A2: The Gantt Chart¶
The Gantt chart is a powerful task management and visualization tool for managing complex projects. The flexibility of the Gantt format makes it useful for practically any type of project. This assignment will provide you with the opportunity to learn how to setup, maintain, and analyze tasks in the Gantt format.
To gain some preliminary familiarity with the Gantt format, you will create a chart using your class schedule for the quarter as a source of input data. Although data produced from the typical college class does not encompass all of the capabilities that Gantt supports, it provide enough for learning about the basic features.
Part 1: Assembling your Gantt Chart¶
All of your classes will have at least one of the following types of data:
You will notice that the primary difference between each data type is temporal. Some types (assignment, project, and extra credit) will have a start and end date while the rest are constrained to a single date and time. Types with a start and end data should be categorized as
tasks, while data types that occur on a single data and time should be categorized as
Start by organizing the deliverables for this class using your desired tool (see below) as individual tasks. Keep each deliverable grouped by type. So assignments should all be together, quizzes together, exams, and so on. Since you are obviously all in this class together each member of your group should be assigned as owners for each task.
Once you have the deliverables for this class complete, you should each pick at least one (though adding all of your courses is encouraged) additional class that you are enrolled in this quarter and add it to the chart. If you don’t have a class with established deadlines for all deliverables, put in as many as you know. Every member of the group should add one class. If two or more members of your group share another class, then decide as a group which of you will use that class. The goal should be to avoid duplicate classes. In the unlikely chance that this is not possible, let your instructors know via a submission comment on Canvas.
Part 2: Analyzing your Gantt Chart¶
Once your Gantt chart is populated with course data, you should start to see some patterns emerge. For example, you might find that some portion of your team have one or more deadlines for other classes in common. Or you might identify a common free time between courses that you can use to meet. So for part 2, spend some time individually analyzing the chart and write down some observations about what you find.
As a group, create a new document in your group’s
stage directory and name it
TEAMNAME-assignment-2-ganttchart. Take a screenshot or two of your Gantt Chart and add it to the beginning of the document. Some of your charts might be quite lengthy, so do your best to ensure that the chart is readable in picture format. If you have to zoom in and divide the image into multiple pictures, then do so. Just ensure that a third party (your instructors) can read it without having to zoom in and out! If you decide to use a Gantt Chart extension for Google Sheets (see below) then you are welcome to submit a link to this document rather than create multiple screenshots.
Each team member should then add their observations in a separate section using your individual names as headings. Individual observations should be roughly 1-2 paragraphs in length. When complete copy this file to the
final directory for submission. Remember to ensure that your course instructors are assigned edit permissions on this document.
Selecting a Gantt Chart Tool¶
There are many different tools available for creating Gantt Charts. Your textbook for this course comes with a trial version of Microsoft Project. If you use a computer that runs Windows, then you might prefer to experiment with this software. However, there are many other options available. We don’t particularly care which option you decide to use, as long as it supports creating charts that adhere to the Gantt specification.
One easy and straightforward option is to use an extension for Google Sheets. There are several available in Google’s marketplace, but we have spent some time evaluating the extension linked below and found it to be perfectly suitable for the goals of this course.
If you know of or would like to recommend any others, feel free to share them on Zulip!
Once you have completed both parts 1 and 2, submit a link to your Google doc to the Assignment 2 page on Canvas.
Ensure that all course staff have been added as members of your group directory and have edit permissions on your documents.
This assignment is worth 2 pts or 2 percent of your total grade. You must complete all requirements for this assignment accurately and on time to receive credit. No partial credit will given. Credit will be assigned to you as a group but removed on an individual basis for team memebrs who do not complete part 2.