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Easy Gantt PRO - the complete manual


Easy Gantt PRO

The video tutorial#2#3#4

Easy Gantt is a specialized bar chart used to provide a graphical overview and schedule of all tasks (issues) or to indicate the work elements and dependencies of the project. This is a chart with rectangular bars. The length of each bar is proportional to the time value necessary for each task on the work breakdown structure (WBS). You can compare two or more task durations very easily on the Gantt chart. The final product illustrates the schedule of a project. Easy Gantt is fully compliant with IPMA & PMI Project Management methodology standards.


Table of contents


How to get Easy Gantt for Easy Redmine and Redmine

Installation and update of Easy Gantt for generic Redmine

What is the global level of Easy Gantt

How to work with multiple projects (Gantt over Projects)

What is the project level of Easy Gantt

How to set up permissions for Easy Gantt

How milestones are displayed in Easy Gantt

How to work with project baselines

How to work with critical path of the project

How to work with parent-child tasks visualization

How to create tasks relations with delay

Types of task relations (links) in Easy Gantt

How to create new task and milestone right from Gantt

How to update tasks' timing (start date, due date, duration, completion)

How to update milestones' timing

How to sort tasks to milestones

How to work with zoom of project timeline (days, weeks, months)

How to work with step back button (Undo)

How to work with tasks filters & options above Gantt

How to work with exporting options

How to close all parent issues at once

How to show holidays on the Gantt chart

How to show resource allocations on the global Easy Gantt

How to use Tools

How to show cash flow on the Gantt chart

How to use Problems button

How tasks are sorted in Easy Gantt

Collapse all projects, milestones and parent tasks

Easy Gantt on the personal home page

Corner situations

Server requirements



Easy Gantt is intended to be used mostly by:

  • Project Managers
  • Line Managers
  • IT Managers
  • Small Business Owners
  • Project Portfolio Managers


Why is Easy Gantt important

The project's summary and terminal elements, which combine to form the project's internal structure, are shown in the Gantt chart. It will also depict the dependencies of various tasks (issues) within the project. The chart can illustrate the start and finish project terminal elements in project management. It can also show summary elements and terminal dependencies. The smallest task tracked as part of the project effort is known as a terminal element. Gantt chart represents the tasks in most modern project scheduling packages.

The way to create this chart begins by determining and listing the necessary activities (tasks, issues). In the next step, customize your chart with specific columns, timeline units, filters etc. Then list which items depend on others and what activities take place when. For each activity, list how many man-hours it will require (estimated time) and who is responsible (assignee). Lastly, determine the throughput time (start date, due date). This technique's primary advantage is its good graphical overview that is easy to understand for nearly all project participants and stakeholders. Its primary disadvantage is its limited applicability for many projects since projects are often more complex than can be effectively communicated (visualized) with this chart.


What are the main benefits of Easy Gantt

  • The easiest way for planning projects including all the associated tasks, milestones, relations, delays etc.
  • The best visualization of the whole project or multiple project management
  • Huge time savings during project planning phase
  • Great overview of progress during project execution phase
  • Broad customization abilities (filters, columns, timeline, custom views such as default, baselines, critical path and resource management - requires separate plugin)
  • Large involvement of drag & drop feature reduces the need for keyboard control (you can move tasks, projects and milestones on a timeline and thus plan them, you can also create relations between the entities just with your mouse)


How to get Easy Gantt for Easy Redmine and Redmine

In Easy Redmine, the functionality is provided already in the base so there is no need to purchase and install anything else than the project management software. For Redmine 3.2+, Easy Gantt PRO is available as a separate plugin to purchase (https://www.redmine.org/plugins/easy-gantt).


Installation and update of Easy Gantt for generic Redmine

- Do NOT install plugins as a ROOT user
- First, delete all old Easy Gantt plugins if exists (plugins/easy_gantt*)
- Copy all unzipped plugins into REDMINE_ROOT/plugins
- Run:
  $ bundle install
  (or bundle update)
  $ bundle exec rake db:migrate RAILS_ENV=production
  $ bundle exec rake redmine:plugins:migrate RAILS_ENV=production
- Restart server


Requirements for successful installation

  • Redmine version: 3.2+
  • Ruby version: 2.1+ (recommended 2.3.)
  • Database type: MySQL (recommended), PostgreSQL

Follow installation procedure in #install. Verify whether the installation log doesn't contain any errors. If it does, try to solve it according to the description, or contact support@easyredmine.com with the error section of the log attached.


Installation on Bitnami

Bitnami is not tested nor guaranteed. If the installation fails, run manually:

$ bundle update
$ rake db:migrate
$ rake redmine:plugins:migrate


Global level of Easy Gantt

Easy Gantt is available both on the global level and the project level. To access it from the global level, go to More > Easy Gantt as shown on the image below.




Easy Gantt on the global level will most suit the users who need to work with entire project tree of Easy Redmine including all the associated tasks, milestones, relations, delays etc. on a single screen. The main advantage is, therefore, the unnecessity to switch between individual projects when need to work with (or have an overview of) multiple ones in the same time. On the other hand, a certain disadvantage may be the complexity that may act to the detriment of clarity and speed so it's recommended to use the global view only when necessary.




Working with multiple projects (Gantt over Projects)

The global level of Easy Gantt provides you with a unique opportunity to manage your entire project portfolio from one screen. This Gantt over Projects shows whole projects as individual bars so you can drag & drop them and thus change the timing of the projects as illustrated below. Naturally, beginning and end of a project bar represents start date and due date of the particular project on the Gantt chart (calculated from a start date of the first task and due date of the last task). You can also drill projects into detail from here. Just click on "+" icon next to the project name and see all the tasks (issues) and milestones (versions) - you can drag & drop these too. Gantt over Projects also shows you weighted project completion (as the colored pieces of bars) based on real weight (estimated duration) of the tasks (issues) and their % completion. As you can see, some project bars are darker than others. The darker ones represent project templates, while the lighter ones are standard projects.

Settings of project and task visibility can be modified in Gantt settings (upper right button) as illustrated below.




What happens if a project is moved in global Easy Gantt

Moving with a whole project in global Easy Gantt will cause all associated tasks, milestones and subprojects change their dates accordingly. Tasks are shifted to the end of the associated milestones. No cross-project relations are affected, such as precedes-follows or parent-child. Shared milestones are not affected as well, therefore, they might become invalid if they stay outside the range of the moved project. No system notifications are created nor any change can be found in journals.




Color schemes by project priority on the global Easy Gantt

If you need to make specific color schemes by project priority on the global Easy Gantt, the first thing you need to do is create categories for project priority. This can be done in More > Administration > Categories > Project priority as shown below. For each priority status, you define a background color.




Then you need to set a priority on particular projects. You can do so in project settings as illustrated below.




When set, you already see the defined background color schemes on the global Easy Gantt as shown below.




Project level of Easy Gantt

Now, let's have a look at Easy Gantt on the project level. Before you can access it from a project, you need to activate the particular module in project's settings as shown on the image below.




Immediately after activating the module, Easy Gantt tab will appear in the top menu of the particular project. Click on it and Easy Gantt will open. Using the functionality on the project level is a better choice for the users who need to work on the particular project only so there is no need to see entire project tree as on the global level. Another difference is that Easy Gantt on the project level is more customizable as you can easily switch between various types of view such as default, baselines and critical path, which is not possible on the global level. If you open a parent project in Easy Gantt, also its subprojects and their tasks are displayed in addition to the selected project.




How to set up permissions for Easy Gantt

The permissions for Easy Gantt can be set up in More > Administration > Roles and permissions.




Please note that some permissions are dependent on others. For example, Edit button will only be available when permissions "View EasyGantt" and "Manage tasks relations" are enabled.


How milestones are displayed in Easy Gantt

An open milestone is always shown under the particular project where it's defined. Moreover, an open milestone is displayed above visible tasks that are linked to the milestone. This also concerns the situation when a milestone is shared with more projects which include tasks linked to the milestone on another project. Closed milestones can be found only in project's Settings > Milestones.

When a milestone is linked with tasks of other than a home project and those tasks are displayed in Easy Gantt, the milestone on the other project is shown in orange. The orange color indicates that the milestone does not belong to a project in which it is displayed and is non-editable. The orange milestone is a mirror of the original milestone which is displayed in blue on the home project (only if the project is displayed, otherwise it's sorted uncategorized like on the below screen). Therefore, you might see the same milestone more times at once on the same timeline as illustrated below (one blue original and its orange mirrors on linked tasks of another project). When you need to move a milestone, move the original (blue) one, not its mirror(s). When you link a task to a milestone, it becomes linked to all its (orange) mirrors as well.

Users can be allowed or prevented from moving tasks beyond the associated milestones. To configure this settings, go to More: Administration: Settings: Task tracking: (un)tick the checkbox "Allow to set task due date after milestone date (milestone will be moved accordingly)" (tutorial). After moving a task beyond its milestone and saving the change, the milestone will move to the task's new due date.




Project baselines

In project management, a baseline is the project's original plan. This original plan is visualized in order to compare it to the current project plan. Easy Gantt PRO offers this feature of highlighting the baseline plan. Baseline plan does not change when the schedule is edited. Redmine Gantt chart allows you to create more baselines which thus work as the snapshots of the project plan. Before start using Baselines, you need to have the module enabled in your project settings as shown on the image below.




Now, go back to Easy Gantt and you will find the Baselines button in the upper right corner of the chart. Click on it, select Create and enter the name of your baseline. Then you see that all the tasks (issues) and milestones (versions) on the Gantt chart have split in two, where the upper ones are your current ones and the lower ones are the original ones from the time of creation of the baseline. This way you have a great overview of all the time shifts you made at any point in time.




In addition to the graphical representation of baselines on a timeline, you can also find information about baseline start date and due date within the particular information columns on the left side of the timeline (as illustrated below). This additional information will come in handy when you need to compare the current start dates and due dates with the original plan (baseline).




Critical path of the project

A critical path is a sequence of tasks (issues) that cannot be delayed or else the whole project would be delayed. Also, it shows the shortest time that the project can be completed. A task within the project is considered critical if its due date cannot be delayed since it would directly affect the project completion date. Easy Gantt PRO shows this sequence after clicking the button "Critical Path."

An activity on the critical path cannot be started until its predecessor activity is complete; if it is delayed for a day, the entire project will be delayed for a day unless the activity following the delayed activity is completed a day earlier. For proper function of a critical path, the project should have just 1 starting and 1 ending task and the tasks (issues) should be connected with relations.




Settings of the Critical path can be modified in global Gantt settings, which is acessible via a small toothed wheel at the top right. The following options are available.




Parent-child tasks visualization

Making parent-child relationship was never so easy. Just drag a task by clicking on its arrow symbol and drop it on any other task, immediately making it a subtask of the selected task. The same pattern is applicable to projects and subprojects. Moreover, this way you can quickly move tasks (issues) from one project or milestone (version) to another one. Parent tasks are visualized on the Gantt chart with their characteristic breakpoints as shown in the animation below (click to open gif).




Moving parent task with/without subtasks

Moving tasks and subtasks (drag and drop on timeline) in Easy Gantt can be done per each single one independently or you can move entire parent task tree at once (i.e. parent task with its subtasks). The first case occurs when a parent task (or milestone with associated tasks) is expanded so you can see the list of subtasks and move with each single one separately. The second case occurs when a parent task (or milestone with associated tasks) is collapsed so you cannot see the list of subtasks. When moving a collapsed parent task (or milestone with associated tasks), its subtasks are moved simultaneously.




Drag & Drop Tasks Relations with Delay

Related tasks (issues) can be simply linked using drag & drop functionality. Just switch to edit mode and when moving the cursor over a task, adjustment features appear. Move the mouse to the end of a task, click on the red semicircle and hold on. Now drag to another task and drop it there. The two different tasks just become related tasks with predecessor/follower type of relation. Setting up the delay isn't any more complicated. Just click on the line connecting the tasks and enter the delay, i.e. minimum number of working days between the due date of the predecessor and start date of the follower. Please note the following option in Gantt settings enabling to set whether non-working days are counted in relation delay or not. When the checkbox is unticked, you can also enter a negative value of delay such as "-3 days".




When you set up relations with delay, keep in mind that Easy Gantt counts delay by working/non-working days. In contrast with that, the server counts delay by calendar days. Therefore, it can sometimes lead to some inconsistency when you plan in Easy Gantt while changing start/due dates on the server, or vice versa. To avoid such an inconsistency, we recommend to both plan and change start/due date within Easy Gantt only.




Flexible and fixed delay in task relations

When tasks are connected via a relation with delay, you can decide whether this delay has to be flexible or fixed while dragging related tasks. The flexible delay is colored green and means that moving a task will not affect the position of its related tasks in the Gantt chart = their start dates and due dates will remain unchanged but the delay will change accordingly. The fixed delay is colored orange and means that dragging one task will automatically move all related tasks in order to preserve the original delay between them, and their start dates and due dates will move accordingly.




To enable Fixed delay, tick the following checkbox in the global Gantt settings "Keep relation delay fixed when task is dragging (works only on easy gantt)" (see below). With the option enabled, you can switch between flexible and fixed delay simply by clicking left mouse button on the relation line itself. This action will be marked by the color change of the relation line from green (flexible) to orange (fixed) or vice versa.




Types of task relations (links) in Easy Gantt

In Easy Gantt, you can create and visualize 4 standard types of relations (links) between tasks using the drag and drop feature (analogical procedure as previously). They are as follows:

Image201605061501_16.png Finish-to-start (FS)
The dependent task (B) cannot begin until the task that it depends (A) on is complete. For example, if you have two tasks, "Dig foundation" 1and "Pour concrete," the "Pour concrete" task cannot begin until the "Dig foundation" task is complete.

Start-to-start (SS) Image201605061501_17.png
The dependent task (B) cannot begin until the task that it depends (A) on begins. The SS link type does not require that both tasks begin simultaneously. For example, if you have two tasks, "Pour concrete" and "Level concrete," the "Level concrete" task cannot begin until the "Pour concrete" task begins.
Image201605061501_18.png Finish-to-finish (FF)
The dependent task (B) cannot be completed until the task that it depends on (A) is completed. The FF link type does not require that both tasks be completed simultaneously. For example, if you have two tasks, "Add wiring" and "Inspect electrical," the "Inspect electrical" task cannot be completed until the "Add wiring" task is completed.
Image201605061501_19.png Start-to-finish (SF)
The dependent task (B) cannot be completed until the task that it depends on (A) begins. The SF link type does not require that the dependent task is completed concurrently with the beginning of the task on which it depends. For example, the roof trusses for your construction project are built offsite. Two of the tasks in your project are "Truss delivery" and "Assemble roof." The "Assemble roof" task cannot be completed until the "Truss delivery" task begins.


Corner situations of task relations

  • Cross-project relations cannot be visualized.

  • The only types of relations that can be visualized are predecessor/follower (green line) and related/blocked-by (blue line).

  • Start-to-start (SS) relation is correctly preserved only when the relation is created/changed in Easy Gantt, not from the task update window.

  • It's not allowed to add a relation between a parent task and its subtask

  • Between two tasks can be no more than 2 relations (start-start, finish-finish)

  • Any combinations of relations leading to a cyclic sequence of tasks (looping) are not allowed. This includes attempting to create a relation with any task that has a parent.


New task and milestone right from Gantt

New task (issue) or milestone (version) can be created by click on the "New" button and then New task, resp. New milestone button. Moreover, New task button is always present at the upper right corner of the screen. In order to preserve good overview of milestones, Easy Gantt shows on the timeline only the milestones that are defined within the currently opened project(s) as well as shared milestones that are used by tasks. Unused shared milestones are not visualized on the Gantt chart.




Drag & Drop Update of Tasks' timing (Start Date, Due Date, Duration, Completion)

Timing attributes of the tasks (issues) can also be edited just by using drag & drop functionality. Switch to edit mode, move cursor over a task and you have several choices to do: 1) move the task on the horizontal line to change its start date and due, 2) stretch or shrink the task to change its duration, or 3) move the rider of the task to change its % completion.




Drag & Drop Update of Milestones' Timing

Just as easy is to change the timing of a milestone. Just drag a milestone, move it across the timeline and drop it on the required due date.




Drag & Drop Sorting of Tasks to Milestones

Easy Gantt allows you to link tasks (issues) with milestones (versions) in just a few clicks. Just drag a task from the list and drop it on the milestone to be linked with. Unchecking the option  Image201605111007_1.png in More > Administration > Settings > Task tracking will cause that when a task is associated with a milestone, you are unable to move the task beyond the milestone on the timeline. If you need to move the task further ahead, you have to move the milestone first. By checking the option, you can move with tasks regardless of milestones.




Zoom of Project Timeline (Days, Weeks, Months)

The timeline offers three types of view: days, weeks, months. Based on the project length and the necessary level of detail, they can be switched between from the top menu.




Default zoom of project timeline can be modified in  Image201605061501_25.png as illustrated below.




Step Back Button (Undo)

When you accidentally do anything wrong, simply take back an unlimited number of steps you have done just by clicking the Back button on the main controls.




Tasks Filters & Options Above Gantt

Customize your filter settings and visible columns in a moment. Project-level Easy Gantt supports both task filters and project filters, while global-level Easy Gantt supports project filters only. It's because global Easy Gantt is supposed to be used only when working with projects, not with tasks.




Export options

You can print your tables from Easy Gantt or save them as PDF just by clicking on Print button in the lower left corner. Changing the export size format is possible via your browser print dialog or external PDF creator tool (such as Foxit Reader or PDFCreator).




Close all parent issues at once

If you want to close all opened parent issues without the need to click on every single one, just use the respective button in the lower left corner.




How to show holidays on the Gantt chart

Easy Gantt enables to show holidays in the same manner as non-working days, via the gray columns on the timeline. When holidays are displayed on the Gantt chart, tasks don't allocate time to these days just as they don't do on weekends. The functionality works in Easy Redmine only. You can turn this feature on or off in Gantt settings which you can find in the upper right corner.






Immediately after ticking the checkbox and saving it via "Update Easy setting" button, holidays will appear in your Gantt chart as illustrated below.




Information about holidays is retrieved from user's default working time calendar, which you can find and change in More > Administration > Working time - templates. Holidays are always displayed from the calendar of this particular user, not the assignees which may use different default calendars.




How to show resource allocations on the global Easy Gantt

To show resource allocations on the global Easy Gantt, click on the following button among the basic controls. Of course, the button is available only if Resource Management plugin is installed.




When pushed, a second line is added under the days/weeks/months line above the timeline. This line shows resource allocation sums (a number of allocated hours from tasks) per all the projects (project portfolio) shown on the timeline as illustrated below. Moreover, allocations per individual projects can be found on the particular project bars.




How to use Tools

Under Tools button, you find some additional practical features which are slightly different in global and project Easy Gantt as illustrated below.

Tools in global Easy Gantt




Tools in project Easy Gantt




The options are as follows:

Visualize task colors by status, tracker or priority

As you can have defined various colors to highlight tasks based on their status, tracker or priority, Easy Gantt allows you to select one of these particular attributes to make the visualized tasks colored accordingly. Just click on the respective button in the lower left corner. The colors can be set in More > Administration > Task statuses.

Filter delayed projects

This button shows only delayed projects, i.e. open projects whose actual completion (% done) is in past.

Filter delayed issues

This button shows only delayed tasks, i.e. open tasks whose actual completion (% done) is in past (see the below screenshot).




Show tasks with lowest progress date

This button shows only tasks with the lowest progress date, i.e. one or more open tasks per project whose actual completion (% done) is most in past. On the below screenshot, it's the task number 1 because its current done ratio is shown on November 10 while the second task's done ratio reaches November 12. The information value of it is that it tells you on which task you should start working first.




Bulk edit

This button will add checkboxes on the left side of task list so that you can check more tasks and edit them together using menu displayed upon click with the right mouse button.


How to show cash flow on the Gantt chart

To see cash flow in both project and global Easy Gantt, click on the respective button among the basic controls at the top right. In project Gantt, you must first unhide Cash flow button by clicking on the Tools button. Of course, the button is only available when Money plugin is installed in Easy Redmine.




Clicking on it adds a new horizontal line to the timeline. This line shows numbers representing the balances of planned incomes and expenses per selected period (day, week, month). To edit these balances, use Money module. The balances per individual projects are shown in the respective project bars. When you open a parent project using [+] button, it will show details per subprojects as well. To hide cash flow on the Gantt chart, click again on the Cash flow button.

This is the global-level cash flow.




And the project-level cash flow.




How to use Problems button

The Problems button can be found among the main controls at the top right. The button is complemented with a number that represents the amount of problems identified as illustrated belowClicking on the button expands the list of the problems including the names of affected tasks and short explanations. These list items are links so you can click on any and that will highlight the respective task on the timeline. Clicking again on the button collapses the list.




How tasks are sorted in Easy Gantt

By default, tasks in Easy Gantt sort automatically according to task attributes as follows.

Sorting rule #1: Tasks associated with milestones are prioritized in sorting order over those unlinked to any milestone.
Sorting rule #2: If rule #1 applies to more tasks, they sort by start date ascending (from an earlier date up to a later date down).
Sorting rule #3: If rule #2 applies to more tasks, they sort by due date ascending (from an earlier date up to a later date down).
Sorting rule #4: If rule #3 applies to more tasks, they sort by ID ascending (the earlier the task was created, the lower ID it has).

Subtasks are located just below their parent tasks in sorting order as illustrated below.




Sorting by own attribute

Nevertheless, there is a workaround to re-sort tasks as well as projects by any attribute in ascending or descending order. To give an example, create a task custom field named Order, format integer and check used as a filter as illustrated below.




Then go to More: Administration: Filter settings: Easy Gantt & Resource management and add the custom field "Order" into default columns visible in Easy Gantt by moving it from the left side to the right.




Afterward, update several tasks within the same project and enter some values into the custom field "Order" according to which you need to have them sorted. For example, task 1 has order 1, task 2 has order 2 etc.




Finally, go to the project Easy Gantt and click on Order column to make all the project tasks sorted by it. One more click makes them sorted in opposite direction (ascending or descending order).




Collapse all projects, milestones and parent tasks

To collapse all projects, milestones and parent tasks in the list placed on the left side of Easy Gantt, just use the following icons just above the list. One more click will re-expand what was previously expanded.




Easy Gantt on the personal home page

A global-level Easy Gantt can be simply added as a module on a personal home page. To do it, click on "Personalize this page" button in the lower left corner of the page and select the particular module from the list as illustrated below.




Then customize module filters if needed. To see a project Gantt, simply set up the filter to show one selected project only and save the settings. For a large project structure, it's not recommended putting it all on the site as it may slow down loading speed. The feature is designed for a maximum of 50 projects shown at once.




The result might look like this.




Corner situations

  • Corner situations of task relations
  • When moving a task with a particular tracker into another project that does not allow this tracker in the project settings, the tracker of the task will be changed automatically to the first allowed one in the list.
  • There can be only one Gantt module on customizable pages (homepage, project overview, etc.). This includes modules: Easy Gantt, Resource management, Personal Resource management - if one of these is active, no other will be shown on the same page. This is due to page loading speed. A workaround is to put these modules on different tabs of customizable pages.


Server requirements

Only ruby 2.1+ is supported.

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