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Using Mindjet for Windows Gantt Charts for Effective Project Management

The shift to online, tech-grounded project management practices hasn’t gone over well with everyone. Traditional methods became traditional because they worked well. They made sense. And sometimes they just don’t translate to digital without sacrificing important things like manual control.

With Gantt charts — a type of bar chart that illustrates a project’s schedule, terminal elements and summary elements — project managers can track every detail of an assignment and keep it strictly on track. Mindjet for Windows allows project managers to use these charts and integrate them with visual mapping for more effective project management.

Gantt Charts and Map Integration

When most PMs think about Gantt charts, they’re thinking about Microsoft Project, a project portfolio management suite delivered via Microsoft Office. Viewing information this way is very linear and detailed, but there are quite a few limitations. For example, complex projects with many tasks involved can become unwieldy, since Gantt charts show rigid relationships between needs instead of flexible ones.

By integrating Gantt functionality with Mindjet maps, you’ll give up some of the more absolute tracking control, but in turn, you’ll have greater adaptability and the option of viewing project info visually.

MJ GANTT- FULL map view

When your information has been translated into map view, you can provide more robust details and support by adding links or attachments to different nodes. With project needs illustrated more clearly, you may even see the emergence of new relationships between tasks and teams.

Exporting, Tasks, and Outline View

One thing Gantt charts are great for is tightly monitoring tasks, progress, predecessors (things that must be completed prior to beginning other tasks) and dependencies (the cause and effect between two or more tasks). However, they show relatively little information per unit of display.

With Mindjet, there’s no need to export your Gantt chart into a spreadsheet. Data can be simultaneously viewed as a map and as an outline by clicking on the Outline icon, shown highlighted on the bottom right of the screen capture, below:

MJ GANTT-map view

For those that want to switch back and forth between the  map and outline views, or hide the map altogether, you can do so by deselecting the map view icon (4th from the right, bottom toolbar).

In terms of project management, this dual view provides a fully-rounded panorama of your project, ensuring that no detail goes unseen. Rearranging schedules or adding new resources won’t interrupt the flow, and because these maps are living documents, team collaboration during the planning and execution stages is maximized. It should be noted that all of the icon shortcuts are also available in the top menu; however, we recommend that new Mindjet users become familiar with the icons in order to increase your efficiency as you work within the product.

Mindjet task integration and progress tracking is a great benefit that can enrich both simple and complex Gantt charts, making them a more effective tool for managing projects. This feature is oriented towards giving everyone on your team an overview of each task they’re responsible for, while providing all of the information, resources and support they need to get the job done.

For detailed instructions on using Gantt charts in Mindjet for Windows, visit our Learning Center or click here. Or, if you’d like to see the functionality in action, check out this video.

Check out our upcoming webinar for more tips on effective project management: Mindjet Helps Solve Project Management Challenges for Teams 4/30/2013 10:00 AM PDT Register now.

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