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Creating a Gantt Chart Planning time in your project

#1 gabehabe  Icon User is offline

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 12:40 PM

Time Management
Creating time plans (AKA gantt charts)

Project management is a very important concept when it comes to programming. It's important to always make sure that you've planned everything before undergoing the process of actually creating your project.

Time plans/gantt charts
In my opinion, time is the most important thing in any project. Therefore, it helps greatly to have an effective plan of how you need to break up the project and assign certain time slots.

The best way to make a gantt chart is in a spreadsheet application. I will be using MS Excel 2007, but if you don't have a spreadsheet application already, then I would like to recommend the OpenOffice suite. It's free, and has some powerful tools.

Now, down to business. Let's say we've been given a 2 day deadline to complete an assignment. Average working day, which is 8 hours * 2 days = 16 hours. So, we're going to break it up into hour slots. Let's set up a template time plan. Basically, we want to break it down into 17 columns~ column #1 will be what we need to plan, and the other 16 are simply the columns representing each hour. See fig. 1 for more details.

fig. 1 :: Click image to enlarge
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As you can see, I've broken the program up into 5 classes. While this may not be realistic, I am simply trying to demonstrate how a program could be broken down. When working on your time plan, you may decide to change the scale of time, and break up your program as much/little as you like. Remember, this is just a guide for you. And, since it's for you, you can make it as pretty or as ugly as you like. It doesn't matter. As I said, this is a guide for you to follow. You do not need to show it to anyone else, if you do not wish to. (However, if you can put these in a portfolio, then do so. It shows that you possess project management skills)

Once you've completed your time plan, it might look a little like the one shown in figure 2.

fig. 2 :: Click image to enlarge
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Another interesting thing to add to a time plan is an "actual" row. You would fill this in as you go along, to show how well you managed to stick to your time plan. (This particularly could look good in a portfolio) See figure 3 for an example.

fig. 3 :: Click image to enlarge
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Obviously, a gantt chart can look exactly as you want it to look. It can be as detailed, or as minimal as you like. One example, which I quite like, can be found on Wikipedia, here.

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Replies To: Creating a Gantt Chart

#2 RodgerB  Icon User is offline

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 03:46 PM

Nice write-up, thanks. :)
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#3 PsychoCoder  Icon User is offline

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 03:57 PM

Excellent gabehabe!
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#4 gabehabe  Icon User is offline

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 05:27 PM

Thanks for the positive feedback :)

It was actually one of your posts recently that inspired me to write this, RodgerB ~ I remember you saying you had to learn about them. So I thought I might as well write a tutorial on them, since I remember doing them back in high school ^_^
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