Struggling with getting a big picture of your project plan after scoping and planning your tasks? With Forecast's Project Timeline it is possible to review and schedule the work for individual projects within a Gantt chart. Here it is possible to assign tasks based on individuals availability, determine the resources needed to complete the work, and plan the order in which the tasks should be completed.
For advice and best practices on how to use Gantt charts, see How to Make a Gantt Chart - A Complete Tutorial.
This article covers:
Viewing your Timeline
Once the project has been scoped and tasks have been planned, all the scheduled work and the people involved will be visible in the project Timeline. The tasks are sorted by phase and the task' start date.
The Gantt chart is then divided into three main areas within the left sidebar which can be collapsed or expanded to view more data:
Customizing your Timeline view
- Heatmap in hours or percentages: Display the utilization of your team members on the heatmap in either percentages or hours by selecting one of these options from the dropdown menu.
- Show/Hide: Show/hide option allows to show or hide weekends in the timeline.
- Today button & change chart dates: Change the date by scrolling with the arrows to move forward and backwards in time. Click on the Today button to bring you back to today's date.
- Zoom in/out function: Zoom in and out with the + and - buttons to display your chart with day-by-day, week-by-week or month-by-month views.
- Search & filter: The search bar allows you to quickly find a task/ phase that you wish to locate on the timeline calendars, while with the filter function it is possible to apply a number of filters to narrow the view down to specific details.
Managing the project on the Timeline
Within the timeline it is possible to manage directly the project tasks and phases dates and reassign without having to switch between tabs.
Managing a task or phase's start and end dates
Simply drag an entire phase, along with its task or single tasks within the calendar, in order to quickly and effortlessly change the start and end dates.
Create new tasks and/or phase
It is possible to create new tasks under a particular phase by simply dragging the mouse cursor across the dates you want the task to be placed. Once you do that a pop up will appear that will allow you to name the task, choose if you wish to create a task or a phase.
Create dependencies between tasks
Review project progress
Use timeline to view your project's progress by phase or by task.
Task progress is depicted visually. Hover over a task to show the task ID, task name, client, start/end dates and original estimate. Notice the task bar shading as visual representation of how much work has been done, measured by the time registered against the task. Shading will increase as more time is logged. Tasks will remain at 99% even if there is no time remaining. Tasks will only reflect 100% completion once they have been set to Done workflow status. Once set to Done workflow status, tasks appear bright green in color.
Phase progress is similar to task progress in the visual appearance and shading of the phase bar. As work is completed and time is reported to tasks, Phase progress is updated to reflect. Hover over a phase to show client, phase name, phase start/end dates and progress.
There are three rules that determine how the Progress value will display for the phase.
- Count of open tasks. Phase progress will display as the count of open tasks if time is registered to the tasks within the phase and there is no remaining time on the tasks, but some tasks are still open (not in a Done workflow status category).
- Total number of Done tasks versus total number of all tasks. Phase progress will show the number of Done tasks and the total number of all tasks within the phase if there is no time registered and no remaining time on all tasks within the phase.
- Total minutes registered versus total minutes registered plus remaining minutes. If neither of the above rules apply, phase progress will display the total minutes registered and the total of minutes registered plus any remaining minutes.
Viewing the project team's allocations
Under the Project team section it is possible to review the current allocations for the individuals that are part of the project. The overview will look differently based on if the account setting is set to Task assignment or Project Allocation. See Selecting your resource management strategy for more information.
Task assignment view
If the account resource management setting is set to task assignment, the project team view will display the allocations to show if individuals are fully, partially or over allocated, together with any planned time off tracked in Forecast.