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Easy Gantt PRO
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
Easy Gantt is intended to be used mostly by:
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
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 & Upgrades of Easy Gantt Plugins
Please follow the instructions at https://www.easyredmine.com/redmine-gantt-plugin#install
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.
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.
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.
Types of task dependencies (links) in Easy Gantt
In Easy Gantt, you can create and visualize 4 standard types of dependencies (links) between tasks using the drag and drop feature (analogical procedure as previously). They are as follows:
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.
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.
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
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 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.
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. Easy Gantt supports all standard options already well-known from any kinds of lists in Easy Redmine.
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.
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 below. Clicking 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.
Cross-project relations cannot be visualized.
Only relations with predecessor/follower type are visualized.
Only ruby 2.1+ is supported.