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Gantt Chart View vs. Tracking Gantt View

Gantt Chart View vs. Tracking Gantt View

Gantt Chart View vs. Tracking Gantt View

Hi Group,

Why does Gantt Chart View vs. Tracking Gantt views have radically different views? Also, why does one need individual headers & footers between to the 2 different style views?

I'm desperately trying to show the planned vs. actual project plan, but every time I adjust a date, it gives me something that I don't want!!

I have some dates that should be fixed because those tasks were already completed while others I'm trying to complete by a specified target date. A momentarily have desired dates in, but if I modify another task, it's radically changing it. I expect this a little bit, but not an additional year, which sometimes the results I'm getting.

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RE: Gantt Chart View vs. Tracking Gantt View

Each view within MS Project can be tailored independently. So it is no wonder that views appear differently. Also the headers and footers can be different, thus adding flexibility.
Right click on an empty place within the Gantt chart(s) and choose Bar Styles...
There you will see the different bars. Remember that all rows are evaluated and the next one will be drawn on top of previous ones if they satisfy the rules. All conditions are flags being TRUE or FALSE.
If you want to see both planned and actual you should save a Baseline [under Tracking.. in MS Project 2003 and 2007]
The (standard) Tracking Gantt will show Actual above and Baseline below.
I am not sure what you don't want to see. If you would use Predecessors and Successors, which you should do when using the power of MS Project, it is quite naturally that a task will move if its (latest) Predecessor will finish on a different date than planned. This if you use a Starting date for the complete project, something I absolutely recommend. Don't fall into the trap to use a fixed Finish Date as this will remove any possible slack. It may often be wise to use Deadlines rather than fixed Finish Dates [such as: Must Finish on ...] The Baseline will not change as long you are not (partially) updating it.
Does this help you a little bit? Else upload a (small) sample file and a clear explanation of your problem(s).

Why an easy solution if you can make it complicated?
Greetings from the Netherlands

RE: Gantt Chart View vs. Tracking Gantt View

Hi ireland,

Perhaps to some, having this extra flexibility between the various Gantt views is advantageous. At least for the Header & Footer areas, it's annoying, but manageable if one wants the same header & footer.

For the primary Gantt Chart & Tracking Gantt views, MS Project seems to give radically different perspectives in some instances, I think it's misleading.

It's a little hard to explain here, I'll provide some pictures later.


RE: Gantt Chart View vs. Tracking Gantt View

Well this makes the second post so far whereby a standard MS Project template would be very useful. As I stated in my other post it definitely sounds like you could use your very own custom Gantt view that represents your baseline and progress without any mysterious Microsoft anomalies occuring. We're using MSP 2007 right now, I'm testing MSP 2010 for our company wide use and implementation, but for now we use a standard template with Holiday calendars and custom Gantt Bar Styles that represent 100% accuracy of our baseline and progress along with a standard header/footer setup. For example we use "Status Date" under Project Information to represent "where" we are statused through on any given project. This "Status Date" also appears as in our footer automatically. Unfortunately Microsoft didn't think it was important enough to provide the other status type dates withing the Header/Footer pulldown selectable options so this Status Date ended up being our only option. Microsoft does have a lot of room to grow, even on their newer MSP 2010 version, but they appear to be listening to the PM community more and trying to incorporate way overdue Project Management Basics and Industry Standard options that many other more expensive PM software titles incorporate.

I'd say using a template would be your best bet and if you need a generic model of a template feel free to pm me, I'd gladly provide you something to work from and we can share ideas if that would be helpful.


RE: Gantt Chart View vs. Tracking Gantt View

Hi AerospacBrett & Others,

I'm stuck with MS Project 2007 & find it very cumbersome sometimes to "control" my plan, kind of REDDesign09 has stated.

With the company I work for, we seem to "plan" throughout the whole duration of the project & because of this, I can never seem to get a good baseline to establish. Other than showing precedents well, if one has a good Excel template, then Excel seems to be a lot better.

RE: Gantt Chart View vs. Tracking Gantt View

That complaint about never to be able to establish a baseline is perhaps one of the greatest mistakes people using MS Project can make. You can set a baseline at any moment. It is easy to select certain tasks and update the baseline for these only. Also there is the possibility to save 10 interim baselines. Project planning is an ongoing process. If your plan would never change you probably made the wrong plan. However, one should always have the possibility to monitor recent changes, to see if tasks are slipping or as sometimes may occur have been finished before the scheduled date. This can only be seen by comparing with a baseline. I have worked on several projects where the actual progress was entered quite frequently but where we set a new baseline every two weeks. Tasks may be added or deleted. By just setting a new baseline it is very easy to see changes. These changes may occur as a result of setting a new status date and rescheduling remaining work. Quite often people do not reschedule. However, in a realistic situation all unfinished work at the status date should be rescheduled. This may result in splits. Some people don't like splits. However, it is the only realistic way to cope with work in delay. The baseline helps to see these changes due to rescheduling. If one does not like the dotted line for the split is is rather easy to change the appearance. In general it is indeed a good practise to use templates with all the changes to charts as one prefers.

Why an easy solution if you can make it complicated?
Greetings from the Netherlands

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