Entry: Reflection on Gantt chart Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I pulled together as much information as possible about work for the next 4 months. Sources included my personal diary, team calendar and To Do list. When I started to put together the chart, I realised that although some tasks overlap, I needed to prioritise so I used a traffic light system.

A Gantt chart is a useful tool for managing complex projects, and my work is reasonably complex. I created the chart using Excel and although I have never seen traffic light used on a Gantt chart, it seemed an obvious way to manage multiple tasks. I had a quick search on the internet once I had completed the chart and did not find any similar examples, so a brief explanation might be useful. For each task, I looked at priority levels. Marking is team work and has a fixed period, so those weeks were given red as high priority. Facilitation is ongoing, at about four hours per module per week, so is generally a medium/lower priority. During the final two weeks of a module, there is a reduction in individual feedback so those weeks are green for lower priority.

As I worked through, I realised that some additional information would be a useful reminder, so I used the comment function for a few very specific tasks. Some weeks appeared to have an unmanageable load, so I reprioritised. The traffic light system was very useful for identifying areas that needed further thought.

Although the chart looks less than delightful with the colours, it has already been useful in reminding me that I have to get a key task completed this week. I am fairly well organised but do not always take the time to use planning tools. Facing up to the work required in the next four months shows possible ways to manage better.

The next step will be to align the chart with my studies, to see where the learning outcomes cand assessment products can be matched with exisiting priorities.


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