Gantt Charts 101

Learn the basics of using a Gantt Chart Schedule

Updated over a week ago

If you want to jump right into editing your BuildBook Schedule, head over to our articles about creating your first Phase and using the Gantt Chart View.

BuildBook’s Scheduling allows you to view and manage your project’s Schedule using both a traditional calendar view and a Gantt chart view. You can feel free to switch between views, depending on which you prefer.

What’s a Gantt Chart?

The default project view in BuildBook is the Gantt chart.

A Gantt chart shows you when different items in your Schedule start and finish, if they overlap, and helps define when one item should begin related to another - all on a single horizontal timeline. It also allows you to easily drag and drop events to change their duration and due date.

If this is your first time using a Gantt chart, all you need to know is that it’s a great way to visualize the timeline for each item and determine how long it will take.

What is displayed on the Gantt chart

On the left side of the chart shows you'll see four columns:

  1. Item - this includes five items in your project that have a due date, including:

    1. Phases

    2. Tasks

    3. Selections

    4. Change Orders

    5. Payments

  2. Start - the start date for the item, which you can edit directly in this column

  3. Duration - the amount of time each item should take, which you can edit directly in this column

  4. Manual - check this box if you want to "lock" an item with dependencies in place in the Schedule

The right side of the chart displays bars that correlate to the start and end dates of each item and include arrows between items to convey dependencies. The longer the bar, the longer the duration. Hovering over each bar will show you the start date, end date, and duration as well.

What are dependencies?

Dependencies are created through dependent relationships between predecessors and successors.

  • Predecessors are items that come first, or before other items.

  • Successors, on the other hand, are dependent on predecessors and their start or end date typically follows the predecessor.

This relationship allows you to order items in a sequence, where one item must be completed before the next item can begin. If the date of the predecessor changes, you can configure the dates of the successors to automatically shift.

Learn more about how dependencies work in BuildBook here.

Parent/child relationships

As we've discussed, a Gantt chart improves efficiency in your project schedule via dependencies (relationships between predecessors and successors) where one item must finish before another begins.

In addition, you can create what is called a parent-child relationship, where a number of items (children) can be "grouped" within a larger item (parent).

In BuildBook, Phases represent the high-level timeline for your project and can be created as parents to add another level of organization to your Schedule. Example Phases include Demolition, Foundation, Framing, Electrical, etc. Read more on how to use and create Phases.

When you take any item in your Schedule and group it under a Phase, you've now created a parent/child relationship. This means that the Phase, as the parent, now becomes a container for the children where the start date, end date, and duration of the Phase automatically adjust based on the children.

Minimum lag

The BuildBook Schedule uses minimum lag, which means when you move two (or more) dependent items forward, you don't want those items to start before the date that you drop them (ie: the space between dependencies will compress down to the minimum).

Alternatively, When you then drag an item backward that has successors, that item will move, but its successors will stay in place because they are preserving their start date (ie: the space between predecessor and its immediate successor will increase, and negative lag won't have any effect).

To automatically move the successors in this case, right-click on the predecessor and click “Auto-Schedule > All Successors”. That will remove the start date constraint, and the successors will move back.

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