Scoro’s Gantt chart is a great tool for not only outlining your project in the planning phase but also keeping track of real-time progress from start to finish.
When planning the project, set the order of project phases in a logical timeline and add different tasks under each phase. Easily set task dependencies to make sure essential tasks are done before work on the next assignments should begin. Add milestones to set clear goals for each step of the project.
- Start by creating a new project.
- You can add phases and milestones while adding a new project. (If you don’t add any phases or milestones to your project at this stage, you can easily do it on the Gantt chart once the project has been saved.)
- There are two options to choose from:
Add phases. Later on, add tasks that need to be finished during each phase, and easily drag and drop them into the right order.
Add milestones for different goals you need to reach along the way.
- Add a title for each phase (and a date for a milestone). When adding tasks under the phases (acting as umbrellas for the tasks), the phase start and end dates are dynamic and will change according to the task dates. So, you can just leave the date fields empty here, as they will depend on the task dates.
You can change the order of the phases and milestones by dragging and dropping them in this view. Or, effortlessly make changes to them on the Gantt chart later on. Click Save.
Note! All tasks or task bundles added under the project before adding any phases can easily be moved under the correct phase by dragging and dropping on the left-hand menu of the chart. Or change the phase for multiple tasks at the same time – go to the task list, filter the list accordingly, select the relevant tasks (by ticking them), and on the additional filters bar click on Link with project and then Select phase to choose the project phase you'd like to move the tasks to.
Activities with start and due dates in the future are shown under Planned activities in the project detailed view.
Done tasks and past events are shown under Past activities and work reports. You can also see both planned and done tasks in the task list, just filter the list view accordingly.
To add activities under an already existing phase on the Gantt chart, just click on the + Add task button (or the + Name button on the left-hand menu and select the option Add task. If you didn’t add project phases while creating the project, just do it now via the Add phase button and then add the relevant tasks under each phase.)
To quickly add several tasks in a row, just add a name to the task and press Enter to save. Then press Enter again, to add another task. The same works with a double-click. In this case, your preferred task duration is taken into account. Go to Settings > My Settings > Calendar and tasks to change your default task duration.
Don’t forget to save the changes made on the chart.
If something went wrong, you can always Undo, or Redo to revert to the previous state. Before saving the chart you can also cancel all the changes you have made if needed (maybe just to visualize what the changes would look like).
New tasks can additionally be added under Planned activities. This option is convenient in case you wish to fill out more data for the task right away, or for linking a task bundle to the project, for example.
Once the project is saved, all added phases and milestones are visible on the Gantt chart.
The 'diamonds' on the project bar indicate the estimated start and end date of the project. This gives you a good comparison of the actual project progress, once work on the project has started.
The red line on the chart indicates today's date.
Tasks and their dependencies
Add task dependencies for tasks under each phase to define their order of completion – which assignments should be finished before something else can be started, for example.
Types of dependencies:
- Finish to Start - Task A must be finished before B can be started.
- Start to Start - Task A must be started before task B can start.
- Finish to Finish - Task A must be finished before task B can be finished.
- Start to Finish - Task A must be started before task B can be finished.
To add dependencies, just click on the handle on the first task (either at the start or end) and drag it to the other task (either at the start or end).
To delete an already saved dependency, just double-click on the dependency line, then click Yes on the confirmation popup.
In case something takes longer to finish or plans just change, when adjusting tasks on the chart (moving them, or dragging them longer/shorter), their due dates are automatically updated.
Plus, all dependent tasks and scheduled time entries are rescheduled taking your team’s actual utilization into account and looking for the next available time slots in their schedule.
As a phase acts as an umbrella for the tasks under it, when moving the whole phase, all related (not done) tasks and time entries are moved along with it.
Dependencies in task list and task view
In addition to effortlessly adding dependencies in the Gantt chart, the same can be done in the task list (as well as specific task detailed view).
All task dependencies can be displayed in the task list by just changing the View and selecting Dependencies from the Data columns dropdown list.
If needed, you can add new dependencies by clicking on the Predecessor (the preceding task) or Successor (the following task) icon on the task line and selecting a suitable task from the dropdown list.
After selecting the task, you can choose the type of dependency and a buffer time between the tasks.
If this task already has any predecessors or successors, they’re shown below the dropdown. Hover over the relevant task and click on the pencil icon to modify the task dependency, or on the x to remove it.
Dependencies can also be added and modified in the task detailed view.
Buffer time between dependent tasks
Buffer time can be added in days and this number can be either positive (e.g. 5 meaning next task should be started 5 days after the first one is finished) or negative (e.g. -3 meaning the next task can be started 3 days before the first one is finished).
- Lag time (positive number) indicates the buffer period before the next task(s) in the chain can start.
- Lead time (negative number) indicates the overlap of tasks. For example, task B can start 3 days before task A has been finished.
If there is no specific buffer time defined for the tasks, rescheduling the predecessor task won’t affect the dependent tasks, unless there’s a conflict in task dates.
Unscheduled tasks (without a start and due date) are not shown in the chart until at least one of these dates has been set for them.
Activities included in the chart
Time entries are visible as little dots and circles on (or on the line of) the project phase. Hover over the dot or circle to see the duration of the time entry.
The size and color indicate the progress of the time entry. The time entry is a circle until no work has been done on it. It turns into a full dot when the time entry is marked as done. The scheduled time entry circle turns red if the entry exceeds the user’s availability.
When moving the task while rescheduling assignments, the time entries already scheduled are also rescheduled along with the task, taking the user’s actual availability into account and looking for the next available time slot in their schedule. Done time entries stay put.
Scoro’s Gantt chart also includes calendar events, giving the full picture of project-related activities.
Milestones are good for keeping track of different goals, such as the final presentation of a certain phase. Tasks cannot be linked to milestones, and belong under project phases.
Note! Milestones with tasks added to your project timeline in previous Scoro versions are automatically turned into phases.
Navigating the Gantt chart
You can change the view of the chart using the buttons on the upper right-hand corner of the chart.
Zoom in using the + button for more detail or zoom out with the - button to see a more high-level view of the project timeline. Select a suitable time period for more or less granularity.
By default, the chart highlights the current period. The red line indicates today, so it’s easy to comprehend how the project is progressing. To get a full overview of the project and see all project-related work, use the Fit to view button.
Undo/redo the previous unwanted or accidental action. Or cancel all changes made in the chart in case you were just testing out the changes (to see if and how different plans would work), yet you don’t actually want to save them.
Here’s a friendly reminder that all changes need to be saved on the chart to make them stick.
Decide whether to see minimal information for a high-level overview, or go into as much detail as needed. To customize the view to your needs, just tick/untick the View options for both the data columns visible on the left-hand side and the layers for various data visible on the chart.
To add a new phase, milestone, or a task, click on the + Name button on the top of the left-hand menu.
The selected new item is automatically added to the end of the list, yet you can easily select a suitable place for it later on by just dragging and dropping. The name field is automatically highlighted, so just writing the title and press enter to save it. Yet, don’t forget to save the chart when you’re done making changes. (When adding a lot of rows, just use the Add button at the bottom of the left-hand menu to add new items.)
You can add a new task under the correct phase, just click on the + Add task button, start writing to add a title, and press Enter to save it.
Keyboard navigation and shortcuts
When moving to the + Add row under the project using the arrows on the keyboard, press Enter to open the dropdown, move with arrows again between the three options, and press Enter to select the chosen item. Start typing to add a title and press Enter again to save it. When adding tasks this way in bulk, just push Enter after naming the task and add another task.
When adding tasks quickly with keyboard shortcuts, all mandatory fields on the tasks are flagged. You can later fill out all relevant information by just clicking on the pencil icon on the task (to open the task modify view and make changes). Or just hold down the Ctrl (Command) key and while clicking on the name of the task to open the task detailed view in a new tab. This is a convenient way to get to the task to add comments or files, for example.
Use these shortcuts on the chart to conveniently move around, view, and add data:
- Enter = Save and jump to the next row
- Shift + Enter = Open task modify view
- Tab = jump to next field
- Esc = Close popup, cancel action
- Space = Expand/collapse phase
- Shift + Click = Open the task detailed view in a new tab
Settings related to the Gantt chart
You can decide whether to plan all project-related work strictly to work days, or include weekends. To include weekends, go to Settings > Work and projects > Projects and activate the setting Include weekends in workweek. In that case, when scheduling work, the activities on the project timeline (or just task start and due dates in general) can fall on weekends as well as workdays.