Use Gantt Charts and Avoid Disaster

Failing to use Gantt charts for its project ultimately caused a building company’s failure and, as a consequence, it’s ill-timed downfall. It had suffered huge charges in penalties then ultimately was forced to shut down its building which had gone on nearly fifteen months behind schedule.

A Gantt chart is a sort of bar chart that shows a project timetable from the commencement to the conclusion. Some Gantt diagrams also show dependencies between tasks to ensure communication between parties working on interdependent elements. As a result, better management is recommended via the use of these all-important charts. You can find realistic instances of how businesses to this day are plummeting into bankruptcy, to some extent as a result of not leveraging such important systems as those provided by Gantt Charts.

Penalty Charges

The agreement neglected to indicate a timetable for a project detailing the different operations required for the development of the condominium. Some changes were imposed by the buyer that had been a huge variation from the initial plan. Without the project plan, a modified strategy couldn’t be generated revealing as to how the changes would impact the prompt conclusion the job. This ended up causing a postponement in handing over well over a year from the agreed upon date, leading to preventable charges.

The company was required to show the following in order to contest imposition of penalty charges:

  1. The hand over date as agreed to in the initial contract as per the original specification could have easily been met.
  2. The customer’s proposals for additional tasks to be undertaken midway through the construction process, entailed requirement of additional man hours to be put in, which resulted in the end date getting extended.

There were a few spreadsheets used to capture the tasks underway. As changes occurred a new spreadsheet was set up. There was a gap in this method in that the impact of the changes on the original plan and on the completion date were not captured.

How Would Gantt Charts Have Helped

A Gantt Chart would have acted as a baseline plan for monitoring the progress, had it been created at the contract stage. The extra tasks required to be done by the company could have been added and the duration of the existing tasks could have been changed as and when the customer asked for changes in the specifications: the slippage in the handover date could have been clearly shown by this. The customer could have been then asked to agree to a revised end date and sign the amendment to the contract.

Without project management tools to document its position, the firm could not document the reason for the delays were not its performance. However not having these tools in place for complex projects is itself a performance issue.

During the supervision of time-constrained projects for customers, it is necessary to employ metrics such as Gantt charts and other appropriate tools to keep on top of how the project is progressing, measure the impact of any changes to the project, and keep all parties informed about how changes will affect the project.


March 7, 2012. Project Scheduling.

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