“[Gantt] the change you want to see in the world.”
– Mahatma Gantt-dhi (Paraphrase)
Welcome to the New Year, and with it, new hopes, new commitment and new resolutions.
To this we can add new methods.
“The Gantt chart—a visual planning tool—is the most widely used chart in project management…useful in planning a project and defining the sequence of tasks that require completion” (Silver, 2016). The Gantt is unique in its ability to track of many facets of a complex goal, or a ton of seemingly separate tasks, while focused on the future.
This tool can be just as valuable to outlining our personal or professional goals in 2017, especially if life often feels unruly, scattered or racing in different directions at once.
Karol Adamiecki, a Polish engineer who ran a steelworks in southern Poland created the first Gantt chart in 1890 to help with production and management. So, why is it not called an Adamiecki Chart?
Fifteen years later, an American engineer and management consultant Henry Gantt, created his own version of the chart and brought it to the Western business world. Thus, popular culture of the time tied it to Henry Gantt and the name stuck.
With a few personalized tweaks, just like Gantt himself did in 1905, this corporate tool can become a self-improvement masterpiece.
Gantts are Powerful
“Optimism is the most important human trait, because it allows us to evolve our ideas, to improve our situation, and to hope for a better tomorrow.”
– Seth Godin, Author
Though the version described here, and available to any who ask, employs MS Excel, it’s more empowering and accurate to think of our Gantts as a positive imagery visualization board.
This “visualization is a powerful tool for goal achievement. The process primes the brain to look for cues in the environment that connect to the vision…” (Baumgartner, 2011).
- Gantt Charts help us visualize our personal and professional goals and those in the various environments of our lives.
- Gantt Charts help us prioritize and evaluate our best use of time and energy.
- Gantt Charts help us break down those goals into specific, measurable, sequential tasks.
- Gantt Charts provide a systematic way to be supported in achieving a shared vision, be it on a project at work, a wedding plan or a happy home.
A Free Gantt for 2017
“Look on the new day as another special gift from your Creator, another golden opportunity to complete what you were unable to finish yesterday. Be a self-starter.”
– Og Mandino, Author and Speaker
In most instances a Gantt is a horizontal bar chart showing scheduled and completed work using bars of different lengths to represent the project timeline, and sequence. The chart identifies tasks that may be executed in parallel and those that cannot be started or finished until other tasks are complete. (Silver, 2016).
The Gantt template offered at KeithKarabin.com depicts the same scheduled goal projection and sequentially itemized tasks using parallel display to address multiple projects in a vertical list rather than horizontal bar chart.
But before getting to the chart, let’s make sure our goals are…
- SMART. Yes, Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-based (Locke & Latham, 1990) but also…
- SMARTER. Which means keeping in mind that Gantts are powerful!
They define the growth we’d like to see in ourselves and our environment.
They will prime our “brain to look for cues in the environment that connect to the vision” so that our year becomes an exercise in achievement that can be acknowledged and supported by any we share our Gantt with.
Remember this is one example of a custom Gantt. The internet is chock full of ‘em, Excel has its own template, and the original Gantts were pen-and-paper, so that’s always an option…if your life never changes.
In short; make it custom, make it focused; make it yours.
- Make a hand list of all the growth you’d like to see in upcoming year.
- Prioritize or categorize the projects (Fancy titles are encouraged but optional).
- Fit each one into an itemized list and break it down.
- Estimate start and projection dates for each item and list them in descending order.
- Think and rearrange. J
- Make sure that the formula which calculates percentages has the correct divisor number. This is the total item number under each project.
- Add a date or notation when the item is complete.
Please use the comment box below, the contact page or email directly for the Gantt Excel template. It’s totally free, part of our commitment to Street Level Wellness in 2017. In just seven fun steps we can harness over 100 years of project management fortitude and the individualized positive energy of psychological imagery to visualize our most powerful year yet, and the steps to achieve it, in mere moments.
Baumgartner, J. (2011) Visualize It. Psychology Today. Retrieved from: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-psychology-dress/201111/visualize-it
Gantt.com (2016) Retrieved from: http://www.gantt.com/
Locke, E. A. & Latham, G. P. (1990). A theory of goal setting and task performance. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Silver, C. (2016) Gantt chart Definition. Investopedia.com. Retrieved from: http://www.investopedia.com/terms/g/gantt-chart.asp#ixzz4UbReXx6j
* This post is an excerpt from the PowerPoint presentation I, Gantt: Gantt charting for professional and personal growth which is (c) 2017 KeithKarabin.com.