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Resource Management With Sparklines

Gantto now includes resource loading Sparklines for our Online Gantt Chart to help you understand your project’s resource loading at a glance.

Sparklines

Sparklines are a data-visualization invention of Prof. Edward Tufte and are designed to tap into the pattern matching portion of the brain. We find them extremely helpful for identifying at a glance if any one resource is under or over allocated. spark line example 600x203 Resource Management With Sparklines Empty means not allocated Green means 0-100% allocated Red means allocated > 100% Here is a simple example of a team gantt chart which is over allocated, but it is difficult to see the over allocation from this view. overallocated task chart 600x247 Resource Management With Sparklines However this same project rendered with Gantto’s Resource Manager View clearly shows the over allocation via the red sparklines: overallocated resource chart 600x199 Resource Management With Sparklines So at a glance we can tell that both Fed and Chris are largely over allocated and that we will have to shift one project in time to account for our resource loading. Here is what the new plan looks like with resource loading taken into consideration, Chris’ sparklines are now all green: proper allocation resource chart 600x237 Resource Management With Sparklines The gantt chart clearly reflects how the project deliverables have changed in time: proper allocation task chart 600x295 Resource Management With Sparklines

Customer Feedback

It is great to have so many engaged customers helping us build our product. These new visualizations around resource loading are the direct result of some really inspirational conversations with our customers. We have a huge pipeline of ideas we are working on, please help us pick the best things to build first! Just email me: chris@gantto.com with your comments or to simply start a conversation.

Event Planner Tools You Probably Missed

Gantto was featured on Julius Solarus’ www.eventmanagerblog.com as one of the Ten Useful Event Tools You Probably Missed Gantto is a great fit for Event Planners 1. Events usually occur on hard dates and can not be shifted in time 2. Event Planners are usually coordinating many different resources at the same time which sometimes depend on each other 3. Project management is only one small part of an event planner’s workload, and they need something simple to use 4. Event resources are usually spread across several different organizations

Hard End Dates

When faced with a hard end date, it can sometimes be overwhelming where to beging your planning process. One technique I find helpful is to model the project backwards in time. The thing I like about this process is that it is often easy to think of the last few things that must be done in order to meet your deadline. Once you have the ultimate tasks down, the next step is to think of what needs to happen in order for those to be completed, and so on. By way of example, lets assume we need a set of brochures for an upcoming show and we want to know when we need to make our final decisions on design. A thought process might go like this 1. It takes two weeks for the printers to turn a brochure once we have final art and copy 2. The copy editor wants a week to work on the copy 3. And the artist wants a week to prefect the artwork to support the copy Therefore we need to finalize the design input for the copy editor no later than one month before the show. So even though the brochures only take two weeks to print, we need to finalize this design a month in advance. This chain of reasoning easily presented with the following Gantt Chart that took 20 seconds to make in Gantto. brochure critical path 600x180 Event Planner Tools You Probably Missed

Coordination

A big part of keeping a team working well together is helping them understand how they depend on each other. For instance it may not be immediately obvious why the copy creator needs to start a full month before the brochures are due. However once the event planner explains the dependency of the artist and printer, it makes a lot more sense.

Easy to Use

We have built Gantto to leverage the power of Gantt Charts for modeling schedules, but we assume that event planners have a lot more on their mind than just managing a schedule. Our simple UI should allow anyone to easily create a helpful project model in just a few minutes. Our getting started video shows you how to build an online gantt chart in just a few minutes.

Communication

A lot of traditional scheduling tools require an expensive software install for anyone who wants to view or edit the schedule. With Gantto it is as simple as sharing a link. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions I would love to hear them. Email me any time: chris@gantto.com

More Powerful Spreadsheets

This week we have updated our spreadsheet mode to make it more user friendly for our power users. You can now customize the columns displayed in spread sheet mode by showing or hiding them as well as re-ordering them via drag and drop.

Selectable Columns

As an example, I am going to hide the resources and dependencies columns for the demo Gantt Chart. 1. Enter spreadsheet mode via View->Spreadsheet 2. Click on the column selector drop down menu in the upper right left side of the screen: spreadsheet mode 2 600x275 More Powerful Spreadsheets From this menu I will deselect the dependency and resource columns: spread sheet select columns 2 600x274 More Powerful Spreadsheets Exiting the menu commits the changes to the chart: spread sheet resources hidden 2 600x274 More Powerful Spreadsheets

Draggable Columns

The other spreadsheet related request we have been getting a lot of is the ability to change the order of the columns. This is now simply a drag and drop operation. To move the duration column after the start and end dates, I just grab the duration column header and drag it to the right: spreadsheet drag columns 2 600x274 More Powerful Spreadsheets And drop it behind the end date column: spreadsheet duration dragged 21 600x275 More Powerful Spreadsheets

Our Goal is to be the Best Online Gantt Chart

This feature set is yet another example of how we can get great ideas from customer feedback. Our goal is to create the best possible user experience for our online Gantt Chart. Please send me an email with your suggestions for Gantto and we will see what we can do. -Chris. chris@gantto.com

Team Plans

Gantto has just released a new set of plan options for our online gantt chart. As with most of our new features we built this after receiving many online and offline user requests. The key benefits of team plans are: 1. An administrator may add and remove team members from a single account 2. Gantto teams get unlimited projects 3. Plans start at only $25/mo which includes 5 seats and we discount for annual contracts This was a bit of a task to build because we felt it implied real-time collaboration which is a notoriously difficult set of features. But the work was worth it, and we are very excited to be the only online gantt chart with realtime updates similar to Google Docs. We will expand on this feature more later.

Signup for or upgrade your account to a team plan

First login and open the user profile menu: bigger top ribbon Team Plans From there you can select the plan you are interested in: team plans Team Plans If we don’t yet have a credit card on file for you, then we will ask for that information now.

Add team members

To add team members, you first select the “team” tab: team plan add Team Plans Now selecting “Add” will invite the team member. 1. If the email is already associated with a Gantto account, then we will move them under your team account 2. If the email is not associated with a Gantto account, then we will create a new account for them 3. You may also resend the invitation if you wish to do so. 4. Removing a team member will immediately revert their account to “read only”

Granting administrator privileges

By choosing “Admin” for the team member permissions, you are enabling this user to also add and remove team members from the account.

Who wants team gantt charts?

Gantto now has a number of customers with multiple Gantt Chart editors in the same organization. Our pricing system used to requre new customers in the same organization to enter their payment details all over again and did not offer discounts to volume users. For inspiration we looked around at other software companies we admire such as Pivotal Labs built up a pricing system similar to the one they used for Pivotal Tracker. We also have a set of customers who wish to share their Gantt Charts online with their customers, but did not want to force their customers to signup for Gantto accounts on their own. By adding these customers to their team plans, they are now able to collaborate with projects online just like they would with a Google document.

Feedback requests

We love to hear from our users. What do you think of our new team plans? Email me at any time to let us know: chris@gantto.com

Color Coding

This latest release now incorporates user selectable color coding of resources. This is the first integration of a series of color coding features which will be rolling out over the next few weeks. color coded assignments 600x374 Color Coding

Thoughts on Color

We generally like Stephen Few’s and try to stick to his guidelines when we can. The short form of his advice is “Use Color Meaningfully and with Restraint.” With that in mind we asked our selves how can we use color to convey additional meaning in our Gantt Charts. So far we have come up with the following scenarios: Color is helpful when used to: - Code which resources are assigned to tasks - Bring some tasks to the attention of the chart viewers - Group tasks together into logical groups such as phases or internal/external This latest release now supports color coding of the assignments in the resource view. Next will be resource dependent color coding of tasks in the Gantt Chart view along with color coding of individual tasks and groups of tasks.

Performance Improvement

We hope you notice an improvement in how Gantto has been performing over the last few weeks. We have been rolling out the juiciest performance optimizations we can find and have improved responsiveness by 50% or more for many user gestures. As always, we love all comments or suggestions. Please drop me a line: chris@gantto.com
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