Gantt chart templates give your team a way to visualize each project task within a set timeline. These templates are specifically helpful for showing your work tasks and the amount of time you have for each. They’re reusable project management documents you can use to quickly show all project details and their timeframes, including project task lists, assigned roles, and dependencies.
In short, Gantt chart templates are a visual display of your project plan with a clearly defined timeline, as opposed to a more detailed, text-heavy project plan with no confirmed start or end dates. Because of their accessible format, Gantt charts give stakeholders at-a-glance insight into project status and details. Creating your Gantt chart template means you can have new project information for them whenever they need it.
To create your own Gantt chart template, consider the use case and complexity of your typical projects. Is this going to serve as your project schedule, or will this template be your real-time project information source once the work begins? Depending on what you need the chart for, you might include more or less detail. For example, if you’re using this as a project schedule, focus on building out ways to assign tasks and delegate work. If it’s a project information source, templatize the way your team will attach documents and track processes. Often, you’ll use it for both.
Once you decide how you’ll use your template, begin the process of building it:
Brainstorm the elements you need to map and track in a project. These will be your inputs, and you’ll want to include space for each category in your templates. For complex projects, you need more inputs than others. Possible inputs include:start dates, end dates, independent and dependent tasks, milestones, roles, subtasks, and descriptions.
Gather information and relevant resources. Attach recurring worksheets, relevant roadmaps, documents, analysis results, reporting dashboards, goals, assigned roles and processes.
Input your information into one central source of truth, such as a project management software. Be sure to include recurring dependencies and roles. For example, if the same team member always manages the budget, you can keep them assigned to the budget deliverables in your template. The more thought you put into constructing your template, the less work you’ll have when it comes time to launch your next project.
Add integrations and apps to support your work. If you’re in a project management tool, you can directly attach your Google sheets, Kanban boards, and references (like tutorial PowerPoints) directly to your project timeline.
For more complex projects, a simple spreadsheet likely won’t offer enough customization options. Instead, you might want to consider project management software with more functionality—for example, a tool that lets you manipulate data and input information in a space that’s accessible by all stakeholders.
Building your template is the more time-consuming part. But once it’s done, all you need to do is duplicate the template and fill in the blanks. Like any project management resource, your Gantt chart template will have best case scenarios and limitations. Some of this will depend on the tool you use. If you’ve ever seen or used Gantt chart templates in a spreadsheet before, you’ve seen how manual and time consuming it can be to change them. But if you create your template in a dynamic tool, you can make updates and see changes in real time. For example:
Your Gantt chart template can…
Give all stakeholders a quick, bird’s-eye view of your project.
Keep your project on track with easy-to-reference, clearly defined deadlines.
Reduce confusion and miscommunication.
Automate processes through dependencies and robust customization, especially when it’s made with supporting software.
Your Gantt chart template can’t…
If your Gantt chart template is made in a non-dynamic format, you won’t be able to adjust it as easily once you create it. Note: you can prevent this by creating your Gantt chart template with project management software.
Take the place of project management once the project goes live. Gantt chart templates are most useful during the project planning stage.
Timeline View. Timeline View is a Gantt-style project view that displays all of your tasks in a horizontal bar chart. Not only can you see each task’s start and end date, but you can also see dependencies between tasks. With Timeline View, you can easily track how the pieces of your plan fit together. Plus, when you can see all of your work in one place, it’s easy to identify and address dependency conflicts before they start, so you can hit all of your goals on schedule.
Subtasks. Sometimes a to-do is too big to capture in one task. If a task has more than one contributor, a broad due date, or stakeholders that need to review and approve before it can go live, subtasks can help. Subtasks are a powerful way to distribute work and split tasks into individual components—while keeping the small to-dos connected to the overarching context of the parent task. Break tasks into smaller components or capture the individual components of a multi-step process with subtasks.
Milestones. Milestones represent important project checkpoints. By setting milestones throughout your project, you can let your team members and project stakeholders know how you’re pacing towards your goal. Use milestones as a chance to celebrate the little wins on the path towards the big project goal.
Dependencies. Mark a task as waiting on another task with task dependencies. Know when your work is blocking someone else’s work, so you can prioritize accordingly. Teams with collaborative workflows can easily see what tasks they’re waiting on from others, and know when to get started on their portion of work. When the first task is completed, the assignee will be notified that they can get started on their dependent task. Or, if the task your work is dependent on is rescheduled, Asana will notify you—letting you know if you need to adjust your dependent due date as well.
Google Workplace. Attach files directly to tasks in Asana with the Google Workplace file chooser, which is built into the Asana task pane. Easily attach any My Drive file with just a few clicks.
OneDrive. Attach files directly to tasks in Asana with the Microsoft OneDrive file chooser, which is built into the Asana task pane. Easily attach files from Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and more.
Clockwise. With the Clockwise + Asana integration, you can add Asana tasks as time blocks in your Google Calendar. The Clockwise + Asana integration allows you to specify the duration of tasks, when they happen, and whether Clockwise can automatically reschedule them. Add tasks to your calendar and make time to get work done.
Vimeo. Text may get the point across, but written words lack tone, emotion, and expression. With video messaging in Asana, powered by Vimeo, you can give your team all the context they need, without having to schedule another meeting. Record short video messages of yourself, your screen—or both—then embed the videos in tasks, projects, messages, and comments to provide additional clarity and context. A transcript of the recording is automatically created by Asana, making it readable and searchable. Give feedback, ask questions, and assign tasks—all without leaving Asana.
Gantt chart templates are project timelines used in project management. They show all project details, including tasks, assigned roles, and dependencies, placed on a timeline. Use these templates to show a visual display of your project plan with a clearly defined timeline, as opposed to a more detailed, text-heavy project plan with no secure start or end dates.
You can create a Gantt chart template in Asana by creating your project in Timeline View. From there, add project tasks, dates, dependencies, and assigned roles. Share your project with stakeholders and use it to coordinate work across your team and organization.
Project managers who prefer a visual display for project planning should use a Gantt chart template. They’re best for projects that don’t require subtasks or finer details to be on display at all times. Instead, they’re used by managers to show the big-picture project tasks and timeline.
Create a Gantt chart template in a dynamic tool like project management software, so you can update and make changes as needed. Start by brainstorming the use case, gathering all necessary information, inputting all details, and using relevant integrations and apps to connect your project tech-stack.
Every aspect of your project is interconnected—and your Gantt chart shows how. Build a custom Gantt chart template to map tasks, roles, and deadlines on a timeline for every project.