The following Gantt Chart template was created with Microsoft Excel® (link to file is under graph).
Preparation Steps for Creating a Gantt Chart
Identify Major Project Activities
Identify the major project activities, especially those that will make up the critical path.
List the Start Date and Total Days Required to Complete Each Task
Plan roughly when each task will be started, and how many days will be required for completion. For the template attached to this page, estimate the time-to-completion using days. Always consult with the task owners when performing this exercise – this will produce a realistic schedule that the task owners buy into.
Sort the Activities in Descending Order of Start Date
Note that the start dates for some tasks are dependent on completion dates for prior tasks.
Enter the Information in the Spreadsheet
As the project progresses, the “days completed” column can be filled in. This will color-code each bar in the Gantt Chart, showing days completed, days remaining, and the estimated completion date for each task.