Everything has come to a halt. I feel like I am in a dark world. It’s been a long wait and it continues. When would the sun rise? Whooosh! Maybe, this was a little dramatic but, it is the reality. I am sitting here working on the milestones that are under my control, worrying about the most important details, regretting my decisions and the funny part is that I can’t do anything about it. So, what did I decide? Just go with flow, work on all other milestones, stay on task, have productive working days, stay honest to my project and work hard. Maybe you weren’t expecting this based on what you read in my last blog, but I have concluded that, this is what Propel is all about. Don’t worry. Don’t feel sad for me. There is a happy ending to this phase of mine.
Two weeks ago, I would have been completely lost and in tears, if I didn’t have the Gantt Chart to my rescue. I had no idea of what my next steps were. Because of the nature of my project, it was hard for me to understand the importance of one milestone over the other. Using a Gantt chart helped me to organize my milestones in an orderly manner and then work on them. Oh wait! I am sorry, I forgot to tell you what a Gantt Chart is? A Gantt Chart, like any other thing, was designed to save human effort and time. Imagine having a project plan on a paper with all the sticky notes and highlighters. You would want something easier. Well, Gantt Chart is there for you.
A Gantt chart is a visual representation of progress of the project you are working on. It is a timeline with all the important dates on it. On a Gantt Chart you can easily see the start date of the project, what the project tasks are, who is working on each task, when tasks start and finish, how long each task will take, how tasks group together, overlap and link with each other and, the most important the finish date of the project. You can use a Gantt Chart to plan and schedule projects, tasks, tasks across multiple projects and, teams’ work.
Did you know? The Gantt chart was named after Henry Gantt, and many think he was the one who first had the idea of project planning on bar charts. Well, that’s not entirely true. Karol Adamiecki devised the first “Gantt” chart, back in 1896. He came up with the idea of displaying processes visually so that he could make it easier to see production schedules. Henry Gantt had the same idea, but about 15 years later. I feel that Austin Kleon’s belief that ‘nothing is original, and everything is inspired from something else’ is definitely true sometimes.
This is what my Gantt Chart looks like:
This gantt chart has all the concrete milestones of my project in a bold red color. This chart has a calendar which includes a project day mentioned along with the actual date. Checking in the progress of your project is the most important thing as you move forward. As you can see, in between the milestones and the horizontal bars there some important numbers categorized in different columns. The five columns have numbers that represent the start day of the milestone, the days required to complete it, total action steps based on that milestone, actions steps completed until the present day and, percentage of milestone completed. The light yellow vertical bar represents the present day. This bar allows me to meet deadlines and to figure out what needs to be done until then. The dark purple part of the horizontal bar is what I have completed, and the light purple is what I still need to work on. The red vertical lines represent some important deadlines.
The important thing to notice is that I have no more project time after day 47. All the time after day 47 will be devoted on putting together the final presentation. The good thing is that my project will be completed way before day 47 and I will have a lot of time to work on my final presentation.
As we can see, I was not able to meet the first important deadline. To meet the deadline, I needed approval of the logistical details of the event. After subtracting the number of dark purple blocks on the right side of the yellow bar from the number of light purple blocks on the left side of the yellow bar, I conclude that I am one day behind. I feel that I can catch up. I am behind only because I personally have no control on those action steps. Due to year end around the corner, it is a busy season and that’s why the owner of McDonald’s is taking so long to approve those details.
My ability to not be able to complete those action steps have affected the other elements of my project. Though I have my press release ready, but I can’t send it because I need to put the necessary information on it. Similarly, I am can’t make the promotional flyers until I get that information. I am looking forward to receiving those details, by the end of this week.
The focus of the coming weeks is going to be on promoting and advertising the event. I will create promotional flyers with Mr. Hansen’s help. My goal is to promote most of the event using media opportunities and social media. Next week, I am also going to start planning the event design.
I am at a stage where receiving just one email with all the details of the event from the McDonald’s manager can lighten up my dark project world. That email is going to be my sunshine. The sunshine that I need the most!
Until next time,