“Demise” wasn’t really about the difficulty of Gantt charts inside an iteration …

November 27, 2007

 In response to the comment on GANTT in agile environment

“Demise” wasn’t really about the difficulty of Gantt charts inside an iteration so much as it was the value (or lack thereof) of Gantt charts within an iteration. Sure, you can probably make it easy at a theoretical level, but what about in real practice? Here are some common events that make it difficult to create a Gantt chart in the beginning and then never have to mess with it again: …

Sure, the value of the Gantt chart is not huge. I mostly operate with just an ordered list of tasks when planning and tracking an iteration and for the most part it is good enough. But if you start attaching estimates and possibly resources to these tasks (many agile teams do that), why not visualize the list? I think there is value in visualizing your plan or current state of an iteration. As long as the cost of generating such a Gantt chart from my list of tasks is very low I will use it.

I agree that the list of tasks may change, dependencies may change, priorities will change. But for me that just means that my Gantt chart as a visual reflection of the list changes accordingly. May be I am not explaining it well, but I have a specific example of a system which re-generates such a Gantt chart automatically as soon as you change your list and so I gladly use it, although I can definitely do without it too. This is quite a non-traditional application of Gantt chart I think.

BTW, Scrum actually suggests to stick to your iteration plan and resist any changes to your list of tasks until you have finished the iteration (one month). So in our case we try to follow that, we do de-commit tasks and reduce the list of tasks if priorities change or if we can not finish some in time but we avoid adding new tasks into the current iteration.

Well, there are always critical tasks that get in a way of your regular iterations. We treat them differently:

Urgent vs. Planned

Here is a few more ideas regarding the value of Gantt chart in agile environment :

Is GANTT chart the real issue here?

In its traditional sense as a static master plan of your project I would agree, there is not much value in Gantts. But in its revised dynamic interpretation as a reflection of your current iteration state I still think these charts could be a useful visualization tool even for agile teams. And please, do not get me wrong, I am not saying that all agile teams should be using these new dynamic Gantts. I do think that a prioritized list of tasks in most cases is more than enough. And actually, the same way I would not push for any kind of a burndown chart.

3 Responses to ““Demise” wasn’t really about the difficulty of Gantt charts inside an iteration …”

  1. […] can read the rest of the post here. If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed! (No Ratings Yet)  Loading […]

  2. dchris17 Says:

    Good response Alexey. Thanks – when you talk about it that way, I get a better sense of what you mean.

  3. Alexey Says:

    Hi Chris, I am glad we have converged 🙂
    BTW, check out our open source agile product management solution, I’d like to hear your feedback:


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