Displaying a sprint planning using a Gantt chart

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anti-patterns / tools & techniques

Displaying a sprint planning using a Gantt chart

Gantt charts have been invented and developed by Henry Gantt in the 1910s. These charts became more widely used by the US military during the Word War I. Project managers typically use Gantt charts to visualize the project planning, it visually shows the start and end date of tasks, plus any dependencies. A Gantt chart greatly visualizes how project phases or tasks are to be executed in consecutive order – of course certain tasks or group of tasks can be executed in parallel.

My eyes hurt when I see project manager visualizing an incremental and iterative project using a Gant chart.

It looks like this:

gant chart

What do we see?

  • Iterations have a fixed duration (by definition)
  • When iteration A ends, iteration B starts (by definition)
  • The schedule pre-defines X number of iterations (unknown by definition – unless you need to meet a fixed deadline)

It gets worse when the project pre-defines the scope of each iteration – clearly not the intention. The team (together with the product owner) defines and selects the content of the iteration (sprint) during the sprint planning; the team will define the tasks to achieve and construct those items.

I believe the common preference by the community and teams is to visualize tasks and dependency using a visual board (on all levels: team, release …) and burn-down charts as information radar to communicate progress.

I stumbled upon this article entitled “How to use Gantt charts for your agile project”.

Do you use Gant charts in your projects?