervising the entire production flow of goods or services, from the raw components to the end product delivery to consumers.

It comprises a range of cross-functional tasks connecting goods and services with customers.

 

This article will explain how the supply chain works down to the last detail and how project management software such as Twproject can help the supply manager in their daily work.

Steps in planning and managing a supply chain

The supply chain consists of five stages. These are:

  1. Planning: The process usually begins with planning, which aims to match the offer with customer requirements.
  2. Companies must try to predict their future needs and act accordingly.
  3. Procurement: Procurement involves working with suppliers to source the necessary materials throughout production.
  4. Implementation: This is the core of the supply chain.
  5. This is where the company uses its equipment and/or labor to process raw materials into something new. The resulting product is the end goal of the production process, but it is not the final stage of the supply chain.
  6. Distribution: Once the products have been manufactured, companies must be able to ‘deliver them’ to their customers. A company with an effective supply chain should have robust logistics capabilities and delivery channels to ensure timely, safe, and cost-effective delivery of its products.
  7. Return: The supply chain management process ends with support for customer returns. This return phase is often called reverse logistics, and the company must ensure that it can receive returned products and remedy the transaction with the customer.

The project supply chain manager’s role

Successful supply chain management requires a figure who can supervise all processes.

This professional is the supply chain manager.

A supply chain manager is responsible for supervising imports and exports and, sometimes, creating raw materials or finished products.

The supply chain manager often plays a leading role within a company.

Here are some of their daily duties:

  • Production and distribution process management;
  • Collaboration with buyers and suppliers to find the right materials or products;
  • Negotiation of contracts with suppliers, vendors, contractors and customers;
  • Data analysis for forecasting inventory demand and analyzing product performance;
  • Cost reduction at all levels while maintaining quality and achieving sustainability goals;
  • Keeping up to date with industry and technology trends and developments.

Supply chain management: Case history

The key role of supply chain management involves adopting effective strategies to improve efficiency and reduce costs while ensuring end-customer satisfaction.

A typical example of efficient supply chain management can be observed in the demand planning scenario.

Companies like Zara have achieved success by using real-time data to swiftly predict fashion trends. This allows agile production and reduces overstocking. This approach minimizes product lifecycle risks, keeping the supply chain lean and responsive.

Another critical element is the optimization of delivery time through advanced supply chain planning techniques. Using sophisticated software, companies can simulate and predict different distribution perspectives, ensuring that products get to consumers as quickly and cheaply as possible.  

Amazon, for example, employs predictive algorithms to position inventories as close as possible to potential buyers in advance, drastically reducing delivery times.

Moreover, the relationship with suppliers is crucial for a resilient and performing supply chain. Building strong and trusting relationships with suppliers not only improves the quality and timeliness of supplies but also makes it possible to negotiate more favorable terms.

supply chain management twproject 

Toyota is well-known for its lean production system and effective supplier relationship management, which allows it to keep inventory levels low and respond flexibly to changes in demand.

Using project management software such as Twproject is key in this regard. This kind of tool offers an integrated platform that streamlines monitoring and management of all phases of the supply chain.

From supply chain planning to distribution, the software delivers all-around visibility into every area of the process, ensuring that decisions are based on real-time data and up-to-date information.  

Equipped with advanced functionality, managers can schedule activities, manage resources, and communicate effectively with teams and suppliers, everything in one place. This leads to better coordination and faster responsiveness to market and end-customer needs, significantly improving overall supply chain performance.

These examples prove how effective supply chain management can determine a company’s success, contributing significantly to improving efficiency, reducing costs, and meeting end-customer expectations.  

By integrating project management software such as Twproject, these capabilities are further enhanced, making operations smoother and less prone to errors or delays.

Twproject for supply chain management

Supply chain management is a constant effort by companies to make them as efficient and economical as possible.

This can be achieved by tightly monitoring the company’s internal inventories, production, distribution, sales, and supplier inventories.

This is why using project management software such as Twproject can help tackle the unique challenges that arise during the various stages of the supply chain.

Twproject provides real-time visibility and control over project activities, deadlines, and resource allocation.

Companies can successfully manage procurement, production, transport, inventory, and distribution activities.

Effective supply chain management requires careful coordination of multiple activities and stakeholders.

Twproject, therefore, acts as a central repository of information, providing supply chain managers with a holistic picture of their ongoing projects and activities.

This 360-degree visibility allows them to pinpoint potential bottlenecks,  allocate resources effectively, and make informed decisions to optimize the supply chain process.

One of the primary benefits of this project management software is its ability to improve communication and collaboration between different stakeholders by overcoming the need for multiple communication channels, thus reducing the risk of communication problems or information gaps.

This leads to better coordination, swifter problem-solving, and improved efficiency throughout the process.

Ultimately, project management software such as Twproject offers a range of highly customizable functionalities that help companies and managers streamline their daily operations.

From task management and collaboration tools to reporting capabilities and integration with current systems, Twproject empowers companies to manage and track projects effectively, optimize resource allocation, and improve stakeholder communication and collaboration.

With Twproject, maximum cost and time efficiency can be achieved in each company’s supply chain.

 

Still in doubt? Well, you can try yourself with a free demo.

 

5 tips for effective strategic planning

Businesses put a lot of time, effort, and money into the strategic planning process. Still, many fail.

This doesn’t mean, however, that research for a strategic plan should be dropped.

After all, this process is vital in helping companies determine how to achieve specific goals.

Yet, for strategic planning to work, it must be more than just a nice vision and mission of the end destination that does not consider the company’s culture and structure.

The right path begins with creating a sound and feasible business plan that can involve the whole organization.

In this article, we will discuss 5 tips for effective strategic planning.

Strategic planning: 5 key tips for achieving it

Strategic planning defines what a company aims for and how to achieve it.

This does not take place overnight but must include a series of detailed steps that show its path to the destination.

Here are 5 tips for effective strategic planning:

1. Evaluate the current state of your company

Gauging your business’s current position is essential to getting a clear picture of its future direction.

A helpful tool in this case is the SWOT analysis, which identifies four aspects:

  • Strengths: What is the company doing well? What is its competitive advantage over its competitors?
  • Weaknesses: What areas of the business could be improved? What is lacking compared to other businesses?
  • Opportunities: Are there new opportunities in the market that the company can capitalize on?
  • Threats: Are there potential obstacles that the company might run into in the near future?

2. Set business objectives

After completing the SWOT analysis, you can use the results to determine goals for your business strategy.

These goals must be achievable and concrete; the SMART model can be used to set them:

  • Specific: The goal must clearly outline what you want to achieve and the steps required.
  • Measurable: The goal must be numerically measurable so that metrics can be used to monitor progress, celebrate milestones, and determine when it has been achieved.
  • Achievable: The goal must be realistic and achievable.
  • Realistic: The goal must be relevant to what the company truly needs at this time.
  • Timely: The goal must have a definite timeframe and deadline.

strengths - weaknesses - threats  opportunities

3. Outline your strategic plan

When you have defined clear business objectives, it is time to map out the strategic plan.

Most strategies include the following key elements:

  • Description of the company;
  • Mission statement;
  • Business value and vision;
  • A SWOT analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats;
  • An analysis of present internal and external settings and how each affects the company;
  • Business goals;
  • Action plans to achieve these goals;
  • Business processes to maintain continuity and operational effectiveness.

4. Embrace the plan company-wide

It’s time to move on to strategy execution by distributing the plan to the entire company. Here are some best practices for this step:

  • Arrange a group meeting to officially present the strategic plan, which includes goals, timelines, resources, and implementation methods. Allowing team members to ask questions is critical at this stage.
  • Link all activities to the strategic plan. For example, if you are constructing a new facility, explaining how this effort fits into the business strategy is important.
  • Align all teams with the strategic plan by providing a detailed breakdown of each member’s role in the strategy. Everyone needs to know clearly what they are responsible for.

5. Measure progress and make updates to your strategic plan

The strategic planning process does not end with implementation.

To carry out the strategy, it is crucial to monitor progress regularly and adjust and update the plan as needed.

If a team member is overwhelmed, it is important to redistribute tasks.

The timeline must be revised if the project manager notices that an effort is not progressing as swiftly as planned.

It is critical to know how the work is progressing at any given time and to intervene if there are any bottlenecks.

Twproject for effective strategic planning

Twproject is one of the best project management tools on the market.

A tool like this can help and support project management in tracking and monitoring the strategic plan.

Twproject, specifically, comes with several features that allow project managers to stay informed.

Twproject allows project progress to be accessed, and thanks to an alert system, the tool will proactively inform the project manager if deadlines, budgets, or work logs are missed.

Not only will the project manager benefit from using this tool, but team members will also be able to check the status of their activities at any time and communicate with each other in a timely manner.

Twproject is an extremely flexible tool that can fit into any business scenario.

From early analysis to goal setting, activity planning to resource management, communication among team members, and regular progress monitoring, this project management software offers indispensable tools for a clear and complete view of the project.

Twproject thus becomes the key ally in ensuring effective strategic planning.

Plan your projects with Twproject

Kanban vs Gantt: features and uses compared

Kanban vs. Gantt are two popular tools in project management that can significantly improve efficiency and effectiveness.

Both are valuable in different ways and have pros and cons.

In this article, we will compare their features and uses.

What is a Gantt chart?

A Gantt chart provides a clear overview of project progress.

Project managers can break down complex projects into smaller, more manageable tasks  through this tool. 

The chart visualizes each task as a horizontal bar, with its length representing the duration required for completion.

Arrows symbolize dependencies between activities and show the order in which they are to be completed.

Resource allocation can also be displayed in the Gantt chart.

By assigning resources to specific tasks, project managers can, therefore, ensure that the right people are working on the right activities at the right time.

Here is a list to provide a clearer understanding of the benefits and limitations of Gantt charts:

Pros of the Gantt chart

  • Identifies activity dependencies;
  • Visualize project schedule;
  • Shows milestones (the critical path);
  • Helps manage resource allocation;
  • Indicates deadlines for activities;
  • It helps break down the project into smaller, simpler tasks;
  • Monitor progress.

Cons of the Gantt chart

  • Its set-up can be complicated;
  • It can be confusing;
  • It does not state priorities;
  • It includes more details than necessary for some team members;
  • It requires time for adjustment;
  • It is not recommended for projects lacking a clear end goal.

What is a Kanban board?

A Kanban board is a visual tool for the project manager and team to manage and monitor workflow.

The Kanban method, which is derived from the Lean methodology, is commonly used in agile processes.

The principle behind Kanban involves focusing on completing tasks before starting new ones.

Kanban means “signboard” in Japanese, and from this, we can see why each activity is represented by a “card” that moves across the board as it progresses through the different stages of the workflow.

Columns on the board usually include stages such as “To Do,” “In Progress,” and “End.” One of the main benefits of using Kanban boards is their visual nature, which provides a quick and user-friendly way to understand the status of tasks and the overall workflow.

Team members can easily see which activities are ongoing, which have been completed, and which have yet to be started.

Just like Gantt charts are useful for some things and not as useful for others, so are Kanban boards.

Here are the pros and cons of this methodology:

Pros of Kanban board

  • Shows workflow;
  • Boosts productivity;
  • Reduces waste;
  • Promotes collaboration;
  • Provides flexibility;
  • Prevents activity overload;
  • User-friendly.

Cons of Kanban board

  • It is difficult to determine when tasks will be completed;
  • It can become too complex and inefficient;
  • Must be constantly updated;
  • Not suitable for projects with tight deadlines;
  • Requires process stability;
  • It does not show how long an activity has been on the board.

Gantt vs. Kanban: Which one should you use?

Kanban boards and Gantt charts are project management tools that visualize upcoming tasks, when they are to be completed, completion percentage, and, often, who is in charge of the tasks.

The main difference is that the Gantt chart shows the entire project on a visual timeline that also displays relationships between tasks. In contrast, the Kanban board focuses on the volume of work that needs to be done, is in progress, or is completed.

Therefore, the Gantt chart is better suited for planning since it can link dependencies and show the critical path, as well as resources, costs, and more. Kanban boards, on the other hand, are better for the team as it executes its tasks.

Team members can see what has been assigned and move it from one column to the next as they work on the task to completion.

Gantt vs Kanban: Why not use both with Twproject?

As this article has shown, the Gantt chart is better suited to a predictive approach, while the Kanban methodology is agile.

Nevertheless, you can use both, such as creating a Gantt chart for the project as a whole and applying the Kanban methodology to its subsets.

It might seem cumbersome to successfully integrate two tools during project management, but this and more becomes feasible thanks to project management software such as Twproject.

With Twproject, you can easily create Gantt charts and Kanban sheets and use other project visualizations.

This software is highly flexible and can adapt to any methodology.

Every company has its unique way of working, and Twproject was created to streamline processes while respecting the uniqueness of each reality.Gantt, Kanban, and more: Twproject cares about your success.

Still in doubt? Well, you can try yourself with a free demo.

Project monitoring: evaluation tools and methods

Project monitoring is a critical part of project management because it helps companies monitor progress, evaluate the effectiveness of efforts, and make informed decisions.

This article will shed some light on this topic by discussing popular evaluation tools and methods.

What are project monitoring and evaluation?

Project monitoring and evaluation are systematic processes that entail collecting, analyzing, and using data and information to track a project’s progress and gauge its performance.

Monitoring a project, therefore, helps the project manager ensure that work remains on track.

Monitoring plays a significant role in achieving a project’s desired and planned outcomes.

As such, project managers must be meticulous in all phases of project monitoring, ensuring that tasks are executed correctly and that any doubts or hurdles are ironed out in time.

Project monitoring: how is it performed?

A successful project monitoring plan can only take place through the following actions:

  • Setting clear goals: It means working with specific, measurable and time-bound indicators. These indicators provide benchmarks to measure progress and success.
  • Data collection: Data are the cornerstone of project monitoring. Throughout project implementation, data are collected through different methods, such as surveys, meetings, focus groups, observations, and document reviews. These data can include both quantitative and qualitative information.
  • Data analysis: Once collected, data are analyzed to measure project performance and impact. Data analysis may involve statistical techniques, qualitative coding, and comparative assessments.
  • Reporting and feedback: Findings from data analysis are used to generate reports. These documents provide in-depth information on what works and what does not during a project’s life cycle.
  • Learning and adaptation: Project monitoring is not just about evaluating past performance but also about using that knowledge to make future improvements- so-called “lessons learned“; project managers and stakeholders should be prepared to adjust their strategies based on their findings.

Project monitoring: 10 most used techniques

You can use many techniques for project monitoring.

Here are some examples:

  1. Work breakdown structure (WBS): A way through which work can be broken down and organized into smaller pieces. It includes a visual representation of all project activities and can be used to split up activities and budgets.

wbs work breakdown structure2. Gantt chart: It is another way of visual data representation. Nonetheless, it is probably more exhaustive than the previous method and provides more information to a project manager. Gantt chart visually represents activity versus time and helps project managers monitor progress in real-time.

diagramma di gantt

3. PERT chart or graph: PERT stands for “Project Evaluation and Review Technique.” It is similar to a Gantt chart, although structured differently. This chart allows project managers to spot and highlight interdependencies between project activities and identify possible bottlenecks.

4. Critical Path Method (CPM): This tool identifies the most important tasks in a project and the estimated time to complete them. Using this information, the project manager can determine which activities must start first and which affect the overall project schedule.

5. Project dashboard: Dashboards provide a real-time, visual overview of project status, including KPI (Key Performance Indicators), progress toward goals, risks, open issues, and milestones. These are powerful tools for project managers because they help them quickly grasp the project’s status and communicate it effectively to stakeholders and teams.

6.Risk monitoring: This technique involves identifying, analyzing, and responding to project risks. It includes assessing the likelihood and impact of risks, devising mitigation strategies, and continuously monitoring risks throughout the project to manage any changes.

7.KPI: KPIs are specific metrics used to measure progress in various aspects of a project. They can include task completion time, cost, work quality, customer satisfaction, etc. By measuring these indicators regularly, project managers can gauge whether the project is on track to meet its goals.

8.Project reviews and audits: These are formal reviews performed during and at the end of the project to ensure that everything is moving forward according to plan. Reviews may include reviewing compliance against quality standards, verifying adherence to budgets and timelines, and evaluating the effectiveness of project management.

9.Team feedback techniques: Encouraging regular feedback from team members can provide valuable insights into project progress. This can be accomplished through update meetings, surveys, or retrospective sessions, where teams discuss what is working well and what can be improved.

10.Trend analysis: this technique involves observing project performance over time to spot trends, predict potential problems, and take proactive action. Trend analysis can help predict whether a project is on track to meet its goals or whether corrective adjustments are needed.

By using a combination of these techniques, project managers gain a thorough understanding of project progress, identify and resolve problems in a timely manner, and guide the project to a successful conclusion.

Early problem identification allows corrective actions to be implemented before issues become more significant and costly. Furthermore, a thorough assessment of potential risks at each stage of the project enables the development of effective mitigation strategies and contingency plans.

Corrective actions may include adjusting timelines, reallocating resources, amending objectives, or revising execution strategies. These actions are crucial to keeping the project on track with its original objectives and ensuring that it is delivered on time and on budget.

In every project, it is vital to set up a structured process for monitoring and managing potential risks. This process begins with risk identification, followed by their assessment regarding the likelihood of occurrence and impact on the project. Subsequently, it is necessary to plan and implement actions to mitigate the identified risks, continuously monitoring the effectiveness of these measures.

Project monitoring: using Twproject

In the previous section, we went through various techniques used for project monitoring.

Using these charts can be simplified with Twproject, the best project management software available.

Twproject allows you to plan, schedule, assign, and update activities, resources, and end results.

It also provides customizable dashboards, reports, and alerts that indicate a project’s status, problems, and risks.

By collecting data and updates in a single place, project reporting and evaluation become, therefore, straightforward.

Thus, the project manager, team members, and stakeholders can access all pertinent and current information related to a project anytime and anywhere.

When it comes to project monitoring, the following features of Twproject make it the ultimate software:

  • Task planning and assignment: It helps to break down projects into tasks, set deadlines and detail work performance schedules.
  • Resource allocation: Assign and allocate both human and material resources.
  • Collaboration tools: They promote communication and teamwork among team members and stakeholders.
  • Document sharing and management: Facilitates centralized archiving, management, and project documentation sharing.
  • Time monitoring: It helps to track time spent on activities and projects for performance analysis.
  • Reporting and analysis: It provides in-depth information on project performance through customizable reports and dashboard visuals.
  • Scalability: It can vary according to the size and complexity of projects and grow with your business.
  • User-friendly UI: If a tool is convenient, team adaptation is facilitated, and problems associated with the learning process are minimal.
  • Integration features: Ease of integration with other business tools to assist workflow efficiency and reduce redundancies to a minimum.

Project monitoring and evaluation are key steps to project success.

Opting for comprehensive software such as Twproject will maximize efficiency, optimize resources, and guide the team to amazing results.

Plan your projects with Twproject

 

Work Breakdown Structure vs. Gantt: a hands-on comparison

Work Breakdown Structure vs. Gantt? These are both powerful and critically important tools in the project management world.

Although these terms are sometimes used interchangeably, they are not synonymous and it is crucial to understand their purposes and area of use.

Let’s take a look at what they are and how they are used.

What is a Gantt chart?

A Gantt chart is a bar graph showing a project’s progress, time sequence, and dependencies.

This tool, developed more than a hundred years ago by Henry Gantt, has become one of the most widely used techniques for planning and monitoring projects.

A Gantt chart comprises horizontal bars (Gantt bars) representing project tasks.

Gantt bars show start and end dates, dependencies, schedules, and deadlines, including the portion of the task completed per phase and who is responsible for the work.

Beginners in the field create their first Gantt charts with some common programs such as Excel (learn more –  Gantt Chart with Excel: What are its limitations?)

Please remember that Excel was not designed for this purpose.

Yet, to take planning to a higher professional level, you must choose a full-featured project management software such as Twproject.

What is a Work Breakdown Structure?

A Work Breakdown Structure, or WBS, is a hierarchical breakdown of the project scope into smaller, more manageable components.

WBS can help define project scope, allocate resources, assign responsibilities, and estimate project duration and budget.

Project managers implement the WBS to break down large projects into smaller, more easily manageable steps to carry out tasks faster and more efficiently.

Breaking down the project into less complex parts improves team productivity and helps manage costs and contingencies.

Moreover, full WBS representation can support communication, increase transparency, and promote effective discussions.

There are many software solutions for creating a Work Breakdown Structure, and Twproject is one of the best options on the market.

WBS vs. Gantt: When should you use one or the other?

Typically, project managers apply the WBS to visualize what they are doing and the Gantt chart to illustrate when they are doing it.

More specifically and in practice, we can say:

WBS

  • Pros: WBS can help clarify the project goals, avoiding scope shifts and unnecessary changes. It can also break the project down into manageable parts, supporting the organization and prioritization of project work.
  • Cons: It can smooth communication and collaboration between the project team and stakeholders, aligning their expectations and requirements. It can also support risk management and quality control processes, helping identify and mitigate potential problems and errors.

Gantt chart

  • Pros: Gantt charts can benefit project management in many ways, such as providing a clear and visual overview of project planning, showing dependencies and constraints between project activities, highlighting critical paths and downtime, and improving communication and reporting on project status. It can also help monitor and measure project progress and performance, optimize resource allocation and activity sequencing, manage risks and problems, and keep stakeholders informed and engaged.

  • Cons: Gantt charts have some shortcomings. They can be difficult to display and interpret, particularly for multifaceted projects. Also, they can be inaccurate or misleading if they are not based on reliable data and assumptions and may not account for changes and variations in the project environment.

The Work Breakdown Structure vs. Gantt clash is always relevant and raises many questions since these are two core project management tools.

Both concepts provide project managers and their teams with information on progress.

They also boost efficiency and guide individuals to successful decisions.

The best choice would be to integrate both tools – the WBS divides the work hierarchically, from top to bottom. More specifically, it can be considered the skeleton of the future project plan.

The Gantt chart is linear and illustrates time progression from left to right. Once the necessary activities have been determined, dates, timelines, and dependencies are considered, and then a Gantt chart is developed for the start of work.

This is why modern PM tools such as Twproject include the option to create a Gantt chart within the Work Breakdown Structure feature.

WBS vs. Gantt: Twproject built-in tools

With Twproject, managers can accurately define each task’s finish date, ensuring that deadlines are always met.

This platform shows the start and finish of each task through a bar chart, making it easy to read and interpret the work plan. 

This visual aspect is critical for tracking project progress, providing a snapshot of progress and any critical issues.

Furthermore, Twproject is not limited to planning and monitoring; it is also a powerful tool for risk management.  

Through the detailed analysis provided by the WBS and the timeline representation of the Gantt chart, project managers can identify potential risks early and plan corrective or preventive actions to ensure project success.

Optimizing planning with WBS in Twproject

Using the Work Breakdown Structure in Twproject is the first step in breaking down a complex project into smaller, more manageable parts.

Project managers can begin by defining the main objective of their project and breaking it down into sub-projects and activities. This hierarchical approach makes it easier to understand the project’s overall scope but also helps identify the resources needed and distribute tasks effectively.

In Twproject, the WBS becomes interactive, enabling managers to add, edit, or rearrange tasks with simple drag-and-drop. This ensures that every element is in the right place and nothing gets overlooked.

Gantt timeline visualization in Twproject

After defining the project’s structure with the WBS, project managers can switch to Gantt timeline visualization in Twproject.

This tool turns the plan into a visual timeline, where each task is depicted by a bar indicating its duration, dependencies, and alignment with other tasks.

Twproject’s feature of showing real-time changes in the Gantt chart allows managers to quickly adjust the schedule in case of unexpected events, ensuring that their project stays on track. 

Therefore, Gantt visualization becomes central to monitoring project progress and ensuring that each phase proceeds according to plan.

With Twproject, project management becomes a more streamlined, controlled, and visually user-friendly process, converting every challenge into an opportunity for success.

Keep all your projects under control with Twproject!

 

Gantt vs. Pert: two tools in comparison

Gantt vs. Pert are two of many different project management planning tools available.

They aim to help project managers accomplish their work better by facilitating activity coordination and stakeholder communication.

These diagrams help manage the challenging constraints of time, cost, and scope, which are the predominant forces in any project.

Let’s look at the comparison of the Gantt vs. Pert tools in detail.

What is a Gantt?

A Gantt chart is one of the most popular ways to show activities by time, as it is a core project management tool for planning and scheduling (learn more at How to make a Gantt chart).

Specifically, it consists of two axes:

  • A vertical one consists of a list of activities that must be accomplished to complete the project.
  • A horizontal one represents the timeline of a plan, in which the bars are the activities set in chronological order.

This system allows all stakeholders to be provided with the same information and shared expectations.

Plus, the Gantt chart, thanks to its graphic time sequence, clearly shows how activities are related to each other, making it one of the best visualization tools in project management.

The clarity with which a Gantt displays this information helps considerably with management and communication within the project team.

When is it appropriate to use a Gantt chart?

The Gantt chart is arguably the most flexible project management tool available: not only is it used during the planning phase of the project, but it is also useful throughout the execution phase to monitor progress.

Therefore, project managers use Gantt charts to get an overview of the project at any given time, create and assign tasks, monitor their budget, manage resources, and much more.

With this tool, you can ensure everyone can access any schedule and project details in real-time.

Gantt can be used in many scenarios, but it is particularly beneficial when:

  • Project activities are well-defined and neatly arranged. A Gantt chart is great for visualizing a series of activities in a precise sequence. However, if activities are still loose or the order is unclear, this chart may not be very helpful.
  • The project has a set duration: The Gantt chart is useful for monitoring progress over time and identifying any delays. The diagram may not be the best option if the project duration is uncertain.
  • The project is small or medium-sized: Gantt charts are easier to manage for projects involving a limited number of tasks. For very complex projects, they may be difficult to interpret and keep up to date.
  • You need to communicate your project plan to a team or client: The Gantt provides a user-friendly visual representation of the project, making it easy for all stakeholders to understand.

Besides these cases, the Gantt chart can also be useful for:

  • Manage project resources;
  • Identify dependencies between activities;
  • Estimate project duration;
  • Monitor project costs.

What is a PERT chart?

PERT stands for “Program Evaluation Review Technique” and is a project management tool that visually represents activities and dependencies of a project.

In this chart, we use arrows to show the activities required to meet a given event, symbolized by a node. As a result, a node represents a completed phase of the project.

Therefore, a PERT chart looks like a network diagram, where each separate box (or node) represents a project activity. Arrows show the dependencies between activities, connecting them.

When should you use a PERT chart?

A PERT chart provides a visualization of the entire project timeline in a chart that is easy for team members and project stakeholders to understand.

Moreover, the PERT chart allows project managers to learn and keep track of important workflow information: task dependencies, estimated task time, and minimum project delivery time.

Therefore, it is mainly suitable for all projects except small ones, where checklists are good enough to get the big picture.

PERT can make the workflow smoother when:

  • The plan involves multiple activities running simultaneously: In this case, the diagram will make the prioritization process easier, helping to understand which activity depends on another.
  • The project has a strict time frame: A PERT chart is not only a visual representation of a project’s structure but also helps gauge its duration. This tool allows you to set deadlines and stick to them.

Here are some cases where you should use a PERT chart:

  • Projects with many unknowns: The PERT chart is particularly suitable for managing projects with many variables and uncertainties, where the exact duration of activities is difficult to estimate.
  • Projects with many interdependent activities: If project activities are interdependent and the delay of one may affect the others, the PERT chart helps to map out the critical path and manage any potential issues.
  • Long-term projects: It helps estimate the duration of long-duration projects, which are spread over several months or years.
  • Projects with limited budgets: PERT can help optimize resource utilization and reduce project costs.

Besides these cases, the PERT chart can also be useful for:

  • Identify project risks;
  • Evaluate different project alternatives;
  • Communicate the project plan to a team or client.

Gantt vs. Pert: two tools in comparison

Gantt and Pert charts offer unique approaches to planning, executing and monitoring projects, each with strengths and ideal applications.

Twproject integrates both of these tools, empowering teams to choose the approach that best suits their needs.

Twproject’s Gantt, which is a bar chart, provides a visual representation of project progress by showing activities as horizontal bars running along a project timeline.

This user-friendly layout provides project managers and team members with a convenient way to see the sequence of activities, their durations, overlaps, and time dependencies at a glance. 

It is particularly useful for projects with a clear, sequential structure, where planning and time tracking are crucial.

Let’s take a look at the pros of the Gantt chart:

  • Immediate visualization: It provides a clear and straightforward overview of the project’s progress.
  • Resource monitoring: It helps to assign and monitor resources, displaying who is working on what and when.
  • Deadline management: It helps to identify and manage deadlines, making it easier to adjust plans according to changes.

Twproject’s PERT chart, on the other hand, focuses on analyzing and planning activities based on their interdependencies.

It uses nodes to represent activities or events and arrows to show precedence relationships between them. This approach is especially useful in complex projects, where finding the critical path and understanding dependencies between activities are critical to project success.

Let’s take a look at the pros of the PERT chart:

  • Critical path analysis: Identifies critical activities that cannot be delayed without affecting the project deadline.
  • Time optimization: It helps optimize project plans, allowing better allocation of time and resources.
  • Risk management: It provides a foundation for risk analysis, allowing potential snags to be predicted and mitigated.

In short, we have seen that both Gantt and PERT charts are visual tools for organizing activities during project planning.

The choice between Gantt and PERT depends on your unique project needs.

The PERT chart is great as it clearly shows dependencies between activities and the critical path.

This means that a project manager can make better decisions by managing data and performing what-if analysis.

The downside is that it is difficult to scale a PERT chart, and this can be an issue when working on more complex projects. The larger the project, the more complex the PERT chart will be and the more difficult it will be to interpret.

A Gantt chart allows a project’s time sequence to be displayed in a more structured fashion. It also allows work progress to be clearly visualized in real-time.

Therefore, a good project manager typically uses both techniques to fulfill multiple purposes.

Plan your projects with Twproject

 

Work breakdown structure vs Product breakdown structure

The Work Breakdown Structure and the Product Breakdown Structure are often confused because they are very similar yet quite different.

These two breakdown structures play a critical role in the project planning process and how successful – or not – the outcome will be.

In this article, we will try to clarify the difference between the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) and the Product Breakdown Structure (PBS).

What is a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)?

The WBS provides a hierarchical structure for the project effort. Essentially, this is a map that details every piece of work needed, breaking it down into smaller, more manageable parts.

Simply put, it stands for the project’s “to-do list,” and its main focus is on “work,” not “things.”

The WBS provides the foundation for a project plan, allowing it to be broken down into work packages and activities.

The level of detail depends on the complexity of your project and the level of control you want to have.

A WBS is especially beneficial for teams managing large projects because, as previously mentioned, it breaks the project down into smaller, more manageable components.

Generally speaking, the WBS clearly states what needs to be done and makes it easier to assign work to the project team.

Therefore, this will help the project manager to estimate resources, time, and risks better.

What is a Product Breakdown Structure (PBS)?

In the WBS, the project is broken down into work packages and activities to be accomplished, while the product breakdown structure presents products (or results) to be delivered by the project.

The focus of the “to-do list,” in this case, is on the “things” and not the “work.”

By focusing on the “whats” rather than the “hows,” PBS guides team members in understanding the expected results and ensuring that each deliverable has appropriate quality and meets specifications.

The PBS breaks down the project’s main product into its forming blocks as a hierarchical structure.

The main benefits offered by the PBS are:

  • It defines the project scope;
  • It raises awareness among your team about what will be delivered;
  • It forces your team to think about the content of the product, say if it is a database: what type, how many records, format, etc;
  • It provides a better way to determine what quality criteria will be applied to the product, how it will be reviewed, and what skills are required to undertake the review;
  • It serves as the foundation for creating the Work Breakdown Structure.

Work breakdown structure vs Product breakdown structure in project planning

project manager breakdown-structure-vs-Product-breakdown-structure

The WBS and the PBS play complementary roles in the project planning process scenario.

Ideally, project managers would begin by creating a PBS to clarify the outputs and products needed and then use the WBS to organize and detail the work required to achieve them. 

This integrated approach ensures that project plans are thorough, covering both output (project or product) and work-related aspects and making it easier to spot discrepancies or oversights.

Both techniques are valuable during the planning process and ideally should be used jointly to ensure success.

Together, they help project managers determine:

  • What is the result?
  • What is necessary to achieve it?
  • When will it be achievable?
  • How will people know they have achieved it?
  • Who is required to accomplish it?

First and foremost, you should outline a PBS that clarifies what needs to be built or imported from elsewhere.

The product registry is a handy way to find suppliers for third-party products, and a product flow chart helps pinpoint the order in which products are required.

This helps in understanding the plan’s logic at a high level before detailed planning begins.

Then, you design a WBS to organize and build a feasible plan for the associated work packages and activities. Thus, having an overview of the plan that includes both “things” and “work” will cover all variants of your project.

Are there products without work packages? In this case, you will not be able to deliver the desired result, or the PBS will include products that are not needed for the scope of your project.

Are there work packages without products? If so, you may be undertaking unnecessary work or missing something in your PBS.

When used jointly, the PBS and WBS techniques provide powerful tools for ensuring the accuracy and completeness of project plans, whether simple or complex. Both must be used for their intended purpose correctly without blurring the boundaries between “what” and “activity.”

If this part is achieved and the relationship between deliverables is critically reviewed early in the planning process, the risk of completing work without the required deliverables being completed can be significantly reduced.

In this context, project management tools like Twproject can offer significant support, facilitating the integration between Work breakdown structure and Product breakdown structure, improving collaboration and efficiency of project teams.

Twproject allows easy management of project hierarchical structures, ensuring that all aspects are considered and that communication among stakeholders is effective.

Moreover, it enables the project manager to have a comprehensive view of the project, improving planning, execution, and monitoring, thus contributing significantly to the project’s success.

Still in doubt? Well, you can try yourself with a free demo.

The best Project Management techniques for maintaining assets

In today’s dynamic commercial enterprise surroundings, powerful asset control and maintaining is critical to achieve certain operational performance and maximize the life of crucial property.

Project control is key in formulating successful asset renovation strategies, ensuring green use of sources, and efficient protection activities.

This article examines first-rate practices in project control specially designed for asset control, supplying techniques that can be used to decorate organizational performance and asset reliability.

Asset control is the cornerstone of any enterprise’s business method, encompassing quite several activities aimed at the efficient and lengthy-term renovation of gadgets, machinery, and materials.

Project management strategies provide systematic planning, execution, and management of asset control offerings.

Let’s discover pleasant practices that can decorate asset safety through venture management techniques.

Best practices for peak asset performance:

1. Comprehensive Asset Inventory

The first step to effective asset management is having a complete and up-to-date record of everything you own.

Project managers should collaborate with management teams for creating and maintaining a detailed asset registry.

This registry should include vital information like asset type, location, current condition, maintenance history, and any relevant documentation.

This comprehensive list is the cornerstone for all asset management activities and resource allocation decisions.

2. Risk Assessment

Not all assets require the same level of attention all the time. Conducting regular risk assessments helps identify assets most susceptible to failure or those posing significant operational risks if neglected.

Project managers, working with subject-matter experts, can then prioritize assets based on criticality.

This allows for developing customized maintenance schedules that proactively address high-risk areas while optimizing resource allocation.

3. Utilizing Predictive Maintenance Techniques

Traditional reactive maintenance practices, where you fix things only when they break down, can lead to costly downtime and unplanned repairs.

By leveraging predictive maintenance techniques, such as condition monitoring and data analytics, project managers can anticipate potential equipment failures before they occur.

By harnessing real-time data and machine learning algorithms, businesses can shift from a reactive to a proactive maintenance strategy, minimizing downtime and extending the lifespan of their assets.

4. CMMS Integration

Traditionally, dealing with asset protection projects frequently includes paper-based total work orders and manual records monitoring. This can result in inefficiencies and communication gaps.

Integrating a CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management System) offers a powerful answer. A CMMS software acts as a centralized hub for all asset and upkeep information. Project managers can leverage the CMMS to create and assign painting orders electronically, schedule preventive maintenance based on gadget records, and music the development of protection tasks in actual time.

This now not handiest improves conversation and collaboration between venture managers and maintenance teams but also allows for information-pushed choice-making regarding aid allocation and universal task efficiency.

5. Performance Metrics and KPIs

Measuring the success of your asset maintaining efforts requires defining key performance indicators (KPIs) that align with your organizational goals.

Project managers should establish metrics like asset uptime, mean time between failures (MTBF), maintenance cost per asset, and overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) to assess project performance and identify areas for improvement.

Regularly analyzing KPI data allows for continuous optimization of your maintenance strategies.

6. Continuous Training and Skills Development

Asset maintenance practices evolve alongside technological advancements and industry trends. Project managers need to prioritize continuous learning and skill development for their maintenance teams.

This ensures proficiency in using new tools and methodologies. Investing in your workforce fosters a culture of innovation and empowers personnel to adapt to ever-changing maintenance requirements effectively.

By implementing these best practices, businesses can leverage the power of project management to optimize asset maintenance strategies and achieve operational excellence.

The result? Increased asset reliability, minimized downtime, and a maximized return on investment for your valuable assets.

Author bio:

Lindsey Walker is the marketing manager for NEXGEN, a Sacramento-based industry leader in designing advanced computerized maintenance management systems and asset management software tools for utilities, facilities, public works, manufacturing, and fleet industries. In her free time, Lindsey enjoys travelling and reading, which allows her to gain new perspectives and inspiration for her work. She is committed to creating content that connects well with her readers, enhancing their digital experiences.

Adopting a new project management tool – Stories of failure and success

Whoever has the arduous task of introducing a new project management tool in a company must always come up against some resistance and try to overcome major obstacles.

In fact, it is commonly known that any procedure changes in the workplace can throw even the most open-minded individuals into turmoil.

But there are some tricks to follow on which your success or failure may depend.

In this article we are going to show you how you might deal with change processes when introducing a new project management software in your company.

Our support to companies in adopting new project management methodologies has already surpassed twenty years of activity, both online and by consulting on site.

So far, we gained enough experience for us to to identify specific patterns of success and failure and we want to share some with you.

During our work as consultants, sometimes adoption succeeded and sometimes failed.

But in general, we think that most of the time success or failure did not depend crucially on the tool itself, but actually depended on the attitude of people involved.

What we are going to show here can be valid for any kind of tool. Either if the tool is a simple shared spreadsheet or even a physical whiteboard on the wall, not necessarily a fully-developed software system.

Our list will begin presenting failure patterns and then we will show some success stories.

In the end, we will give you 10 tips to keep in mind when introducing a new project management methodology in your company.

Failure Patterns

Frustration when choosing a new project management tool

1. Users do not use the new project management tool

In our experience the first cause of failure in the adoption of a new project management tool is not the discovery that the solution chosen does not accomplish a specific task.

It is rather the mere fact that users do not use the tool.

After a while, mangers have to acknowledge that their team is not going to adopt the solution proposed and this is probably the worst scenario.

One way to prevent it is to wonder, right from the beginning, whether is it realistic that people in your team are going to welcome the change.

Some questions you may ask yourself are:

  • Am I asking too much?
  • Is this solution simple?
  • Is it quick?
  • Are there visible advantages for the users?

If you consider this from the start, there are better chances that you avoid this pattern.

2. We’ll start using it when everything is in place

Another frequent failure pattern we have noticed is represented by the statement: “We’ll start using it when everything is in place”.

This is what we call a priori failure. In fact, in this case the defeat begins before the adoption of the tool.

In fact, saying that a new methodology will start only when everything is in order, predictably means that you actually never start.

As it is commonly known, perfectionism can be counter-productive.

3. If you don’t get a complete data coverage, what you’ll gain is worthless

A belief that frequently causes failure is that either you get a complete data coverage, or what you will be gaining is worthless.

This means, in short, that partial data is useless.

This is in our experience a big mistake: partial data is way better than no data.

If you start with just a few information, you will always have the chance to increase them during time, heading towards a more and more complete work coverage.

Try it out and let us know if this is true.

4. Software replaces human management

An almost superstitious belief in adopting such tools is that software might replace management.

This is never true, but actually the opposite happens.

A good new project management tool can help you analysing, finding patterns, exploring ongoing situations, improving collaboration.

All of these factors will enforce management instead of replacing it.

5. Migration of past habits into the new project management tool

Yet another mistake originates by hoping to migrate all the current methods in use in the company to the new system.

This often means projecting the bad habits, which can be also determined by the limitations of the tools used in the past, and moving them to the new system.

This mistake makes you miss the great opportunity provided by the introduction of new tools, i.e. the chances of reforming paths, of thinking out what can be changed or removed of old habits.

Most often the company’s greatest advantage is the acceptance of a reformation process, instead of the adoption of the tool itself.

6. Theoretical over practical advantages

One last pattern we want to share with you is this: the tendency to put the advantages of a new project management tool before the relationship between people and new methodologies.

The human factor is in fact what you should actually take into greater consideration, because team cooperation is the key for success.

In this perspective, starting with a small motivated team is more important than all the functionalities of the tool which you will chose in the end.

Success patterns

team collaboration in selecting a new project management tool

1. Present the tool differently to different people

The first one is a technique we have seen used in winning situations, which is to present the tool differently to different groups of people.

Even if what you introduce is in some way a centralized formalization of working practices, the nuances in which you show it to different people can make all the difference.

The way you present a software to the IT department must necessarily be different to the way you present it to others, as for example the group of promoters.

By adapting your presentation, your expectations in usage from that group, and the advantages you see in some specific aspects, you will make it easier for different people to understand what will happen once the system is put to work.

Generally speaking, what you need is a collection of data and information, but you do not need to get it in the same way from everyone.

2. Take the opportunity to improve processes

Another thing that successful managers know is that introducing a new solution is an opportunity for opening discussions and not for giving impositions.

Giving the chance to anyone of discussing the way the tool will be introduced may be a way for gaining respect and establishing new communication channels.

Do not forget to grab this opportunity.

In fact, not being asked for opinion is one of the main causes for dissatisfaction in the workplace.

3. Better work quality is an advantage for everyone

A point you should try to make clear in every discussion is that quality at work ends up helping everyone.

This is not just a propaganda slogan but it is the evidence in our experience and probably in anyone’s experience.

Workplaces where the attention to production quality is higher are the places where the life quality of individuals working there is higher.

4. Start simple and proceed one step at a time

Le’s support this point with a short story that happened to us once.

We were proposing our solution to a bank and our contact was smart young manager.

He invited us to a large committee meeting whose agenda was the adoption of our tool.

Every department had its own requirements and especially the IT department asked for some integrations with the existent solutions.

Our client, the young manager, said yes to anyone but after the meeting he actually told us not to do any of these integration and set up the tool as it was.

He started with a small motivated team and used a simplified project management methodology.

After the first group started, another group joined and in the end all the bank adopted this new solution in its simplified version.

His approach has had a great success.

We did some integrations later, but nevertheless he managed to get started quickly and without too many complications.

Tips

And finally, here are our 10 short tips that you should always keep in mind when proposing a new project management technology to your company.

  • Start with a small motivated group
  • Start simple, avoid useless complications
  • Put real data in the new system, right from the beginning
  • Poor and scarce information is better than none
  • Complete system integration may never happen, still your company may benefit from the new solution adopted
  • Do not delay reform while waiting for… [put any strange requirement here]
  • Reject bizarre ideas coming from a single user. If this person is the CEO (as it happens most often), answer positively but then postpone actions. At further enquiries answer: “Yes, we are going to do it, but not just now.”
  • Do not be mislead by developers and by technical details. Remember what matters in the end is people’s attitude.
  • Listen to women. In committees, women’s observations and contributions tend to be more concrete, since they seem to have a more realistic picture of human behaviour at work.
  • Remember: it is more a question of people than a question of technology.

Conclusions

The solution that we have been proposing for the last 20 years is a highly complete software: Twproject.

It is a very versatile and flexible software tool which adapts to all ways of working.

Its introduction is therefore very simple and it will further help you to overcome all resistance issues and to pursue the path of success.

This innovative solution covers all project management needs, from the to-do lists for workers, to the overview pages for project managers, to specific reports for board management.

It allows you to start step by step, taking advantage of a portion of the features at the beginning, and refining them over time.

If you want, you can do a free trial, keeping our series of advice in mind, and then you can let us know what you think and if you are going to propose it to your team.

Avoid failure: try Twproject.

How to make a Gantt chart

How to make a Gantt chart” is the starting point for all those who want to organize their workflow effectively.

A Gantt chart is a key tool for project planning and tracking. But how can you make an effective Gantt?

This article will explore the basic steps to create a simple and effective Gantt chart.

What is a Gantt Chart?

Before delving into the “how,” it is necessary to understand the “what.”

A Gantt chart is a visualization tool that allows project managers to map a project’s path from start to finish effectively.

Developed in the early 20th century by the mechanical engineer Henry Gantt, this tool has since evolved into one of the staples of modern project management.

Specifically, it is a type of bar chart that illustrates a project’s schedule, showing the different activities to be carried out on the vertical side and the expected timeframe for each of them on the horizontal axis.

Each bar in the chart stands for a specific activity in a project, with the length of the bar representing the expected duration for completion of the activity.

What makes the Gantt chart so precious is its ability to provide, at a glance, a detailed overview of how and when the various activities overlap, allowing project managers to optimize resources and better manage time.

Why use Gantt for your project workflow

Adopting a Gantt chart in your project workflow is recommended and a real winning strategy for any project manager.

This tool provides a straightforward view of each project phase, from each task’s start and end dates to the overlap between tasks and their duration.

But why is it so critical to the workflow’s success?

First of all, Gantt makes project management more accessible by allowing the selection of relevant data with precision and the visualization of the time axis format in a user-friendly manner.

This helps to immediately understand the sequence of activities and their interdependencies, improving planning and resource allocation.

Furthermore, visualizing distances between bars and stacked bars makes optimizing the time-space and preventing work overload possible.

Using a Gantt chart also supports selecting the most suitable format to visually represent the project, allowing you to include legend items and organize categories in reverse order, if necessary. This flexibility results in a better comprehension of the workflow by the entire team, streamlining communication and collaborative efficiency.

 

How to make a Gantt chart

Creating and using a Gantt chart are key steps in project management, providing a visual snapshot of a workflow.

Here are some guidelines for creating a Gantt chart:

1. Identify activities

The first step in creating a Gantt chart is establishing all the tasks required to complete your project. This includes large and small tasks, from the obvious ones to those that could easily be disregarded. Each task must be listed to be clearly displayed in the diagram.

2. Define dependencies

After having listed your tasks, the next step is to set the dependency relationships between them. This involves determining which activities must be completed before others can begin. This step is critical for creating a logical workflow and avoiding bottlenecks along the process.

3. Assign durations

Each task included in your Gantt chart must be given an assigned duration.

This not only includes the time required to complete the task itself but must also consider any dependencies that might affect its start or completion. The duration may be estimated in days, weeks, or months, depending on the scale of your project.

4. Calendar development

With the activities, dependencies, and durations in place, the next step is to develop your project schedule. This involves assigning specific start and end dates for each task, with consideration of dependencies and available resources. The schedule must be realistic and flexible, accommodating any changes.

5. Use the right tool to make your Gantt chart

Using a dedicated project management tool, such as Twproject, can considerably streamline this process. This tool has advanced features, such as easily updating tasks and their dependencies, checking real-time progress, and collaborating with team members.

6. Monitoring and updates

After creating your Gantt chart, your work is not over yet.

This chart must be regularly updated and monitored to reflect the progress of the project and any changes in the plan. This helps keep the project on track and pinpoint any delays or problems at an early stage.

But that is not all. The Gantt chart should be shared with your entire project team. This ensures everyone knows deadlines, priorities, and the overall workflow. Effective communication is crucial to the success of any project.

Make a Gantt chart with Twproject: the ultimate solution for effective charting

Twproject offers a user-friendly graphical editor for creating Gantt charts, which can be accessed by clicking the button at the beginning of the WBS.

editor gantt twproject

Those familiar with MS-Project will appreciate Twproject’s editor’s user-friendliness while noting significant differences in data models and usage dynamics.

Twproject’s main objective is to track work progress in real-time and adapt to dynamic and changing situations. This feature differs significantly from traditional project management, which involves detailed and advanced project definitions, often unrealistic in many work contexts.

Twproject adopts a distinctive model for organizing the project tree, deadlines, and statuses, diverging from the traditional Gantt chart. Projects can remain active beyond their scheduled deadlines or be temporarily suspended, thereby reflecting a more flexible schedule and dependency management.

Upon accessing your Gantt editor, you will find the WBS node you are exploring. The changes you make will only take effect once you press the “Save” button, allowing you to experiment with your project structure without altering its original configuration.

Grid panel

The project tree interface is structured in two main sections, divided by a movable vertical line. This divider can be moved to the right or left to suit your work area better. The section on the left includes the text panel.

Twproject gantt software

You can expand columns by dragging them and directly edit details such as code, name, dates, and dependencies by simply clicking on specific fields.

The project layout can be compressed; the system will save this visualization choice. You can also change project statuses via the status indicator.

gantt twproject software

Having established the dependency between the two phases, you can change the default Finish to Start (FS) relationship, opting for a different type of connection.

Twproject dipendenze gantt

Moreover, Twproject allows that interconnected activities do not necessarily have to follow one another sequentially but can overlap or be spread apart while still following the chosen dependency logic.

This flexibility improves compliance with project reality and reinforces the concept of delegation.

Elastic dependencies offer project managers the option of managing project phase schedules with greater freedom, without changes in one phase automatically leading to shifts in subsequent stages, thus promoting a more dynamic and customized approach to project planning and execution.

Gantt Panel

On the right-hand side of the interface, which graphically represents your project timeline, you can move the different phases of your project temporally by dragging and dropping them, changing all dependencies accordingly, where feasible.

Positioning your pointer at the beginning or end of a project or phase will turn into a bi-directional arrow, allowing you to extend or reduce the duration of the relevant project or phase. Again, the associated dependencies will be adjusted, always within the constraints set by the project.

Actions performed within the panel are bound by the limits and restrictions of the project and will only be allowed if they do not meet these constraints. For example, you cannot move a milestone if it has already been defined.

Using the Gantt panel, you can also set up new dependencies between project phases by dragging dependency markers to other phases and changing the associated states accordingly.

To create child tasks, all you have to do is write their name in the ‘name’ column.

gantt chart twproject

Then, you can set the start and duration by dragging the bar from the graphic part or manually writing dates in your columns.

Recently, we introduced a new feature that integrates ToDo lists with the Gantt chart to make it easier to manage project meetings (learn more here).

This new feature allows the planned activities in the Gantt chart and the details of the ToDo lists to be displayed simultaneously, making it easier to understand the progress of the project and the individual tasks to be completed.

Watch our tutorial to learn how to make an effective Gantt chart step by step:

Making a Gantt chart means having in-depth control over each task and its start and end dates and being able to plan precisely, anticipate risks, and manage resources efficiently.

Whether managing small projects or orchestrating large initiatives, the Gantt chart remains an indispensable ally for anyone who wants to complete their projects efficiently.

Still in doubt? Well, you can try yourself with a free demo.

The schedule and its importance for the Project Manager

The time schedule generally refers to the skills, tools, and techniques used by the Project Manager to manage time when executing projects to achieve specific goals.

A time schedule must adapt to a specified period of time and use available resources with the right skills.

Given the many uncertainties and variables and the possibility that the availability of resources or the scope of a project may change, it is difficult for the Project Manager to create a schedule that remains stable from beginning to end.

Why you need to plan the time for a project

At the beginning of each project, it is necessary to know how events and activities will be organized during time.

And do not forget that during the project cycle, it will be necessary to spend some time to update deadlines by considering any changes to the project plan.

The investment of time for planning the project schedule may seem superfluous, but in reality it is absolutely necessary for success.

During the life cycle of the project a part of time of the Project Manager should be foreseen to review the schedule and the dependencies of the various activities.

This allows you to check if the project plans are still on track, what is working and what is not.

The schedule of a project is composed of sequenced activities, milestones and goals that must be delivered within a given deadline.

Having a project schedule means knowing exactly what needs to be delivered and in what order.

Moreover, with the right planning techniques, it is possible to regulate the activities in the case that the project is late or if any changes to its scope occur.

The time schedule: how to structure the project planning routine

schedule and project manager

There are two routines to follow for the planning of the project:

1. Planning of the weekly project

Set a time once a week to analyze the schedule and the project plan, determine the results achieved in the past week, and define the goals for the current week.

This time must also be used to be sure that all resources are aligned to ensure the execution and achievement of the goals.

2. Planning of the daily project

Plan at least 30 minutes a day to reflect on the day and / or review the schedule for the next day.

This moment can occur at the beginning or at the end of the day, depending on the preference of the project manager and the most efficient technique.

Here is a brief example of what daily project planning can look like for a project manager:

  • Review the program and update the Gantt chart, if necessary.
  • Ensure that the meetings scheduled for the next day are properly planned and confirmed.
  • Plan the next day based on whatever deliverables are expected. If necessary, the project manager will block a part of his agenda to work quietly on this.

How to obtain a schedule

The process that allows the Project Manager to obtain a schedule is composed of four phases:

  • Create a model of how the work will be performed;
  • Estimate the duration of activities;
  • Calculate times for activities;
  • Present the results.

Every aspect of the process is taken into account by the team, using experts in the field, when necessary.

In fact, a program agreed with the team is more likely to succeed than one imposed from the board of directors.

Estimation of activity durations must take into account many factors, such as effort required, resource efficiency, physical constraints, etc.

Regarding the third point, the simplest form of calculation is the critical analysis of the path. This uses a duration estimate that includes all the factors.

The final results are usually presented as a Gantt chart.

The main advantage of this model is that it can be updated frequently with new information and quickly recalculated.

This is a continuous process throughout the project life cycle and uses the information on actual progress to predict the end date of the project.

Most of the project planning is normally performed with the help of a specific project management software.

In the past, printed calendars or spreadsheets shared by e-mail were the method used by Project Managers to keep an eye on the project schedule.

But today, most teams and organizations implement project management tools with the appropriate features.

These can simplify the creation of timelines and save them online, making the planning of activities and teams much easier.

Because projects have so many moving parts and change frequently, project planning software automatically updates tasks that depend on each other when a scheduled task is not completed in time.

With some software, it is also possible to have the advantage of setting milestones, linking activities, and seeing the actual or planned progress of the schedule update dynamically.

One of the best software on the market is Twproject: after having set the tree structure of a project and having defined its milestones, in Twproject it is possible to insert all the defined phases in a Gantt diagram. It will be sufficient to indicate the estimated time for each activity and then chain the development phases. It is also possible to make some steps dependent on others. This will allow to update statistics in real time, recalculate project deadlines in the event of delays or changes and have a complete overview of the progress of a project.

Twproject has allowed us to organize work subdivision in a simple way through the WBS, then planning the duration of the phases and the workload of each assignee by using the Gantt chart.

What are the benefits of using a time schedule?

As explained, there are many advantages that a well-made project schedule ensures to project managers, the team, and the organization in general:

  • Managers, team members, and stakeholders can monitor progress, set and manage expectations, communicate and collaborate clearly.
  • Tasks and results can be monitored and controlled to ensure timely delivery of the output – and if delays occur, it is possible to easily assess their impact and make the necessary changes.
  • Increase profitability.
  • The communication of clear and better details about the project helps the organization in the distribution of resources where they are most needed, helping to achieve the goals of the project.

Following these steps ensures the project manager to always work efficiently on any project and to be able to predict and mitigate the risks before they turn into big obstacles.

Twproject offers a 15-day free trial with the assistance of its support team. It could be an opportunity to build an effective and complete time schedule and to start optimizing work times by improving the performance of the entire work team.

We have the tools, we have the culture.

Project Sustainability Management: when project management meets sustainability

In today’s day and age, it’s tough to spend a day without hearing or seeing some messages about sustainability, and in this regard, Project Sustainability Management is picking up steam.

For project managers, this means seeing a project with a new perspective, and making the right decisions for the company, its people, and society as a whole.

Basically, it’s all about doing the right thing.

Successful project management is already challenging enough in itself because it revolves around balancing three constraints: cost, time and scope.

The integration of sustainability adds even more complexity to the mix.

Let’s explore why sustainable project management is important and how you can do it in this article.

What is Project Sustainability Management?

The 71% of the world’s leading 500 companies are publicly disclosing their GHG emissions alongside several other energy metrics.

Sustainability has become a corporate goal for all industries, and organizations now recognize that it is just irresponsible not to tackle the issue.

Moreover, the pandemic has brought to light new challenges and emergencies, revealing that sustainability is the only way forward.

Boston Consulting Group reported that 70% of people have become more aware of the impact that human activity has on the climate since the Covid-19 outbreak.

However, sustainable project management isn’t just a matter of being green and tackling climate change.

Being responsible is about ensuring that resources are used wisely, that people are treated equally and paid a fair wage, and that communities are factored into business decisions.

A great way to make sure the project continues to be sustainable is to have this goal in mind from the outset of the project.

Once it is built into the project vision, it cannot be forgotten.

Just having sustainability relevant in all areas of the project will ensure that environmental damage is at a minimum.

As a result, project managers working in this area must take a holistic approach, weighing environmental, social, and economic factors

We have to completely redefine the way we conceive the production of goods and products, learning to consider sustainability of projects not as an obligation, but as an opportunity.

The four aspects of Project Sustainability Management

Specifically, sustainability involves balancing four different areas that include:

  • Environment, such as climate change
  • Economy, such as accessibility
  • Society, such as community
  • Management, such as health and safety

Taking them all into account is the key to building truly sustainable projects.

Let’s explore them in more detail:

Environmental sustainability means employing sustainable resources, preventing pollution, and reducing climate change impacts. This involves assessing equipment, resources used for a project, industry standards, and purchasing practices. Fair trade is one of the best options to ensure sustainability as it is an agreement designed to help producers in growing countries achieve fair trade relationships.

This is connected to economic sustainability, by thinking beyond  return on investment and ensuring that the project fits into the overall strategy of the organization by analyzing how much it adds and how feasible it is in the long term.

Beside the environmental and economic areas of an organization, the less debated, but equally important, are the social and managerial elements. Ensuring that the organization is socially sustainable means assessing how sustainable its culture, structure, and human resource practices are. The organization must ensure that it provides fair working conditions and have sound health and safety measures in place. This part is often tied to HR, which is why they are often considered the sustainability agent in certain organizations.

The HR department must ensure that there is no discrimination against vulnerable groups and that civil and fundamental rights are met. They are also responsible for employee training and skill development and overall community engagement, both of which are significant social areas.

project sustainability management

How do we place sustainability at the very core of every project?

Project Managers have the responsibility of overseeing the project delivery and support processes.

Both will strive to ensure that the client is satisfied while motivating their team to provide excellence.

This is the essence of a project management job.

By leveraging benchmarking tools such as the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM), project managers can compare the impacts of their plans.

The idea underlying the use of benchmarking tools is to integrate sustainability throughout the entire project lifecycle.

Therefore, project managers can ensure that any development improves, or at least preserves, the environment and the livelihood of those who inhabit it.

Project Sustainability Management requires a more holistic approach.

It takes into consideration how resources are used, climate change mitigation, property rights, community involvement, and human rights.

The project manager’s goal is to create value and deliver a project both on time and on budget, but also to execute it in an ethical and fair manner.

Part of the complexity of sustainable project management lies in its intertemporal nature.

Therefore, a sustainable project’s lifecycle should not end at the completion stage; environmental and social impacts must also be monitored and controlled afterwards.

Managers must therefore arm themselves with new indicators for monitoring and overseeing these environmental and social aspects, e.g. ISO, SA and others.

In brief, projects are a medium to achieve change, provide new products and services, and thus shape society.

As such, sustainability should not just be an afterthought, but rather should be one of the key goals for every project.

Twproject and the measurement of sustainability

While it is therefore clear that companies should aim for purpose and no longer just for profit, the main challenge at the moment is to understand how to do this, what strategies to apply.

The key is to include sustainability among the parameters to be considered in the project itself.

Software such as Twproject, which offers statistics and overviews to suit every need, can help to easily measure factors such as the impact of projects.

In addition, its accurate and precise cost-benefit management enables the precise calculation of risks and extra costs associated with sustainability actions, which, however, turn into opportunities if carefully planned.

If in fact the budget for contingencies related to environmental impact is calculated beforehand, this is much more cost effective than an unforeseen eventuality.

You can try Twproject for free for 15 days and discover how many useful tools it offers you to improve internal and external sustainability.

New targets, a new way of working.

 

Gantt: what it is and why it is key for projects

Why create a Gantt Chart? What is it and why is it important in projects?

If you are starting to immerse yourself in the world of project management, then you should familiarize yourself with this essential tool in this industry.

Its importance in the context of project management lies in its capability to help you organize activities logically and sequentially, identify dependencies between activities, allocate resources effectively, and keep track of overall project progress.

In this article, we will explore together what a Gantt chart is, why you should use it, and how Twproject can revolutionize your approach to project management.

Gantt Diagram: what is it?

The Gantt chart, which bears the name of its inventor, Henry Gantt, is a visual tool used in project management to portray activity planning over time.

This tool appears as a horizontal bar chart, where each bar stands for a specific project activity, its duration, as well as its planned start and end.

The key to the success of a Gantt chart lies in its power to provide an at-a-glance overview of the project’s progress, allowing project managers and team members to understand deadlines, dependencies between activities, and resource allocation easily.

It also facilitates the identification of potential schedule delays or conflicts, allowing real-time changes to be made to keep the project on track.

Thanks to its simplicity and effectiveness, the Gantt chart has become an indispensable tool for managing projects of any size and complexity, promoting clear communication and improving team efficiency.

Key elements of a Gantt chart

Gantt, with its user-friendly visual structure, comprises several key elements that make it easy to read and interpret. These elements are central to understanding at a glance the progress of a project, its timelines, and the relationships between the various activities.

Here are the key elements of a Gantt chart:

1. Horizontal bars

Horizontal bars are the most distinguishing element of a Gantt chart. Each bar represents a specific activity in the project, with the length of the bar expressing the duration of said task. The position of the bar along the time axis shows the expected start and end of that task.

2. Time axis

The upper or lower horizontal axis of the diagram shows the total time frame of the project, which is divided into time units (days, weeks, months). This axis makes it possible to visualize when activities should begin and end, providing an overview of the project timeline.

3. Activity list

On the left-hand side of the diagram, there is a list of all activities planned in the project. These are usually arranged in sequential or logical order and can be grouped by phases or work areas, making it easier to understand the structure of the project.

4. Milestones

Milestones are visual indicators, often represented by symbols, that mark critical points or significant objectives within the project. They have no duration but mark key moments such as the completion of a critical stage or the delivery of a deliverable.

5. Dependencies between activities

Dependencies show relationships between activities, indicating how the completion of one activity influences the start or completion of another. These are often expressed by arrows or lines connecting the bars, highlighting the logical sequence of activities and their interdependencies.

6. Activity progress

Some Gantt charts provide a visual representation of task progress, with partially filled-in bars to indicate how much of the task has been completed. This makes it easy to compare the actual progress with the original planning.

7. Allocated resources

In more detailed versions of the diagram, it may also be specified who is ultimately responsible for each activity or what resources have been allocated. This element helps to manage human and material resources better, ensuring that each activity has the necessary resources to be completed.

8. Colours and codes

Using different colors or codes can help to quickly differentiate between different activity categories, project phases, or priority levels. This design element further increases the diagram’s readability, allowing an immediate understanding of the project status.

These key elements make the Gantt chart an extremely powerful tool for planning and monitoring projects, providing a clear and understandable view of progress and facilitating resource and time management.

Why use the Gantt Chart in project management

After having shed some light on what a Gantt is and what it is about, let’s take a look at its benefits.

Using a Gantt chart in project management is not just a matter of convention or convenience – it is a strategic choice that brings with it many significant advantages. This tool proves to be vital in tackling the complex challenges of modern project management, thanks to its ability to simplify the planning and monitoring of activities. Now let’s take a look at why the Gantt chart is so valuable:

  • Clarity and immediate grasp: The first and arguably most apparent advantage of the Gantt chart is its visual clarity. The graphical portrayal of activities on a time scale makes the duration of each activity, overlaps, dependencies, and margins for flexibility immediately obvious. This helps all team members to quickly understand how their work fits into the larger project context, facilitating planning and self-organization.
gantt chart twproject

  • Better internal communication: The transparency offered by the Gantt chart improves communication within the team significantly. Each member can visualize not only their own activities but also how these relate to the work of others. This promotes a sense of collective responsibility for the project and helps to prevent misunderstandings or overlooking deadlines and priorities.
  • Time management optimization: By visualizing durations and dependencies between activities, Gantt charts help project managers optimize resource allocation and time planning. By pre-emptively identifying potential conflicts or overload periods in advance, it is possible to redistribute resources or revise deadlines to keep the project on schedule.
  • Facilitazione della pianificazione e del monitoraggio: Gantt chart is not only a planning tool but also a monitoring tool. It makes it easy to compare the actual progress of the project with the original planning, highlighting any delays or deviations. This is crucial for taking timely corrective action and ensuring that the project stays on track.
  • Decision support: when facing uncertainty or needing to make quick decisions, the Gantt chart provides a robust basis of objective information. Visibility into how various activities affect each other helps managers assess the consequences of any changes, supporting informed and strategic decision-making.
  • Versatility and adaptability: The Gantt chart is fit for projects of all sizes and industries. Its versatility makes it a precious tool for project managers working in diverse contexts, always offering a solid support structure for project management.

Gantt Chart: Which software to choose?

Beginners often resort to Excel for project management, mainly because it is familiar and seemingly simple. However, this choice can prove counterproductive.

Despite being a powerful tool for data processing, Excel is not optimized for project management and presents several limitations that can compromise effective project planning and monitoring (learn more here).

Evaluating project management software is a pivotal process to ensure that the chosen tool aligns effectively with the needs of the team and the project.

Twproject stands out as the best software on the market for creating Gantt charts for several key reasons that meet the needs of project managers.

These aspects make it well suited for those seeking not only to plan activities effectively but also to monitor project progress in real time, manage resources efficiently, and facilitate collaboration between team members.

Here’s why Twproject is the right choice:

1. User-friendly and customizable interface

Twproject offers a user-friendly interface that makes it easy to create and manage Gantt charts.

Users can easily add, edit, and arrange tasks, sub-projects, and milestones with just a few clicks. Advanced customization allows the Gantt to be adapted to the specific needs of the project, improving readability and understanding of the project status by all team members.

2. Advanced dependency management

Unlike other tools that offer limited functionality, Twproject makes detailed management of dependencies between activities possible.

This includes the option of defining complex relationships, such as flexible dependencies, which better reflect the dynamic nature of modern projects, allowing for more realistic and flexible planning.

3. Real-time collaboration

Twproject simplifies collaboration between team members by providing them access to the Gantt chart, viewing assignments, updating task status, and sharing documents in a centralized environment.

This considerably improves communication within the team and with stakeholders, reducing the risk of misunderstandings and accelerating the decision-making process.

4. Monitoring and reporting

Managers enjoy powerful tools for monitoring project progress and generating detailed reports. This way, they have a clear picture of the project’s progress, identify any delays or problems at an early stage, and make informed decisions to keep the project on track.

5. Efficient resource management

In resource management, Twproject offers powerful functionalities for allocating and monitoring human, financial, and material resources. Users can easily overview resource availability, prevent overloads, and optimize resource allocation to maximize project efficiency.

6. Scalability

Twproject is designed to fit projects of all sizes and complexities, making it a scalable solution that can grow with your business. No matter whether managing a single project or coordinating a portfolio of multiple projects, Twproject offers the functionality and flexibility to manage projects in different scenarios effectively.

Making a Gantt chart with Twproject is an easy and intuitive process, so you can focus on what matters: successfully completing your project.

Remember, the key for a project manager is not only knowing the right tools but also knowing how to use them at the right time.

Twproject is here to guide you through every step of your journey, making project management a smooth and rewarding experience.

Plan your projects with Twproject

Why choose a project management software in your language

Managing a project effectively is a complex task. It requires a lot of time and high capacity. This is why the implementation of a project management software possibly in the mother tongue simplifies the process.

This implementation becomes more and more essential, if we consider that companies have goals to achieve that can also be taken as a reference point to measure the overall level of success and growth.

The value in purely economic terms of the organization also depends on success, growth, and efficiency. It is clear that if a project management software can be simply used by all members of the team, it can facilitate the achievement of goals, becoming an indispensable resource for the company itself.

An effective general management of the project cannot depend only on the skill of the Project Manager in managing tasks and resources, but also depends on the possibility that the Team has to feel supported, to interact, and to check individual and group progress. All this and much more can be achieved only with the use of a good software in the mother tongue of the Team that helps the PM managing the entire project and the Team to carry it out.

Project management software and its advantage

Since managing a project is a complex and time-consuming process, streamlining it using a project management system is a valuable solution that can be applied to an increasing number of projects and organizations.

The main purpose of the project management software is to assist the team in planning and monitoring the project, taking into account the resources, components, and overall stakeholders.
This investment is economically advantageous in the long term, if we consider the amount that the company could lose with poor project management and if, as already mentioned, we consider the added value that the company has for every goal achieved.

Companies that are not yet using project management softwares are likely to do more work with less profits. This is due to the time wasted on adjustment activities.

If these activities have already been taken into consideration in advance and are already planned, the project manager, with his team, will have more time to concentrate on the fundamental operations for completing of the project.

Here are some reasons why a project management software is useful for organizations of any size:

Scheduling and planning of activities

Detailed scheduling of activities with dependencies and milestones in the Twproject gantt diagram


Without a computerized system, it can be difficult for the team to meet deadlines due to the lack of a fixed guideline on what should be done, by whom and by when.

Even the overall visualization of the tasks to be performed helps. Time is lost when employees show up for work without knowing the tasks they should do.
The use of a software outlines the activities and makes them visible and clear to everyone in real time.

Setting deadlines and priorities, together with planning, avoids misunderstandings and overlaps of activities and schedules.
In fact, some of the indispensable functionalities in a project management software are a synchronized and shared team calendar that provides an overview of everything. 

The Gantt chart is a tool that easily shows the timing of steps and milestones and also allows you to see the assignees of each individual task and the overall progress.

It is particularly useful if it has sufficient elasticity to realistically reflect the progress of project phases and the correlation between them.

Resource workload with coloured Gantt charts

Management of the resources needed for the project

Resource management is another reason why a project management software is useful.

Managing resources efficiently is important to ensure the proper functioning of the project activities and phases. Good management of the workflow does not waste anyone’s time.

This feature describes the resources that will be used and when they will be used.

Knowing the materials that will be used in a project allows you to work smoothly without blockings caused by a missing tool or equipment.

The calculation of the use of a resource must also be present. This allows, in a cost saving perspective, not to forget certain resources and to avoid their excessive use.

It is clear that this leads to a reduction in expenses and ensures the payment of resources only when they are really needed and used.

Calculating resource utilisation with Twproject

Budget management

Each project comes with a budget that also counts contingencies and profit.

The goal of a project manager is to keep the actual cost below, or at least equal to the estimated cost, in order to maximize the profit earned by the company for the project.

To manage expenses efficiently, the simple creation of an Excel spreadsheet will not be enough.

In this case, some essential functions that a good PM software should have can be the monitoring of the time spent on the various activities. The monthly and weekly reports on expenses, a financial reporting dashboard and, in some cases, the automated billing option will become valuable references for the Project Manager.

Management of the project documentation

Many organizations use excel spreadsheets, others, probably the smallest, can even use pen and paper to track project progress.

However, these methods expose to potential errors. A research shows that 88% of the data in a spreadsheet contains errors that are alarming for organizations that use it as a reference tool for managing business operations.
The use of a project management software guarantees an accurate documentation based on the data collected in a detailed and methodical way.
A project management software can therefore definitely help you get the projects under control and and the team work moving in the right direction..

Collaboration within the work team

When managing a large project, each member of the team is designated with individual activities.

To ensure that everyone has the same focus, it is necessary to use a project management software to simplify team collaboration.

When a member has questions or concerns, he must immediately get the right answer by communicating internally to the team. He must communicate with the right people within the right project, without wasting time looking for other sources. Therefore, it is almost essential to have an internal chat within the software.

This reduces the time spent searching for answers

A chat also optimizes the sharing of documents, timelines and status updates to notify everyone of important information such as the amount of work done and how much time is left to complete it.

Some features not to be underestimated can be the possibility of file sharing, sharing of customer data, a chat for each project integrated in the system, and a dashboard for each team that provides an overview of the progress of each single piece within the project.

The choice of a project management software in the mother tongue

In short, thanks to a project management software, it is possible to maintain the management of the group and the project.

But this can only be done if all the members of the Team will be able to use it to its full potential. And how will all this be possible if not all the members of the team fully understand the language of the software?

When choosing a project management software, the language is often underestimated, while playing a key role instead.

Having a software available is certainly important, but it’s not just about having it… You also need to know how to use it and make it work.

There are some aspects related to team management that are strongly related to the language. They are aspects that are a great part of the success or the inexpensiveness of a project.

The software, in the realization of a project, is an almost indispensable resource, and for this reason is important to use a project management software with a multilingual version or a project management software that contemplates the mother tongue.

Certainly, many project managers will understand English, given the amount of foreign terms in the sector.

However, when we talk about other collaborators and team members who have to deal with the system, the situation changes. It is essential to make sure that the chosen software is available in the mother tongue.

It would not be nice if, due to a bad interpretation of a term, the workflow of a given project was somehow interrupted. Interpretation is the enemy of efficiency.

Choosing a project management software in native or multilingual language is essential to ensure the use of the software itself. If the team finds a pleasant environment, where the barriers to use are not present, it will definitely be more inclined to use the tool. Clearly, this will guarantee a constantly updated and performed project.

But there are other aspects related to the language that have to be taken into consideration. Let’s see them together.

Support

Assistance must also be an aspect consider when choosing a software.
In fact, if you choose a project management software in your mother tongue, you can also have mother tongue language support. Any need, any doubt will not leave room for interpretation, the understanding will be immediate and the intervention of the PM will not be necessary.

Integration

The software becomes a tool of great value if integrated with the production processes. For this reason, the language becomes strategic in allowing the team to switch from one application to another without having any kind of shock.

Cloud or Enterprise

When choosing a software with a multilingual version, it is essential to think about the evolving company.
Today, choosing whether to install the software or keep it in the cloud is a strategic choice, but it must not become a constraint.
Usually companies start with cloud projects and then evolve towards enterprise solutions. This is why it is necessary to start immediately with a project management software in Italian.
Only thanks to this choice, whatever the evolution of the company, the software can be enjoyed serenely and without barriers by the whole team.

Do you use a project management software? Are there certain fundamental benefits for you that we have not shown in this article? Share your opinion with us!

Twproject is in your language!

Gantt vs Agile: differences and combinations

Gantt vs Agile? Choosing between tools and methodologies in project management can significantly impact your project’s outcome.

Understanding the peculiarities of a planning tool such as Gantt and a dynamic methodology such as Agile is critical for project managers who strive to optimize processes and lead their work teams to success.

We will examine their differences, benefits, and potential combinations for effective project management.

Gantt vs Agile: key differences

The distinction between the Gantt chart and Agile is fundamentally rooted in their nature – the  Gantt chart is a visual tool for planning and monitoring project phases, visualizing the length and sequence of activities on a time axis.

Conversely, Agile provides a flexible and iterative methodology designed to adapt to quick changes and promote continuous feedback between development teams and customers.

This core difference strongly impacts how project managers approach the structuring, execution, and adaptation of their projects.

The choice between Gantt and Agile and the decision to integrate them depends on the nature of the given project, the work environment, customer requirements, and team culture. Understanding these key differences is pivotal for project managers who seek to implement the most effective strategy for managing their projects.

Let’s take a look at their key differences:

1. Approach to planning:

  • Gantt chart: It is based on detailed and sequential project planning. Activities are presented as colored bars on a chart, with clearly defined start and end dates. This approach provides a clear picture of the project and makes it easier to monitor progress; however, it can be inflexible and unsuitable for projects with variable requirements or in uncertain contexts.
  • Agile: It is based on an iterative and incremental approach. The project is broken down into short cycles (sprints) lasting 1-4 weeks; a working version of the product is released at the end. This approach promotes flexibility and adaptability to change, making it ideal for projects involving uncertain settings or requirements that may evolve over time.

2. Team involvement:

  • Gantt chart: The team’s involvement in the planning phase may be limited. The Gantt chart is often created by the project manager or a planning team, and the development team may only play a minor role in defining activities and timelines.
  • Agile: The Agile methodology focuses on team involvement and collaboration. The development team is actively involved in sprint planning, task estimation, and decision-making. This approach supports the empowerment and motivation of the team.

3. Change management:

  • Gantt chart: The Gantt chart is a strict tool that is not well-suited for frequent changes. Changing a single activity can have a chain effect on the whole project, requiring an update of the diagram and timetable.
  • Agile: Agile methodology is designed to manage change flexibly. The sprint structure allows the project schedule to be revised and adapted frequently, incorporating feedback received and any changes in requirements.

Gantt vs Agile: pros and cons

Gantt and Agile offer distinct approaches to project planning, execution, and control, and each has its unique strengths.

Exploring both advantages can help project managers choose the best approach for their unique project needs, balancing detailed planning with the ability to adapt quickly to evolving challenges.

Pros of the Gantt chart:

  • Detailed and accurate planning: Gantt provides a visual portrayal of the project plan, illustrating the duration, start, and end of each activity on a time axis. This way, project managers can plan in detail and easily understand the dependencies between different activities, ensuring that all teams are aware of the different activities.
  • Progress monitoring: Project managers can easily monitor progress compared to the original plan, quickly spotting any delays or deviations from the schedule.
  • Deadline orientation: The Gantt diagram is especially useful in projects with well-defined objectives and deadlines, where the sequence and duration of activities are clear from the get-go.
gantt chart dependences

Pros of the Agile methodology:

  • Short iterations and constant feedback: Agile is based on short development cycles, known as sprints, which make it possible to adapt quickly to changes and to incorporate feedback from customers or end users constantly.
  • Better risk management: It helps to recognize and mitigate potential problems in advance.
  • Collaboration and communication: The agile methodology emphasizes collaboration among team members and with customers, promoting open and frequent communication.
  • Adaptability to change: Unlike Gantt, Agile allows for changes even at the late stages of a project, making it ideal for projects in dynamic and rapidly changing environments where requirements may change over time.

Is it possible to combine Gantt and Agile?

Integrating Gantt and Agile in a hybrid approach to project management offers many benefits to project managers, allowing them to leverage both qualities to drive teams to success in an increasingly complex and dynamic working environment.

1. Strategic planning and operational flexibility

The combination of Gantt and Agile allows managers to set a thorough strategic plan, thanks to the Gantt chart’s visibility on project phases and milestones.

Likewise, implementing Agile principles ensures the operational flexibility needed to adapt to changes, enabling the team to respond proactively to project and market needs. This balance between planning and adaptability is critical in complex projects where conditions can change rapidly.

2. Progress monitoring and quick iterations

The hybrid approach makes it easy to monitor project progress effectively, combining the straightforwardness of Gantt’s linear progress with Agile’s ability to implement changes quickly through fast iterations.

Project managers can, therefore, assess project progress concerning the original plan while preserving the flexibility to make corrections or adjustments based on feedback received during sprints.

3. Better communication and customer involvement

By integrating Gantt and Agile, project managers promote better communication within their teams and with customers.

Whereas Gantt provides a clear and understandable roadmap for all stakeholders, Agile supports continuous customer involvement, ensuring the final product is as close to expectations as possible.

This hybrid approach ensures that decisions are made with a full understanding of the project context, improving customer satisfaction and team effectiveness.

4. Resource optimization and efficiency

The combination of Gantt and Agile helps project managers optimize resource use, assigning tasks and priorities more effectively.

Thanks to Gantt’s in-depth planning and Agile’s flexibility, workloads can be balanced, resources can be allocated according to the evolving needs of the project, and waste can be reduced, increasing the team’s overall efficiency.

5. Response to change and innovation

Ultimately, the hybrid approach helps project managers to respond more effectively to change by using the Gantt structure to keep the project on track and the Agile methodology to integrate new ideas and innovations.

This improves the project’s ability to adapt to emerging challenges and promotes a working environment focused on innovation and continuous improvement.

Twproject: the ultimate solution for Gantt and Agile

Twproject stands out in the project management industry thanks to its superior solution that effectively integrates Gantt and Agile.

This tool is designed to simplify project management, making activity planning and monitoring more user-friendly, extremely flexible, and adaptable to different work contexts.

Twproject’s Gantt Chart is known as one of the best on the market for several reasons.

First and foremost, its user-friendliness does not come at the expense of power and versatility. Customers choose Twproject for its clear graphs, ease of monitoring project progress, and advanced features, such as visualization of task dependencies and real-time resource management.

The platform offers a wide range of dynamic features, including:

  • Real-time resource allocation: Twproject provides an easy way to monitor and modify resource allocations, quickly identifying any over or under-allocations.
  • Management of flexible working hours: It offers the option of setting customized work schedules for each team member, ensuring accurate work capacity planning.
  • Project status supervision: Through dedicated dashboards, Twproject provides a real-time view of project progress, making it easier to detect any critical issues.
  • Sharing and communication: The platform emphasizes the importance of communication in project management, providing tools for easy sharing of ideas, documents, and feedback.
  • Task planning and management: This software blends planning management with Gantt and task entry for the whole team, bringing projects closer to the day-to-day work of the resources.

Twproject‘s adaptability to different working methods, its user-friendly interface, and powerful features make it a must-have tool for project managers who want to optimize their project management, improving team communication and overall efficiency.

Plan your projects with Twproject

Gantt charts for a project: productive advantage or disadvantage?

Gantt charts for projects are the essential weapon of the Project Manager, but they can be extremely useful and effective even for anyone who wants to organize their activities in a structured way.

This planning tool appeared in the early twentieth century and has since been widely used for project planning.

The main reason for the success of the Gantt charts is their simplicity and the focus on the quick visualization of the activities.

Gantt charts are also an excellent way to plan the project in a temporal way, allowing to define roles, responsibilities and effective use of resources.

In fact, they provide an immediate vision of how to develop and structure the project and act as a guideline to the end.

What is a Gantt chart?

The Gantt chart, also called scheduled bar chart, is a tool for panning a set of activities that, generally, are part of a single, more complex project.

On the horizontal axis there is the time span, whose unit of measurement depends on the project calendar – days, weeks, months, etc. – while on the vertical axis we find the list of the various activities.

Each task forms a coloured bar that goes from the start date to the end of the activity.

Once all the activities have been inserted, there is a visual scheme of how the project is structured, which tasks come first, which ones overlap and which ones happen later.

The resources that carry out every single activity are easily identifiable.

With such a graphic structure, it is easy to understand, at first glance, if the processes are taking place on schedule and if the progress of the project is in line with the scheduled deadline.

mobile app gantt Twproject

Many software have, in the Gantt, their sore point because the Gantt is not very effective or even non-existent.

Only some software, including Twproject, allow not only to obtain a Gantt chart of the project that is easy to read, but also to get even more details, indicating for example:

  • the resource assigned to a given activity;
  • if the resource works full-time or part-time;
  • how much work has been done and remains to be done;
  • the cost associated with each activity.

optimised workload management in Gantt with Twproject

What are the advantages of the Gantt chart?

As a company we think that the Gantt chart, if well structured and managed, can bring various benefits to the management of a project.

Here is a list of advantages that this system inevitably presents.

The Advantages of Gantt: Visualization

The Gantt chart allows to clearly visualize the workflow and the project structure.

When we insert the various tasks, or analyse the schema after inserting them, we can immediately realize any inconsistencies.

The linear scheme allows you to understand in advance if you will face potential organizational or technical problems and allows you to prepare in advance.

The distribution of the activities allows to identify the intermediate goals and to understand if the project is in line with the schedule or not.

clear and organised workflow visualisation with Twproject Gantt chart

The Advantages of Gantt: Flexibility

As already mentioned, an advantage of the Gantt chart is to clearly show the start and end date of a given activity.

The timing of each task will be set after a direct comparison with the managers of each sector, in order to have a realistic value.

For this reason, the Gantt chart is also useful for the feasibility analysis of a project.

Once the entire project structure is set up, it makes no sense to run to complete certain steps before the set date – unless there is really a valid reason – as this may be reflected in the lack of completeness and / or accuracy.

If you have agreed on a certain date speaking to the direct responsible, it means that this is the time necessary to carry out the work correctly and completely.

Forcing time would affect the quality of work.

flexibility of dependencies in Twproject's Gantt chart

The Advantages of Gantt: Efficiency

These charts allow an intelligent and effective use of resources.

It becomes really difficult for the resources to be reliable when they are grappling with too many processes and find themselves submerged.

All conflicts and problems that follow an overload of tasks can lead to a definitive blockage of the whole project and, inevitably, to its failure.

Using Gantt charts as a project planning tool gives you an overview of the project timeline so you can easily see where and when a particular resource is busy.

So, it is possible to allocate resources in such a way not to slow down or block the activities.

Once a process comes to an end, you can transfer the resource to another activity.

The Advantages of Gantt: Motivation

Gantt charts are great for morale!

Probably we all had those days where we felt completely lost and submerged from work and projects and we could no longer see the direction in which we were going.

In this case, the Gantt chart can be a valid psychological aid.

Looking at the diagram, in fact, you can immediately see how activities are taking place and how each process leads to the completion of the entire project.

It is a very effective method to raise morale and motivate the team.

Moreover, seeing the achievement of a goal – however small it may be – is still a gratification. It allows to concentrate, step by step, on the different blocks of activity without feeling disoriented by a project that can be long and complex.

The Advantages of Gantt: Communication

Gantt charts are not just a useful tool for planning the project.

Team members can use these diagrams to see where they are in the project, what they need to complete certain tasks and the inputs they need.

The project diagram shows them exactly who they should contact and who they should collaborate with during each phase.

This makes them able to communicate better not only with each other, but also with the Project Manager.

Thanks to the Gantt charts, it is also possible to help improve cohesion, communication and understanding of and in the team.

Create your Gantt now

Contact us for a tailored demo and find out how to use Twproject’s interactive Gantt

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The aspects (disadvantages) of the Gantt chart to keep under control!

As with any high performance tool, even for the Gantt Chart, there are some aspects to monitor.

Aspects that if not properly managed could result in real disadvantages.

Let’s list briefly the aspects to pay attention to, so that everyone can make his evaluations:

  • It can become extraordinarily complex. Except for the simplest projects, a Gantt chart will present a large number of activities and resources used to complete the project. There are special software that can handle all this complexity. However, when the project reaches this level, it must be managed by a small number of people, or often by one, able to handle all the details. Large companies often employ one or more prepared Project Managers. In companies not used to this type of management, this may not work as it should.
  • The size of the bar does not indicate the amount of work. Each bar on the graph indicates the period of time in which a given activity will be completed. However, by observing the bar, it is not possible to determine what level of engagement we need to complete these tasks. For example, a short bar could take 500 hours, while a longer bar could take only 20 hours.
  • The length of a bar in fact indicates the timing of a given activity and not its complexity in terms of working hours.
  • It needs constant updates. After starting the project, things can change. If you use a Gantt chart, you need to be able to change the chart easily and frequently.
  • Difficult to see on a single sheet of paper. The software that allows you to manage these graphics are mostly suited to a computer screen and are not meant to be printed. It therefore becomes difficult to show the details of the plan to a broad audience. It is certainly possible to print the chart, but this normally involves a job of “cutting and pasting” of the individual pieces, rather expensive in terms of time.

Bottom line

To sum up, in the context of project management it is essential to have a clear view of the beginning of activities and how they develop as the project progresses.

We have seen how using a Gantt chart helps team members visualise not only when individual activities begin and end, but also how they intersect and influence the final outcome of the project.

All in all, the biggest advantage of the Gantt chart is the pure simplicity and the clear overview of the activities and their duration.

This makes it ideal for projects where facilitated access to all relevant information is required and where these should be easily understood by all those involved in the project.

This is why we thought of an evolution of the Twproject Gantt.

We have, in fact, built a tool that can shape situations in real time and be easily modified over time.

Twproject’s focus is to capture the work done in real time, to guide the Project Manager during the entire project development.

Twproject includes an interactive Gantt that allows us to punctually assign resources to each phase. Thanks to this approach, we can monitor the progress of the project in all its parts with full transparency.

Our customers’ experience in this direction encourages us by providing us with guidance in future development.

Now it’s your turn, create your Gantt with Twproject and get a 15-day free trial!

Do you want to create your first Gantt?

How to successfully showcase a project: 6 key tips

Knowing how to deliver a project in the right way is key to the project manager’s success and ensures that they are credited for their professionalism.

Furthermore, it is obvious that a good presentation significantly increases the chances of approval.

Yet, and if you’ve been through this you know it well, how many times before the presentation of a project you are tormented by doubts and questions such as “What if I’m wrong?… What if I will bore the audience?… What if I will forget some important detail?… What if I won’t be able to answer a question?”

Whether in front of an audience of hundreds of people or before a small group, many speakers wonder how to present their projects successfully and are nervous before going in front of an audience.

No matter how high or low the stakes, here are six tips that will boost confidence and help engage the audience.

In this article, we want to give you 6 key tips to overcome fears and perfectly present a project.

How to successfully present a project: 1. Establish your credibility

The material presented won’t be considered meaningful and the audience won’t be impressed if the speaker can’t convince them of their credibility.

Even in the case of an expert with many qualifications, the audience may still “put up a wall” if they don’t trust the speaker.

Establishing credibility begins the very moment the speaker enters the room. Here are some tips:

  • Dress accordingly for the audience and situation so that your attire will not distract from your presentation.
  • Convey confidence through body language by standing upright, looking the audience in their eyes, and avoiding nervous tics like twitching your hands or clicking your pen.
  • At the beginning of the presentation, establish credibility by explaining what qualifies the presenter to present the project.
  • Ultimately, polish every aspect of the presentation ahead of time, from the use of high-quality images to speech practice.

How to successfully present a project: 2. Make the most out of your space

Moving around on a stage, in a classroom or conference room will not only make the speaker appear more in control of the situation and more confident about their presentation, it will also keep the audience more engaged by making their presentation more dynamic. At the same time, this doesn’t mean walking incessantly as too much movement can be distracting and disruptive.

How to successfully present a project: 3. Do not be afraid of silence

It is tempting to fill in any silence gaps by talking constantly, but by doing so you are not giving the audience enough time to internalize what you are presenting.

Talking too much and too fast can also give the impression of a nervous speaker. Allowing for pauses and some silence will help the audience assimilate and retain more information.

A trick, for example, is to pause after presenting a big problem or solution and let the weight of that information fall on the audience. Or, allow some visual elements of the presentation to speak for themselves when showing a significant image or important graphic.

With practice, silence can become an important ally in impressing an audience.

How to successfully present a project: 4. Don’t linger on mistakes

Mistakes happen and to err is human. Laptops can crash, devices can fail, or one might forget a few key phrases or concepts. Audiences are less likely to judge a speaker based on their mistakes and more likely to appreciate how that speaker picks up. Should an error occur, it is important not to linger on it and move on.

How to successfully present a project: 5. Use visual elements

Visual elements often can make or break a presentation, highlight project results or not be understood.

By using an interactive presentation tool, you can bring abstract ideas to life by synthesizing and visualizing concepts through images and video.The power of visual storytelling can transform complex concepts into easily understandable narratives. By harnessing the capabilities of free slideshow maker, you can seamlessly compile and edit your project and presentation videos, adding a professional touch that enhances your presentations.

Each time you include a visual element in a presentation though, you need to remember that the content of the presentation should be complementary to what is being said by the presenter and should not serve as the main act.

An example that should not be copied is that of speakers who do nothing more than read their presentation verbatim.

successfully showcase a project

How to successfully present a project: 6. Engage your audience

You need to engage the audience from the get go and keep the attention level high throughout your project presentation.

The beginning of the presentation is like the first page of a book. After that first line or paragraph, would the audience keep reading?

The audience can be engaged by presenting the problem which your presentation will attempt to address, sharing a personal anecdote, or making a connection to current events or other important issues encompassing the conversation on a broader level.

Once the audience has been captivated, their attention can be held through a dialogue with them or an interactive presentation. If it is appropriate to the situation, the speaker can ask questions and get the audience to interact and take an active part.

If you can make the audience feel like they are part of the presentation and not a passive element, they will most likely appreciate the presentation and the message will be remembered

Presentation skills aren’t something people are born with. Sure, some may be more gifted than others, but despite the naturalness with which some speakers may seem comfortable in front of an audience, even the most talented speakers usually practice a lot.

Preparing for a presentation, which begins with the research and gathering of material and information about the target group to the creation of the presentation, gets easier as experience and routine increase.

Like all things, the more often you face the challenge of speaking in front of an audience, the easier it will be to avoid making mistakes in the future.

How a project management software can help you presenting your project

Project progress, delivery times, costs, commitment of resources, data turning around your project are so many and being able to show them effectively without boring your audience can be tricky.  Of course, you can help yourself with tools such as Excel sheets and charts but having a project management software to help you can show the results of the project in real time.

Project management software can show your Gantt and how it has changed in time.

The load of your resources and the progress of the work done in addition to the project costs and all the attached documentation. Comprehensive statistics can help you highlight any problems encountered by being sure to show updated data at each meeting!

Still in doubt? Well, you can try yourself with a free demo.