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The Top 5 Free Gantt Chart Templates for Excel: Which One is Right for You?
Are you in need of a reliable and efficient tool to manage your projects? Look no further than Gantt charts. These visual representations of project schedules are widely used by project managers to keep track of tasks, deadlines, and resources. And the best part? You don’t have to spend a fortune on expensive software to create them. In this article, we will explore the top 5 free Gantt chart templates for Excel that can help you streamline your project management process.
Vertex42’s Gantt Chart Template
If you’re looking for a user-friendly and customizable Gantt chart template, Vertex42’s offering is an excellent choice. This template allows you to easily input your project details and create a visually appealing Gantt chart in no time. It also offers features such as task dependencies and progress tracking, making it suitable for both simple and complex projects. With its intuitive interface and comprehensive functionality, Vertex42’s Gantt Chart Template is definitely worth considering.
Smartsheet’s Free Gantt Chart Template
Smartsheet is known for its powerful project management tools, and their free Gantt chart template lives up to their reputation. This template provides a range of features that can help you effectively plan and execute your projects. With options to assign resources, set start and end dates, and track progress, Smartsheet’s template offers everything you need to stay on top of your project timeline.
Office Timeline’s Excel Gantt Chart Template
Office Timeline offers a sleek and professional-looking Excel Gantt chart template that can impress both clients and team members alike. This template stands out with its visually appealing design elements such as colorful bars representing tasks, milestones, and dependencies. It also allows you to add notes or comments directly on the chart for better collaboration within your team.
TeamGantt’s Free Excel Gantt Chart Template
TeamGantt’s free Excel Gantt chart template is a popular choice among project managers due to its simplicity and ease of use. With this template, you can quickly create a basic Gantt chart with task names, start and end dates, and progress indicators. While it may not offer as many advanced features as other templates on this list, TeamGantt’s offering is perfect for those who prefer a straightforward approach to project management.
Spreadsheet123’s Gantt Chart Template for Excel
Last but not least, Spreadsheet123’s Gantt chart template for Excel is an excellent option if you’re looking for a versatile and customizable solution. This template offers various formatting options, allowing you to tailor the appearance of your Gantt chart to suit your preferences. It also includes features like task dependencies and resource allocation, making it suitable for managing complex projects.
In conclusion, these top 5 free Gantt chart templates for Excel provide excellent options for project managers seeking efficient ways to visualize their project schedules. Whether you prefer a user-friendly interface, advanced functionalities, or visually appealing designs, there is a template on this list that will meet your specific needs. So why wait? Start exploring these templates today and take your project management skills to the next level.
This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.
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How to use Miro for visual task management
Collaboration is the cornerstone of so many great ideas, and we are always seeking a way to improve productivity and turn our companies into a team of superheroes. One of the tools that can help your team be more efficient is visual task management. It works better than to-do lists by making the workflow visible and keeping everyone on the same page.
Make sure you read our most recent guide to reshaping the future of teamwork .
What is visual task management?
Visual task management is a technique for managing work. Instead of keeping messy to-do lists or spending precious time tracking due dates in your inbox, file folders, and spreadsheets, track your work using a visual task management tool such as a task board, project board, or Kanban . Some people use a good old whiteboard and sticky notes, and some go online with tools like Miro.
Why to-do lists are not always a good idea
To-do lists are good when you have only 5 simple tasks to do, but when it comes to teamwork they quickly become messy and they are hard to manage. That’s why we see so much PM software in the market, btw! If your workflow is more complex than 1-2-3 and you have a team, lists can be overwhelming, so it’s time to try visual task management.
Benefits of visual task management
Visual task management has a number of advantages over to-do lists and other traditional written project management systems:
- Save time by simplifying the complex – visual task management helps people understand even a complex project at a glance, and see what tasks should be done and when.
- Reduce waste by improving communication
- Overcome impediments. With a visual planning board, you can always see where work has slowed or stopped and take the necessary steps to fix it.
- Collaborate and improve. Visual management encourages collaboration among a team because everyone can see what everyone else is working on.
See everything at a glance and get the work done visually
Imagine how much time you usually spend planning your work before you actually start do it. ‘Getting things done’ is more than actually doing it. First, you have to think about what you need to do next, how to do that, how to prioritize your work and how to maximize the productivity for the whole team.
The work being done by a person doesn’t correspond always with the overall aims of the team. But often, PMs do not realize this until the work has already been done. For the individual, it’s great that he was able to get a task done, but for the team, it’s a waste. The time and effort that people put into working on their own tasks could have been spent more efficiently helping the team achieve shared goals.
Visual task management makes it easier to identify work being done that doesn’t necessarily roll up to a team’s shared goals. The identified less relevant work items can be discussed within the team and you can realize why they were requested and if they have to be done right now or later.
Visual management makes prioritization of the work much easier because you can see it at a glance. Teams start collaborate better and the synergy effect is created (people are usually looking for win-win situations). Team members are always able to see what task comes next and how the work items tie back to the larger objectives of the team
According to the Social Science Research Network
65% of people are visual learners. If you are working on a complicated project, it would be much easier to manage it with visual task management tools.
Agile culture and visual task management
Imagine how much time you usually spend planning your work before you actually start to do it. ‘Getting things done’ is more than actually doing it. First, you have to think about what you need to do next, how to do that, how to prioritize your work and how to maximize the productivity for the whole team.
Agile has become a very popular concept these days and more and more companies start using this approach for their workflow. Well, what is Agile? All of the principles you can find in a good old Agile Manifesto . It is necessary to say that agile is an idea supported by a set of values and beliefs, not just doing something visually. Agile is about the delivery of the best product to the customer and team efficiency.
One of the popular concepts is Kanban. Take a look at a simple kanban board below:
“Kanban+Agile = Agile”. If Agile values are combined with Kanban practices, then Kanban can lead to Agile.
Scrum board vs. Kanban board . Read the article to learn the difference and use the right tool for the task.
It is possible to practice an Agile mindset with Kanban as a starting place for evolving the process. In this situation, the focus is around Agile values and principles where policies and processes are used to support people’s work. Such an approach may be appropriate where Scrum or XP are not a good fit for the environment.
So, as you can see from the above, visual techniques such as Kanban are very important part of agile culture, of course, they are not enough but are a good starting point of building an agile culture and making your team more efficient.
Visual task management with Miro
Miro allows you to use various tools and templates to get the work done visually and collaborate with your team even if your team is distributed. Miro acts like a whiteboard, where you can drag and drop sticky notes as the tasks, but it gives even more possibilities – you can save it, you can share it, it has digital superpowers and no physical limits. Below you can find some useful tips and examples.
- Endless canvas;
- Sticky notes ;
- Whiteboarding toolkit ;
- Real-time updates;
- Templates .
Templates and examples
If you’re into agile management, you will definitely enjoy an endless Kanban-like board. Used mostly by software developers, it helps to manage tasks in a flexible and iterative way.
Tip: Post-its and simple shapes will help you build the agile board . Use links to track related tasks.
If you’re into agile management, you will definitely enjoy an endless Kanban-like visual project management board. Used mostly by software developers and project managers, it helps to manage tasks in a flexible and iterative way. Post-its and simple shapes will help you build the agile board. Use links to track related tasks.
A Gantt chart is commonly used in project management. It is one of the most popular and visual ways of showing your tasks, milestones or events displayed against time. On the left of the chart is a task list and along the top is a time scale. Each task is represented by a bar; the position and length of the bar reflects the start and dates and duration of each activity. Gantt chart allows you to see at a glance what has to be done (the tasks) and when (the timeline).
Tip: Use post-it notes and comment tools to explain and discuss the tasks. When the task is finished, add some visuals or documents and link them to taskbars.
A Gantt chart is one of the most popular visual ways of showing your tasks, milestones or events displayed against time. Gantt chart allows you to see at glance what has to be done (the tasks) and when (the timeline).
This simple, yet very effective template developed by our friends from Standard Architects, can help you manage complex design projects, structuring tasks, references and deliverables by making a timeline .
Tip: This template can be used for any project, that relies on visual content. It’s also a great platform to collaborate with your most valued clients.
More of Miro’s visual tools here
We hope you’ll find these tips useful for your projects!
Miro is your team's visual platform to connect, collaborate, and create — together.
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How to Simplify Your Workflow With Visual Task Management
Your workspace is cluttered, full of confusing sticky notes, messy to-do lists, and confusing tasks. It seems like the whiteboards are never big enough for all your notes. Tracking progress on timesheets is a constant challenge, and it’s hard to figure out which tasks are complete. It’s time to find a project management tool that streamlines your workflow.
The best task management software makes prioritizing and tracking tasks simple. Discover how your small business or team members can benefit from using a visual task management tool to automate workflow in real-time.
What is visual task management?
Before delving into the nitty-gritty of task management systems, you need to understand the concept of visual task management.
Simply defined, visual task management is a management technique that uses a task board to display and track work.
Many teams use to-do lists, spreadsheets, and work files to control their workflow. These methods are effective when the team has a few tasks to perform.
But when project tasks are complex, a visual display provides a focused view of the work plan. This visual perspective is effective and efficient in showing team members a timeline of their various tasks and deadlines.
Visual task management can be manual or automated. A manual process relies on whiteboards and sticky notes. These tools help to visually represent the project process for the team.
The manual system is fine for simple task management. But manual visualization can quickly become a hassle when dealing with complex tasks. And this manual process doesn't help remote teams much either.
Automation is the way to go when handling complex tasks with remote teams, and it can also help simplify workflows for local workers by showing you what needs to be done and when.
An automated task management solution helps streamline agile project management. It shows you a timeline view of tasks that’s easier to understand.
When you use the best task management software to prioritize and track tasks, you're essentially creating a roadmap for success with greater team collaboration and simpler project task tracking.
Visual project management benefits
Visual task management includes a long list of benefits. Essentially, these customizable task management are just much easier than whiteboards. When you take the sweat out of manual tools, your teamwork improves.
Small businesses and freelancers get to enjoy many benefits, including:
1. Online views improve collaboration.
Local and remote teams can view task management boards, including Kanban or Scrum boards, from any location. Project managers and team members can also add new tasks as the need arises.
The many collaboration features in these management tools support teamwork, task completion, and workflow
2. A massive time-saving tool
Stakeholders get to enjoy a quick visual of task progress as it is easy to understand the project timelines. Because team members can instantly view their tasks, they save time rather than scrounging around for notes and files.
Adding Android and iOS apps to the mix further supports the management of complex projects. Apps further add to time-savings as stakeholders can view project progress anywhere, at any time to follow-up on tasks.
3. Communications are streamlined
Many task boards allow for holistic communications. When communications on one task board are not favorable, you can integrate apps like Slack to enhance teamwork. All relevant stakeholders can communicate in real-time to improve efficiencies and productivity.
4. Productivity increases
When all tasks and subtasks are clearly visible via online whiteboards, tasks are completed more quickly. Using a task management app makes prioritization even easier.
Task management software tools
When choosing a software management tool, it is best to consider why you need the tool. Typical uses for visual task management tools include:
- Whether you can customize the software
- How easy it is to use
- Real-time reporting features
- If it has in-built security
- Includes timesheets
- Contains a professional interface
The tools below contain some or all of these elements. Select one or more of these visual task management tools that work best for your purposes:
- Kanban boards
- Gantt charts
1. Kanban boards
Kanban software uses digital cards in place of sticky notes on a task board to illustrate the relationship between dependencies across columns. Color codes across columns, cards, and to-do lists help project managers and remote teams streamline their tasks.
Kanban boards are an ideal task management solution. The project manager can design the board's activities with their team members. The simple drag-and-drop functionality allows everyone to share in the process and streamline online task management. Managers can even connect timesheets to these boards to help with time-tracking.
2. Scrum boards
Scrum boards typically use three columns to indicate todoist list, tasks, and subtasks in progress, and complete tasks ("To do," "Doing," "Done").
Unlike the Kanban board, where the focus is on a continuous, flexible workflow, the Scrum methodology highlights short sprints and deliverables.
With Scrum, project managers and team members use software to visualize their workflow. Instead of using sticky notes on a white board, the team uses digital cards to plan their stories on the Scrum board. They assign tasks and subtasks in a series of columns and progress from left to right as they complete tasks.
The team uses the task board as a visual roadmap to plan and implement each project, ensuring ongoing collaboration with remote teams. In the process, the team can use the 12 Agile principles to support their visual task management.
3. Gantt charts
Excel used to be an excellent tool for creating Gantt charts and still is. You can use Excel in isolation to create your visual task management with a Gantt chart, or integrate Gantt charts directly into existing software programs like Jira in Confluence .
The Gantt chart is a horizontal visual depiction of a project. This horizontal chart shows the project timeline from left to right. Project managers prioritize tasks, subtasks, and dependencies and display these in the Gantt chart.
This visual task management tool clearly indicates a project's timeline view with due dates. It also supports task-tracking and time-tracking, as it shows the dependencies between tasks.
4. Trello boards
Trello boards are excellent visual task management tools. Similar to the Kanban board, Trello uses a drag-and-drop card functionality to manage workflow. The workflow moves from the left to the right, and cards use color codes for clarity.
Trello is possibly one of the best task management software solutions for work management because it is so intuitive. Team members and stakeholders can quickly grasp the timeline of various projects. They can view to-do lists in real-time and complete tasks on their due dates when using this platform.
Freelancers can also take advantage of the free version for task assignment and management in their small businesses.
If you don’t want to use Trello, you can try Todoist, which offers similar visual task management functionality.
Asana is another excellent task management software tool that allows project managers to direct teamwork. With Asana, you can load projects, assign tasks, manage subtasks and dependencies, and track progress.
Small businesses can use the free version of this management tool for up to 15 team members. As you expand, you will need to move up to a paid plan for premium workspace features.
You can also invite your group to use the mobile app for Asana and Slack as extra collaboration tools if you wish to integrate this software. Additionally, the Asana task management tool allows you to work with the Google calendar, Google docs, Gmail, and other online features to increase productivity.
Wrike is another effective project management tool that uses predefined templates to manage workflow. Wrike integrates well with Google docs, Gmail, and Outlook, as do many of the other software options.
This collaboration tool also comes with its own Gantt Chart functionality and conveniently integrates with Excel and Microsoft Project. You can even get this functionality in the free version.
Shareable dashboards contain collaboration features that facilitate simple task management. Team members can work on various documents to plan, edit, complete, and forward deliverables to relevant stakeholders.
Wrike is also available on Android and iOS.
Take the sweat out of online task management
Visual task management simply makes projects easier. Team members have an instant view of their digital workflow. Communication is streamlined. Collaboration is simplified and productivity increases because of this visual time-saving tool.
If you’re tired of the hard slog involved with manual vision boards and cumbersome tools, Easy Agile can help with programs like Easy Agile Roadmaps for Jira . Compatible with both Scrum and Kanban, our Roadmaps tool features drag-and-drop functionality, swimlanes, and visualizations of events and milestones to make your workflow simple to understand.
12 Steps To Getting a Rock-Solid Agile Workflow
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Increase team performance with a visual management. Make your team up to 10x more productive!
What is a visual task management.
When you see something you can understand it better. Visual management is a business management technique that makes important information, like tasks that needs to be done, visible to all workers. Visual management presents information in an easy to understand way by using visual signals instead of text, so that workers can follow them easily.
Key benefits of the visual management
- highlight critical information in ways that cannot be ignored.
- alert and help expose, prevent and eliminated waste.
- prevent information overload so employees can see their results.
- significanlty reduce time needed to understand information.
- increase a company's profitability.
Make your team more productive with a visual management tool
Organize your team work better with the visual management application. Always know what your team members are working on and see the status of their your work at a glance. Keep track of all tasks and projects in a real time, in one place. Sign up now for free trial »
Kanban Tool powers over 25,000 small and large businesses. These are just a few of Kanban Tool's happy customers:
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Kanban Tool is a visual management solution that helps companies visualize workflow, track project progress, and analyze and significantly improve business processes. Kanban Tool provides powerful online Kanban boards with seamless time tracking and insightful analytics. Our Kanban software works perfectly in any business process and is designed for teams that want to visualize work on a Kanban board .
How to make the most out of visual task management systems
Reading time: about 6 min
Finding a method in the madness is a challenge as old as modern work itself. From to-do lists to spreadsheets to whiteboards to sticky notes on computer monitors, there are many ways to stay organized and make sure tasks don't fall through the cracks—some more effective than others.
Visual task management is a technique that replaces overwhelming to-do lists and spreadsheets with visual task and project boards making it easiest to communicate complex projects, handoffs, and tasks. Let's take a look at how to make the most out of a visual task management system.
The rise of visual task management systems
Traditional task management systems, like to-do lists, do many of the same things visual task management systems do—just in a more analog, less digestible way. Visual task management software and systems help improve project management by providing a more holistic, birds-eye view of all in-progress tasks, due dates, priorities, workloads, and task dependencies.
Essentially, visual task management can help you quickly visualize all the work at hand to better prioritize tasks and allocate time and resources.
Research has shown that the brain is pre-wired for visual thought processes. After all, 95% of all cognitive information is perceived through sight . Visual task management taps into this natural ability to help teams stay organized and productive. Some of the most common visual task management boards include Kanban, Scrum, Gantt charts, and calendars.
Let’s take a more detailed look at each type of task board.
Scrum board: A scrum board is used to track work in short, incremental sprints. A scrum board format is flexible and adaptable to your team's needs but is typically divided into horizontal and vertical sections to track in-progress work.
Gantt chart: A Gantt chart is a horizontal bar chart used to illustrate a timeline of a project, program, or task. Each section of a Gantt chart illustrates a step in a larger process or task, as well as the amount of time it will take to complete that step. When you zoom out on the chart, you can see a full overview of what work needs to get done, who's doing it, and when.
Calendars: A tried-and-true calendar is a great way to manage lots of tasks with different due dates, stay abreast of deadlines, and plan ahead.
Advantages of using visual management boards for project management
Think about how you navigate your daily life. Traffic lights and walking signs dictate your movements, and colors help you quickly identify categories without using any written language.
Visual cues are all around us, and visual project management utilizes those cues to organize tasks into clearly and quickly understandable workflows, roles, and responsibilities. Sure, you could send a detailed spreadsheet or a lengthy, bulleted email, but simple visuals like flowcharts, timelines, and planning boards can do a lot more to get your team on the same page.
Here’s a few benefits of visual project management boards.
Plan and schedule projects by tasks with clarity and ease
There are few things more stressful than realizing you've let a project or task fall through the cracks. Whatever method or board you choose, visual task management makes it easy to organize tasks and schedule future work to give your team full visibility into what's in-progress and what's coming up next.
Easily give necessary stakeholders access for enhanced transparency and accountability
Traditional project management tools like spreadsheets and to-do lists may work well enough for small, boots-on-the-ground teams, but they don't communicate much to people who aren't working on tasks day-to-day. Stakeholders need quick visibility into in-progress work. Visuals make it easy to provide it to them during check-ins, updates, one-on-one meetings, status reports and updates, and board meetings.
Visual boards also move tasks out of rows, columns, and buried emails to improve team accountability—it's tough to claim you weren't aware of your step or task when it's clearly visualized on a board or calendar.
Flexibility to suit your team
No two teams work exactly alike and task management methodologies vary by company type and industry. What apps or tools does your team already use? Make sure any new visual task management tool you implement can integrate with the apps your team needs to use every day.
Tools like Lucidspark can help you organize your tasks in the types of boards best suited for your specific workflows.
Create a central repository for all up-to-date documentation
We all know the feeling of hunting for information about a task in a crowded inbox or chasing down a colleague for a creative brief or datasheet. With traditional project management tools, it's easy for information to get siloed in disconnected spreadsheets, emails, tools, and systems.
The right visual project management tools make it easy to collate, consolidate, and sync information across tools and processes in a centralized location. Many visual project management tools also make it easy to forward or attach relevant information to tasks without ever leaving the tool.
A flexible tool that enables visibility and collaboration is crucial. However, not everyone should have the ability to adjust workflows or edit tasks. Look for a tool with permissioning functionality to make sure you maintain some governance over your workflows.
Set helpful rules and expectations
Suppose individuals and teams in your organization are all using different tools to manage their projects and tasks. In that case, it's tough to establish benchmarks, quality controls and ensure teams stay aligned to company goals and strategic objectives. You can customize a visual project management tool to fit your organization's needs and project goals and keep everyone aligned on a shared standard of working.
Emails, Slack workspaces, instant messages, and desk drive-bys are acceptable ways to interact and collaborate with your coworkers. But when it comes to the mandatories of projects and tasks, your team needs to standardize communication methods to ensure details aren't lost in email threads or figurative games of telephone. Using visual project management tools, you can ensure that communication on projects and tasks are consolidated in a centralized location.
Humans are visual beings, and legacy, robotic, or analog ways of working simply don't work for how we're wired. Visuals can significantly impact the way we work, and visual project and task management can tap into your team's innate abilities to improve collaboration and boost productivity. Whatever your business goals, selecting the right visual project management can be one of the most important and productive decisions you make for the organization.
Now it’s your turn! Make the most out a visual task management system in Lucidspark today.
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5 Visual Project Management Tools to Visualize Projects Better
One of the greatest and most important challenges of project management is communicating clearly with your team about both the details and the big picture of your project. After all, it’s unlikely people will work on the right things in the right order if they don’t understand how each task– and its timely completion– contributes to the success of the project. One of the best ways to communicate with your team is via visual project management.
Visual project management is a method by which you can organize and visualize processes over traditional projects and utilize tools to help everyone involved visualize the status and needs of the project.
Not all project management strategies for visual are made equal, however, and they aren’t one-size-fits-all solutions to every one of your project management needs. According to the Project Management Institute , “Visual project management offers up information delivered in such a way that anyone can consume it at a time, place, and manner that is convenient to them.”
5 Visual project management tools to look for right now
There are many digital platforms you can use to employ these visual project management tools. Project managers need to choose one that suits your team’s needs and is easy for everyone to use. Here is the 5 best visual project management software that is best on the market.
1. Kissflow Project [ Get Started Now ]
Kissflow Project takes a unique approach to kanban boards, adding divisions in each column for “in progress”, “on hold”, and “done” sections. This de-clutters the kanban board by allowing fewer columns (rather than a separate one for “on hold” tasks in each phase for example) and thus making the project easier to visualize. Kissflow Project kanban boards can easily be utilized for scrum sprints.
Unleash the Power of Kissflow Project for Effective Work Management!
Asana allows users to create templates for use on similar projects in the future. It’s good for all-size businesses but not ideal for freelancers. Some users feel Asana’s interface is overly simple and the system is too rigid, but Asana offers Gantt charts, calendars, and kanban boards.
Check out the best Asana alternatives to visualize projects better.
Monday.com has Gantt charts, calendars, and work breakdown structures. Some users feel the interface gets too cluttered when multiple assignments or comments are on a single board, but overall the user experience is intuitive and simple.
Wrike offers Gantt charts, calendars, and kanban boards. It’s a flexible platform and lets the user decide how to visualize their projects effectively. Wrike allows users to prioritize certain tasks over others and easily integrate with other external applications.
5. Zoho Sprints
Zoho Sprints is an agile project management tool featuring scrum boards. It integrates with Zoho Projects, which features Gantt charts, Kanban boards, and other customizable functions. It has many integrations, though not as many as some of its competitors, and it isn’t robust enough for large enterprises.
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Types of views in a visual project management software
It’s important to use tools and a format that will actually be useful to your team, so let’s take a look at some of the options.
The Kanban Method is a visual system for organizing workflows. It helps prevent bottlenecks, encourages incremental improvements, and balances demands against available capacity.
A Kanban board works by dividing a project up into phases and assigning each of these phases to a column on the board. Then the board is populated by creating task “cards”, one card for each task. It is kind of a project collaboration tool where the cards should include just enough information to help everyone stay organized- perhaps a task name, due date, and person to whom it’s assigned.
Cards are moved from column to column as tasks are completed, and the whole team can see at a glance the status of each task and the overall progress of the project .
Visualize your projects better with Kissflow Project
Similar to a kanban board, a scrum board organizes projects using columns and cards and operates as a “pull system,” meaning that completed work leaves a space on the board, signaling new tasks can begin. Unlike a kanban board, which is used for continual processes, a scrum board is based on short “sprints” of work, usually two to six weeks.
New items can’t be added to the scrum board during the sprint, and the board is cleared for the beginning of each new sprint.
A project timeline displays activities (defined as tasks or events) against a period of time using horizontal bars to illustrate the duration of each activity. Every project should probably utilize at least a simple timeline to make sure everyone can visualize quickly the project constraints and their project phases .
Timelines serve an important purpose but should be complemented by other visual tools, like kanban boards, to fill in the details of sub-tasks and team responsibilities.
A Gantt chart is the most popular type of project timeline. It allows users to easily visualize the total length of the project; the tasks in a project; their anticipated start dates, end dates, and durations; and any overlap among tasks in the project. Gantt charts work best for projects with relatively few tasks and in which few schedule changes are likely.
Complex projects may result in a cluttered and difficult-to-use Gantt chart, and they can be cumbersome to update if changes occur.
Check out the top 5 Gantt chart alternatives to visualize projects.
Digital calendars are useful because they’re easy to update, shareable, and can send you reminders of upcoming deadlines and meetings. If you use a calendar integrated with a google project management tool , you can often change views, automatically send alerts and updates to affected team members, and import information from other features into your calendar.
Work breakdown structure
A work breakdown structure (WBS) is a chart that divides a project up into smaller sets of tasks and activities. It sometimes looks something like a family tree at first glance, with the project name at the top, individual deliverables below, and progressively smaller “chunks” of work at each descending level. Normally a maximum of four levels is sufficient.
Work breakdown structures are very helpful for estimating the costs and duration of a project. However, they aren’t designed to be flexible or to show durations or dependencies of tasks.
Visualize projects with Kissflow Project
As you can tell, there is a huge array of digital project management platforms such as Kissflow Project that offers a wide variety of visual project management tools. We’ve only scratched the surface here. You can help your team see success by implementing visual tools in your project management software.
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Visual Management: A Step-by-Step Guide
What is visual management.
Visual project management makes knowledge work visible (just like the parts on the factory floor), so we can see it, react to changes better, and keep the project flowing quickly to completion.
Its primary goal is to make the work in the product development system more visible so it can be better managed.
When do you need Lean visual management?
Consider this. If you were to survey the traditional manufacturing floor, how would you know where the system was breaking down? Sometimes there would be flashing lights indicating a fault in the system, but even if there weren't any, you could still tell which machine was having issues by the big pile of parts in front of it.
But when you look around development departments today and a team of knowledge workers, how can you tell where the problems are? Where is the task that is the most critical today? Where is the blockage which is delaying your project today? Where is the one that will delay your project tomorrow? These problems are hidden from view.
Visual work management was born to solve this problem of ‘invisibility’ of knowledge work.
What are the types of visual project boards?
It's important to note there are many types of visual project management tools - from manual boards to visual project management software
Typical Lean project boards
The most common form of visual project management consists of sticky notes (stickies) on a white board or similar. The primary formats include Wall Gantt , Generic Kanban boards, and Process-specific Kanban boards.
Figure 2: Wall Gantt
A Wall Gantt is characterized by dates or weeks in the columns, resources in the rows, and tasks of any kind on the stickies. A Process-specific Kanban has steps of a process as columns and the items going through the process on the stickies (e.g., a new software feature undergoing design, coding, unit testing, and integration steps).
In the more advanced cases, there can be any number of different colors, lanes, columns, holding areas, resources, dots, icons, magnets, tag-along stickies, and other aspects that show different information under different conditions. For many reasons, these two formats are used relatively rarely among hardware teams.
Generic Kanban Boards
More common among hardware teams today is a Generic Kanban board. In this format, tasks of any kind go through a very generic ‘process’ from the backlog to in-process, to done. Sometimes there are planning steps or various other high-level stages, when the process is standard enough for those other steps to be part of it regularly.
Figure 4: Generic Kanban Board
Most digital visual project management tools available today use Generic Kanban and/or Process-specific Kanban formats.
Lean visual project management software
Before we developed Playbook, we tried each of these different formats of project boards to accelerate projects. Each form was beneficial in some ways and depending on the application, some more beneficial than others. However, each one had significant deficiencies because, simply put, hardware development project management is more complicated.
If you have read our series on the many differences between Software and Hardware development and the applicability of Agile techniques to hardware projects , you know that we see several clear and largely unavoidable differences between hardware and software projects.
We will expand the list of differences here to include more aspects which impact the best format and tools to use :
- High variety of project and activity types
- Number and complexity of dependencies between activities and tasks
- Lead times and other forced ‘wait time’ within the processes
- Limited modularity (high impact of change across the design)
- Increased delay and total cost of the average change
- Increased number of team members
- Larger variety of skills and knowledge, more specialists
- Completion date predictability is more profitable
- Time required to support production, quality, and other activities
Although traditional visual project management boards (such as Kanban) are usually better than nothing, there are many reasons why even the digital versions don't work very well for hardware project management in product development.
New visual project management tools such as Playbook, which are purpose built for hardware development, increase the effectiveness of visual project management in improving new product development systems .
Everyone can clearly see the system at work, team members’ daily priorities, bottlenecks, overloads, multitasking, blockages, and queues. Product development teams can see when the system is overloaded with work, see the impact of delays and understand their costs, effectively evaluate and manage all types of risk, and much more.
What's so important Lean visual management board giving you correct project priorities?
Making sure the team is working on the right thing at the right time is critical. In fact the number one cause of project delays is team members working on the wrong work. Watch this video to understand how projects get delayed one wrong task at at time.
10 Benefits of Visual Management Software Lean project management Lean project management methodology Lean project management Kanban Lean project management principles Lean project management resource management Lean project management Pull vs. push Lean project management task management Lean project management and shared project buffers Lean project management and decentralized planning Daily stand-up meetings 5 Visual Project Management Software Requirements Lean Visual Management and Kanban Visual Management Boards Four Essential Features of a Visual Management Board 2 Essential Features of Visual Management Visual Project Management ROI
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How To Organize Work With Visual Task Management?
Managing tasks is one of the essential ways to reduce the hassle of the work. There are various ways that ease out the load of work. Visual management tools and software are a savior for integrating projects. They perform an excellent job and execute the stack of tasks. Visual task management is one of the hassle-free ways to complete tasks. It refers to keeping a strict eye on the movement of workflows. There is a wide array of tools and software available in the marketplace which aids visual work management. With the new modifications and improvements in technology, everything is getting online. One can manage all essential chores on the online medium. These modest applications promise more credibility and authenticity in enforcing the tasks.
Benefits of Visual Task Management
Visual task management tools ease the hassle which conventional methods cause. It imparts a significant number of benefits in marketing direction. The following are the three most important advantages which visual task management provides.
1. Saves time
Visual management applications also help in saving precious time. They create a single platform where team members can communicate. It allows the people to discuss the plans and strategies altogether at one place.
You can easily communicate with all the onboard members. Project managers can guide every undertaking. With the help of online management, you can get tasks finished with deadlines. All these factors will help you in saving time. You can incorporate the remaining time in enhancing the quality and holding the string of next projects. It will add more speed and perfection to your tasks. Thus, visual management tools play a significant role to save time.
Time is undoubtedly a precious asset for every firm. Make sure you integrate the time in the most impactful way. Visual management tools will assist you in saving time and adding more efficiency to work.
All of these factors enrich the prospect of business conduction. They bolster the performance of firms in market avenues. All these aspects contribute to increasing the brand positioning and value of a company. These components also increase the overall revenue of the firm. Get the best visual management applications in your project management strategy and unravel its benefits.
2. Smoothens communication
Project management is all about teamwork. When teamwork is proper, then the tasks become more appropriate. Visual task management applications alleviate the network of communication between teams. When the connection is right, then the message is delivered smoothly. It adds more vitality to the tasks. Better conversations lead to fast and impactful completion of projects. Thus, these applications play a significant role in executing the plans.
Make sure, before conducting projects; you install these applications. If you communicate and transmit messages through them, then messages will reach rapidly. Coordinate with the team members proficiently by integrating these applications.
3. Improves productivity
Productivity is one of the best benefits which visual management software provides. These tools arrange every task in proper order. They help all the team members connect at a single place and discuss software plans. This software assists in managing everything timely and in an adequate direction. All of these aspects enhance productivity. These factors help marketers in coming with the best strategies and milestones. Thus, they play an incredible role in making tasks more productive.
Visual Task Management tools and applications
Behind every complete task, there lie complete visual task management tools. They organize everything and make sure the jobs have all the productive aspects of quality. Following are some most appealing tools which will assist you in executing tasks-
Lean is a project management tool that helps users in assembling every task online. It will first define the value of the projects. Then, it assists the users in streamlining the map flow. It will then help the users to create a flow for coordinating tasks. Then, you can establish a flow and get the perfect outcomes. Manage your tasks like never before with the assistance of lean.
Kanban also stands out in terms of the excellence of visual execution tools. The integration of a whiteboard in this application helps you in keeping a check on everything. It will help you to monitor the performance of team members. The board regulates the moment of the task. It enlists every important detail regarding the performance of functions. Kanban provides a better way to connect with the team. It helps in forming excellent strategies. This tool will maximize performance in favor of productive tasks. Organize the perfect workflow at your stride with the guidance of Kanban.
3. Gantt chart
A Gantt chart is one of the best ways to monitor the progress of projects. It streamlines the information in the form of tables. Gantt chart will help you to preserve the quality of projects by keenly watching them. This tool generally comes into existence for performing complicated projects. However, it can also be used for medium and explicit level projects. It is one of the best mediums to monitor all the insights of the project. The illustration of task details in the form of charts makes monitoring and assessment more manageable.
4. Scrum board
Scrum board is yet another excellent tool in the direction of online management of tasks. It helps in executing all the tasks on time. There are options to conduct conferences that allow the team members to communicate. It helps integrate and assume the work. This tool adapts all the technical modifications.
Easynote works brilliantly by executing all the essential tasks. It is a free tool that adds more value to its usability. If you are looking for a flexible mechanism which manages and regulates all the milestones, then it is the one. You must resort to Easynote and retrieve all the astounding benefits which it provides. One can update reminders, details of tasks, deadlines, and task specifications on the tool. This application is quite easy to use and manage. You can execute almost any task with it.
Use these tools by installing them and start organizing your tasks. Make sure that you incorporate these tools to add more excellence to your projects.
Best Task Management Application
One of the main factors to add more value to projects is online applications. A task management app can organize every work in a flexible and detailed way. Below is the list of some high visual supervision applications.
Considering the importance of the visual moment is of extreme importance. There are a significant number of tools and software available in the marketplace one of them is project management tool named as PeppyProjects . PeppyBiz is one of the most promising and accountable service providers. It provides users with the best technical updates and software. PeppyBiz comes with incredible software that will impart you a phenomenal experience. Manage all your tasks without any hassle with these tools. It is also a credible platform that owns more than 12,0000 happy customers.
Get the best services related to visual task management. Correctly synchronize every task. Get the best jobs done with your teammates. PeppyBiz guarantees you excellent and professional tools. With the management services, you can guide on board members. Unturn every stone of ideal project management with PeppyBiz.
Teamweek works as an incredible online task manager. It has impeccable features such as a team calendar. You can set timelines for task details and project completion. Make the team planning easy and effective with Teamweek. Produce creative tasks and accomplish astounding deadlines. Collaborate effortlessly and finish everything with grace. Don’t let any flaw degrade the quality of your work. Productively execute every job with Teamweek.
Thoughtbox.es is the most creative and innovative web application, especially for marketers. Here, users get free notes where they can execute every task with utmost perfection. Task management can be your thing with Thoughtbox.es. Execute lists and manage every workflow. Add more productivity to every action and make your project nurture on spacious grounds. This application possesses all the digital and technical adaptation, which will organize your work. Switch to Thoughtbox.es and add more vitality to the tasks.
Increase scalability and productivity in whatever you do. Manage every task with sheer charisma and perfection. Get ideal jobs done in a hassle-free manner with Accelo. It is the best app for digital marketing. Revolutionize timelines, budget, project requirements with this terrific app. Communicate your messages to all the team members. Coordinate every necessity with this online application. It is a boon for project managers as it eases most of their hard work. Integrate lead management and CRM with this fantastic app. Accelo works like a pro task management app.
Implement meetings with team members. Set project specifications and objectives and achieve milestones with this app. It helps the users in enforcing a weak plan to accomplish a goal. You can schedule everything on this application. It will allow you to catch up with them instantly. Meet with the board and discuss strategies with them. Accomplish everything on time and in the perfect direction. Get everything organized without any hustle with this terrific application. It is the most beneficial tool to organize workflows and projects. This application acts as the most excellent online task manager. Unravel the best experience of task administration with Week plan . Achieve major landmarks in project completion with this fantastic application.
Trello is an excellent platform for managing tasks. The basic service on this application is free. It helps in executing all the jobs and keeping updates with onboard members. Trello is undoubtedly the best task management app. This application comes with outstanding features, such as online editing and real-time syncing. From drag and drop functionality to easy document uploads, Trello covers it all. Get this application within your work forum and establish wonders.
Centrallo is yet another flawless application for task management. It comes with stunning features such as calendar sync and location-based notifications. One can set up project specs and timelines to accomplish all the tasks. The best features of this application include collaborating with team members. It assists users in the best manner possible and aids them to achieve flawless project progression and completion. Complete every task without leaving the scope for errors with Centrallo. Enrich the prospects of your work with this remarkable application from job planning to project execution, manage everything with Centrallo. Add more integrity to functions and present the best to your clients.
You must integrate any of these applications within the forum of your work. They will help you to a great extent in executing your work. Unfold the elements of precision and accuracy in your projects with these astounding apps.
Visual task management plays a prudent role in the business arena. It acts as an online task manager and coordinates everything at your pace. It makes the execution of projects flexible. If a particular company establishes all tasks proficiently, then their value increases. Enhance your brand value in the market forum and best the competition. Make sure you integrate the best tools and applications to get the most out of the tasks. These applications will assist you to finish tasks before deadlines and with utmost perfection. Resort to online task management and make your firm prosper like never. Come out as the most trustworthy platform by executing tasks and undertakings in the best way. Better the project management, better is marketing. So, add more credibility and grace to your company with promising online tools.
Author: Sara Williams
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3 types of visual project management: Timelines, calendars, and boards (with examples)
Visual project management allows you to see your project tasks and workload displayed in a visual format. When you can see your work, it’s easier to streamline efforts across your team, stay on track, and avoid potential bottlenecks. Often, this is done as a project timeline, calendar, or Kanban boards. Learn more about the most common visual project management tools, and how to use each (with examples).
The way we each process information is varied, but we all have one thing in common—visualizing work, in some format, is essential. Visual project management is a way to manage projects that blends more traditional task management techniques, reporting tools, and communications with a visual representation of your work.
What is visual project management?
Benefits of using visual project management.
Visual project management provides at-a-glance insight into what everyone on your team is working on, when project deliverables are due, what your team milestones are, and more. It’s a more interactive form of work management that makes it easier to collaborate. There are lots of reasons to switch to or include visual project management formats into your work, including:
Getting faster insights. You can quickly and easily digest information when the project status, metrics, and project tasks all in one place.
Reducing bottlenecks . Team members and other project stakeholders can access the information they need, when they need it, reducing potential bottlenecks.
Following a project’s lifecycle. From assigning project tasks, to connecting with communication tools, and ending with reporting, you can use variations of visual project management methods from start to finish.
Coordinating as a team. Empower cross-functional collaboration by seeing everything in one place
Making work accessible to all. Give executive stakeholders and leadership insight into your team's work (without them getting bogged down in the details).
Identifying potential blockers earlier. Visualize project dependencies, milestones, and blockers so you can address problems before they happen.
3 ways to visualize project progress
There are three popular ways to create your own visual project management tool:
Timelines (or Gantt charts)
Each of these ways to visualize your work has its own pros and cons, and choosing which approach is best for you depends on the type of project you’re planning and how you’ll use it.
Regardless of what you choose, all three of these work best in a project management software . Depending on your project management tool, you can make any of these formats completely customizable, add automation, and use intuitive features, such as drag and drop builders.
Here’s how each of these visualization tools work and what kinds of projects they’re best suited for.
1. Project timelines and charts
One way to visualize a project plan is to create a timeline or Gantt chart of your project schedule. With timeline management, you can organize project details in a bar chart to show when each task or deliverable in your project needs to be completed and how long each task will take.
When to use project timelines & Gantt charts
Timelines are helpful when you have a timely project with tasks that need to hit their deadlines. They show you when to start each task and how long it will take. By mapping everything out in a project timeline, you can better allocate resources , staff team members on different steps, and visualize dependencies .
With timeline management, you can create a project plan that shows how all of the pieces of your project fit together and make changes as needed to stop problems before they start. Timelines are great for:
When not to use project timelines or Gantt charts
Timeline management is most useful when every task has a start and end date. Think of your timeline like a visual bar chart—if your tasks don’t have start and end dates, there isn’t much to visualize. If you’re planning a project with a lot of daily tasks or one where the due dates are flexible, such as with Agile project management , it might be more helpful to visualize your work in a project calendar or Kanban board.
Example of a project timeline
Let’s say you’re planning a product launch. In order to hit your goals successfully, you need to work as a dynamic, cross-functional team , incorporating team members from product, engineering, marketing, sales, customer support to pull off a successful launch. Because you’re working with so many different stakeholders, the project is bound to be complicated.
A timeline gives everyone a visual of the project progress and roadmap so you're all on the same page. As a result, you can better coordinate resource management , forecast timing to hit your milestones , see project dependencies (to proactively unblock them), and view all start and end dates in one place. This way, everyone on your project team has a clear view of your launch plan and what’s required to make it a success from start to finish.
Tip: Share and manage your timeline with teammates
In Asana, you can easily share your project with stakeholders and teammates. By visualizing your work in Timeline View , you can get buy in on your plan and adjust and adapt schedules as things change. Visualize dependencies between tasks, and pinpoint dependency conflicts before they start.
2. Kanban boards
Kanban boards are a visual system for organizing a project where each task or actionable piece of work is represented by a card. These cards are then arranged in one of several columns representing the stages of a project or process, the owner of the task, the priority of the work, or whatever system works best for your team. As each task or deliverable progresses, you move the card representing the task from column to column so you can easily see where in the process the task is.
When to use Kanban boards
Kanban-style project management is useful for projects that have multiple stages. These stages can be simple—for example, to-do, working on, finished—but the important thing is that these stages are a way for tasks to move from stage to stage. For example, Kanban boards are great tools for Agile teams working in sprints , since they allow you to clearly see how work is progressing. In particular, Kanban boards are great for:
Agile daily standup meetings
Web production management
Example of a boards project
A bug tracking workflow is an example of a project that can be managed using Kanban boards because in order to complete each task, they need to move through certain stages. For example, when you get a task for a new bug, it would first need to be ID’d and added to the backlog, then worked on, and eventually, completed. To put into practice, you’d set up your Kanban board with columns representing the following stages:
New bugs (i.e. your backlog)
Ready to be worked on
For every bug that’s reported, your team can easily create a new card and then move it through these columns as work progresses, effectively creating and updating a task list for each stage.
Tip: Create and share your board online
Building your Kanban board in Asana gives you more capabilities like adding custom fields , descriptions, files, and collaborators to each card, so you can easily capture additional project information to help everyone on your team work together successfully.
3. Project calendars
Kanban boards and timelines work well for many kinds of projects, but sometimes what you need is a traditional calendar. It may be simple and straightforward, but it can also be ideal for planning certain projects.
When to use project calendars
A calendar is great for when you need to manage lots of tasks with different due dates. Knowing when you need to complete a milestone or deliver an asset in any given week, month, or year helps you plan ahead and successfully execute on time. In particular, project calendars can help you manage your:
Social media content calendar
When not to use project calendars
Project calendars can make your tasks come to life and help you plan ahead for the week, month, or quarter. However, project calendars are less helpful when you have more than a handful of tasks due each day. If you need to really drill down into the work your team is doing on a daily basis, a Kanban board or even to-do list style view might be better for your team.
Example of a calendar project
If you’re planning a project, a project calendar lets you see the work coming up in the next few days and weeks. This is especially useful for projects that involve many different stakeholders and teams.
For example, if you have a master editorial calendar, everyone in the company knows what content is planned and published, and when certain topics will go live. That way the sales team can send relevant articles to their leads, managers can distribute assets to their teams, and the editorial team knows who’s working on which topic.
Tip: Make calendars interactive with a visual project management software
If you’re using Asana to manage your project calendar, you can create a list of tasks in a project, set due dates, and then switch to Calendar View to automatically see your tasks on the calendar. If needed, you can move tasks around on your calendar to quickly change due dates or add to project portfolios for even more collaboration.
What about data visualization—how does that fit in?
Data visualization is another important aspect of visual project management. When you need to create reports or send status updates , it’s much more effective to display the information in a visual format. For example, if you’re tracking a website launch, you can send a progress report in text, such as: We've completed 27% of the targeted tasks with our current budget of $1,000.
Or, you can show it in a visual format, such as:
There is a time and place for both, but more and more, stakeholders prefer to see data in a visual way that they can quickly digest and easily share with their own bosses and stakeholders.
What’s the best visual project management tool?
There’s no best visual project management tool, but there is a best one for you and your current workload. Using a timeline, Kanban board, or calendar is a great way to visualize all the steps in your project, so you can see the bigger picture without missing any key details.
No matter which view you go with, you can easily share your plan with teammates and run your project in one place, with Asana . From beautiful reporting visuals to succinct timelines, Asana is an easy-to-use project management solution for every team.