How to plan a show like Wistia
Back to Blog
Join 85,679 readers. Subscribe now!
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Project Management

Gantt Chart Examples for Project Management

Nathan Gilmore
May 9, 2012
Subscribe to blog & access downloads
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Download the
excel gantt template

A gantt chart is simply a timeline view of your project. It’s a tool that helps you manage all of the different resources, people, and tasks along the way to accomplishing your project goal.  

In this article, we’ll show you a simple gantt chart sample and explain 5 basic features you’ll find in every gantt chart. You’ll also find examples of how to make a gantt chart for your projects.

Elements of a gantt chart: Example & explanations

Gantt charts may seem complicated at first. But once you understand the basics, you’ll know how to use a gantt chart to plan and manage your projects with ease. 

This sample gantt chart highlights 5 key gantt chart features:

example of a gantt chart with basic elements highlighted

Let’s take a closer look at the basic elements of a gantt chart:

  • Timeline: The timeline runs horizontally across the top of the gantt chart and displays months, weeks, days, and years. This makes it easy to see how your project schedule stacks up over time. 
  • Task list: A project is made up of several tasks, and related tasks can be organized into groups and subgroups. You’ll find these listed vertically down the left side of your gantt chart. In this example, you can see tasks have been broken down into groups by month, with subgroups for each webinar topic that will be presented. See tips and examples for organizing tasks in your gantt chart. 
  • Bars: You will also notice that the right-hand side of the chart has group and task bars that correspond to the group and task names. Each bar represents when the task will start and end and also indicates the percent of completion. Gantt charts are especially useful for any project where you want to visualize how long your project will take and how work is progressing along the way.
  • Milestones: A milestone is an important goal, event, or deliverable in your project, such as a kickoff meeting or major deadline. Using milestones in your project plan can help you monitor progress and identify potential delays. In TeamGantt, milestones are signified by a gold diamond on the gantt chart and can be scheduled just as easily as tasks.
  • Dependencies: A dependency links tasks together to ensure work gets done in the right order. For instance, in the gantt chart example above, we created a dependency between Review/revise slide deck and Host webinar because we can’t present the webinar until the slide deck is complete. In TeamGantt, a dependency shows up as a light gray line connecting tasks on your gantt chart.

Additional gantt chart resources & examples

Want to learn more? Here are a few resources—with additional gantt chart examples—to help you out.

Create your own gantt chart for free

If you need an easy way to create a gantt chart, give TeamGantt’s online gantt chart software a try. TeamGantt enables you to build project plans in minutes and track progress in real time.

Try TeamGantt for free today!

Project management milestone examples

Milestones make it easier to keep projects on track by calling out major events, dates, decisions, and deliverables. Here are a few examples of project milestones you might include in your plan:

  • Start and end dates for project phases
  • Key deliveries
  • Client and stakeholder approvals
  • Important meetings and presentations
  • Key dates or outages that may impact your timeline

Let’s dig a little deeper and explore 3 specific examples of how using project milestones can benefit your projects.

Monitor deadlines

No plan is ever complete without a list of deadlines! The best way to make them noticeable is to use the project management milestones and deliverables technique. What does this mean? Make the deliverables project milestones!

Why do this? Well, it’s no secret that not everyone wants to pore over your beautiful project plan to find key dates. Most people—your teammates included—want a top-level view of key dates and events. Milestones are great for this purpose because they’re called out in a special way—usually with a diamond—in project plans.

While you should list the tasks and effort leading up to a project milestone, be sure to present the milestone at the end of those tasks to signify a delivery, or even a presentation of, the deliverable.

Here's an example of how Washington Hyperloop uses milestones to track an important deadline in their project.

Spotlight important dates

Are there days from now until the end of your project that could impact your project in some way? Maybe your team will need to be out of the office for a mandatory training. Maybe there’s a board meeting you’re expected to attend.

It’s important to keep all of these important events in mind when you’re planning a project because they could possibly impact your project schedule. So why not include them as project milestones so you can track them all in one place?

In this example, the team’s off-site strat-op meeting has been added to the project plan as a milestone so work can be scheduled around it.

date milestone in gantt chart

Identify potential project bottlenecks

Many projects rely on the work produced by external teams or partners to make forward progress. If you’re not tracking those external factors somewhere, there’s a great chance you’ll forget to follow-up on it.

That’s why it’s important to list these deliverables as project milestones if you’re working on a project that depends on someone or something outside of your project. Here’s an example of what that might look like for a client approval.

deliverable milestone in gantt chart

Want to hit major milestones on time more often?

We’ve got a free class to help you get everyone on board with your plan! Register for Plan Up: How to Create and Sell a Winning Project Plan to see why planning sets the stage for project success, and get a free Guide to Project Planning when you sign up.

How to create a project milestone

Creating milestones for your project plan can be simple, especially with TeamGantt. Once you’ve mapped out your overall process and plan with your team, you can easily add tasks, identify gantt chart milestones, and determine task owners. Adding a milestone (or converting a task to a milestone) is very easy in TeamGantt.

Once you’ve signed up for a TeamGantt account, here’s a quick video on how to create milestones:

Project milestones are easy to create and even easier to track because you’ve called out the most important points in your project.

How to share project milestones with clients and stakeholders

Want to give clients and stakeholders a high-level view of the project? Simply follow these steps to share a PDF of key project milestones in your gantt chart.

1. Filter your project by milestones.

From your gantt chart view, click the All Dates menu at the top of your gantt chart, and select Only Milestones from the drop-down.

filter gantt chart by project milestones

2. Export your filtered project to a PDF file.

Navigate to your project's Menu, and select Print/Export PDF from the drop-down.

export gantt chart with project milestones to PDF

Customize your PDF settings, then click View PDF to complete the export. From there, you can download and/or print your PDF to share with clients and stakeholders.

share PDF of gantt chart filtered by project milestones

Who would have thought such a critical step could be so easy?

Hit every project milestone with ease

TeamGantt makes it easy to create, track, and collaborate on all your project milestones so nothing slips through the cracks.

You’ll have all the features you need to ensure projects finish on time and under budget—from drag and drop simplicity and team collaboration to customizable views and workload management.

Best of all, it’s all wrapped up in a simple and intuitive interface your whole team will love. 😍

Give TeamGantt a free try today!

Like this article? Spread the word.