Last week, I revealed the “little” Lean tool that has a big impact on the way that I work, which is Little’s Law. This week, we are heading back into 100% Effective headquarters to see what other Lean tools our team couldn’t live without. So, here is the second article in the series we are calling…
Role: Head of Web & eLearning Development
Lean tool of choice: Gantt Charts
“I take great pleasure from planning and being organised, so my favourite Lean tool, without question, is a Gantt Chart. It’s an ideal tool for project management, and allows me to realistically set completion dates and visually monitor each stage along the way. I’ve used it across all projects, from website development and CRM migrations, to office moves requiring IT and telecoms setup.
Although this tool is over 100 years old, it’s still relevant today. If you’re managing a project which involves multiple stages or requires the input from multiple members of your team, a Gantt Chart will provide a visual overview of the time required and the deadlines to complete them. Following on from Sophie’s post last week regarding Little’s Law, if you know how long a project is going to take, it’s easier to plan the start date for the next one.
A Gantt Chart is essentially a timeline, where every task/job/action is listed with the required time to complete them. So, if you have a project with 10 tasks, and each task is expected to take 2 days to complete, it would be fair to assume the project will take 20 days from start to end. But that’s assuming each task will run consecutively, or cannot be started until the previous task is complete. As some tasks may run concurrently, the end date of the project can be brought forward, providing a faster lead time. This allows you to plan a project from beginning to end a lot more accurately, as well as assessing each task required.
Taking the example above (10 tasks, taking 20 days to complete), I’ve demonstrated below how that initial 20-day lead time is now only 12 days, as several tasks can be completed concurrently.”
Has Chris’ introduction to Gantt Charts left you wanting more? You can learn how to create and use this transformative Lean tool and many more by taking our online Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt training course!