Chapter 9 is full of great tools to help you manage tasks and projects. Managing teams, however, is different: You must manage deadlines, collaborative resources, and, most important, time. Scheduling large groups of people can be daunting: Certain tasks are always contingent on the completion of other tasks. A setback in one small part of the project can send shock waves down the entire project plan, resulting in delays and more expenses.
Because of the contingent nature of each piece in a project plan, there can be a lot of calculation and rejiggering of schedules involved. This is exactly the kind of tedium that computers manage. And you’ll find many project management tools available for the Mac, in both desktop application and online varieties.
Virtually all self-respecting project management applications include a Gantt chart function. So what is a Gantt chart anyway? Around 1910, Henry Gantt designed a new type of chart that included a list of tasks to be completed with a line representing the start and end date for each task. Productivity nerds loved the idea and immediately adopted it. They were so thankful that they named the chart after Henry.
Gantt charts really came into their own with the arrival of computers with graphical user interfaces (like the Mac). Computers automate the labor-intensive process of laying out Gantt charts and making adjustments when the inevitable delay occurs.