Free Gantt Chart Templates
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Gantt charts are useful tools for planning and scheduling projects. Product managers use Gantt charts in many different ways. For example, you can create a Gantt chart to manage your strategic planning process, product release, or user research project. The free Excel and PowerPoint templates provided here make it easy to visualize what has to be done and when. Choose from a variety of examples and modify each chart to meet your needs.
If you want to use a collaborative, cloud-based Gantt chart, we encourage you to give Aha! a try. You can build a Gantt chart in minutes, collaborate with others, and make edits in real time. If you are not yet ready to do that, get started with the free templates below.
What is a Gantt chart?
Gantt charts provide a graphical illustration of what needs to be done and when. This makes it easier to plan date-driven work and complete projects on time. A Gantt chart is a type of bar chart that shows activities (tasks or events) displayed against time. Each activity is represented by a bar that reflects the start date, duration, and end date. You can also include additional information on your chart, such as milestones, dependencies, and status. This allows you to schedule tasks in the order they need to be completed, communicate the plan with your team, and track progress.
Components of a Gantt chart
Gantt charts can be used for a wide range of purposes. When deciding which template to use, think about the information you want to capture and how you will share your plans. The following components are commonly included in Gantt charts:
Dates are displayed along the top or bottom of the Gantt chart using quarters, months, weeks, or days. Choose the timeframe based on the duration of your project and the level of detail that you need to include.
Tasks are used to represent an activity or piece of work that needs to be done. Bars are used to communicate the start date, end date, and duration of each task. You can also include who each task is assigned to and show the percent complete.
Phases are used to group tasks by type. For example, in product development, common phases are: define, design, develop, test, and deploy. Phases are often sequential, although they may include activities that overlap with a previous or later phase.
Milestones show an important point of time in the overall schedule. Examples include the start or end of a significant phase of work, a deadline, or when an important decision will be made. Milestones are typically displayed as diamonds on a Gantt chart.
Some tasks must be completed before another task can begin or end. These dependencies are indicated on a Gantt chart using small arrows between the tasks bars.
A today line is a vertical reference line that shows today's date. This provides a useful marker to see where you are in the overall schedule and how much work you have left to do.
You will need to update your Gantt chart regularly to reflect schedule changes and track progress. This allows you to track and communicate progress so you can complete your project on schedule.
Gantt chart templates
This guide includes eleven pre-built Gantt charts to help you define and implement your product strategy. Many product managers use Gantt charts to plan and coordinate releases. Other ways you can use Gantt charts include strategic, portfolio, and product planning, as well as general project and task management.
Release planning Gantt charts
These templates allow you to create a release implementation plan. Capture all of the tasks that need to be completed and include useful information, such as start and end dates, duration, and status. Use these templates to coordinate all of the cross-functional activities that need to happen to bring your release to market — including engineering, marketing, sales, and customer support.
This Gantt chart shows the key activities that make up the overall release plan, including the features that will be delivered. You can track the status of each task by changing the color of the bar. You can also show dependencies between tasks.
This release template is perfect for agile product teams. It allows you to visualize your sprint schedule and show the user stories that will be completed in each sprint. It also includes important milestones, such as sprint planning and review meetings. Update the plan after each sprint to review progress and re-estimate the total work that can be completed by the release date.
Strategic planning Gantt charts
Use these Gantt chart templates to manage your strategic planning process. They are perfect for capturing the key activities that are required to build or reassess your business plan. They are useful when you are launching a new business, entering a new market, or refreshing your product strategy. They keep everyone focused on the activities that need to be done to create a winning strategy.
This template uses a weekly timeline to visualize the important phases and tasks in your strategic planning process. You can also include significant milestones, such as a planning kickoff session or presenting your strategic plan to the board of directors for approval.
This template allows you to build a more detailed implementation plan. It lets you assign strategic planning tasks, visualize dependencies, and shade the bars to show when tasks are completed.
Portfolio planning Gantt charts
These templates are ideal for portfolio planning. They provide a summary-level timeline of releases across multiple products. They are perfect for showing executives how your portfolio roadmap aligns in a single view. You can use them, for example, during annual and quarterly planning reviews to help everyone understand the release schedule for the upcoming year, the duration of each release, and when it will be delivered.
This template communicates the release schedule for multiple products for an entire year. It also shows the duration of each phase of the release. This helps with high-level resource planning and allows teams to coordinate implementation plans.
This template allows you to visualize the release timeline for multiple products. It is useful when you want to show dependencies between releases. Expand each section to see the duration of each release.
Product planning Gantt charts
Use these templates to show your product plans for the entire year. They allow you to capture the timeframe for each release and include important details for each phase, such as the start and end date, assigned team, and status. They are great for coordinating delivery with other teams. You can also use these templates to share how your product plan is progressing with executives.
This template is perfect for capturing your annual release plan in one view. You can change the color of the bars to visualize which team is responsible for each phase.
This template provides a dashboard-style approach to help you communicate the status of each release. As the year progresses, update the template and include it in status reports to show how you are doing against your plan.
Project management Gantt charts
Gantt charts can be used to manage a wide variety of projects and tasks. You can use them, for example, to plan a user research effort, trial onboarding project, or customer advisory board. They make it easy to keep track of all the tasks that need to be completed. Choose from a variety of timelines to reflect your planning horizon.
This template makes it easy to visualize project phases and the tasks that need to be completed. Tasks bars are automatically added to the chart using the information entered into the chart table.
This template uses a weekly timeline to track important tasks that need to be completed. You can also break tasks into sub-tasks and show the order they need to be completed in.
This template provides a simple way to track tasks that need to be completed each week. You can shade each bar to represent the percent completed.