Atlassian Confluence How To

5 Tips to Become a Gantt Chart Expert Using Atlassian Confluence

Gantt Chart in Confluence

Imagine you have to visualize a long-term project the simplest way possible. What is the first solution that comes to your mind? Most project managers would say that a Gantt chart can be a real lifesaver in this situation. This powerful tool for project planning helps you display the sequence of the main project stages and tasks, as well as their duration within one chart. For this purpose, this is the most illustrative method so far.

Consider the following situation: you are in charge of a new project. Unexpectedly, the vice president of your company has requested a detailed one-page project timeline to look through as soon as possible.

Let’s look at what you have now: 

  • all deadlines written in separate sticky notes
  • the project tasks placed on several Confluence pages
  • the key events marked in the team calendar

You’ve been given an hour to bring together all this information on one Confluence page.

In this situation, Table Filter and Charts for Confluence will help you complete this challenging task. In this blog post, we will show you how the Chart from Table macro, one of the three most popular macros of this app, allows you to easily visualize your data using a Gantt chart.

Build the simplest Gantt chart in Confluence

You can create a simple Gantt chart using a three-column table with the information about tasks and start and end days. 

Simple table for building a Gantt Chart

Add the Chart from Table macro, choose the chart type and specify the settings.

Labels Column:

  • Task Type

Values Column:

  • Start Day
  • End Day

Simple Gantt chart

The chart is simplistic and bright. The diagram shows you all the main stages of the project. The system counts the number of days within each stage. When you hover over the bar, you can see the duration of the selected project stage.

Add task descriptions and completion bar

The previous chart looks good, however, it can present the information even more effectively. The chart displays the required project scopes, but the time frames remain unspecified and too long.

You can break down each project stage into your current tasks to make your chart more informative. You add a task description column to the table and specify the duration of task realization.

Detailed table for building a Gantt chart

Add the completion column to the table to show the progress bars on the chart.

Labels Column:

  • Task Type
  • Task Description

Values Column:

  • Start Day
  • End Day
  • Completion

The bars allow you to get more information about the progress of each task.

Detailed Gantt chart

Outline milestones

The chart looks much better now. However, there is always space for improvement. The app also helps you add milestones to Gantt charts.

Milestones are key events of a project. The team is not able to proceed if the milestone is incomplete. To display the milestones on your chart, you can insert the additional small table into one macro body. Do this in the edit mode.

Table with milestones

After that, choose the settings.

Labels Column:

  • Task Type
  • Task Description
  • Milestone

Values Column:

  • Start Day
  • End Day
  • Completion
  • Date

The milestones are marked with an asterisk. When you hover over the asterisks, you can see the detailed milestones’ descriptions.

Gantt chart with milestones

Don’t forget about planned activities

You can also mark the key activities of the project on the chart to prioritize them and to collaborate more effectively.

All you need to do is insert the events table into one macro body and set additional labels and values columns in the chart settings. The app allows you to add the “today” event.

Table with events

Add the correct columns into the settings.

Labels Column:

  • Task Type
  • Task Description
  • Milestone
  • Events

Values Column:

  • Start Day
  • End Day
  • Completion
  • Date

It means that when you open a page with a chart, you will see the line that shows where you are at the moment. This way, you get a bird’s-eye view of all project stages, enabling you to see the project time frame and progress.

Gantt chart with events

Last but not least, you can set dependencies between tasks. This helps you understand what you need to prioritize and complete before moving on to the next stage.

Gantt chart with dependencies between tasks

If you want to focus on a more specific period without losing the rest of the data, you can zoom the Gantt chart in. Just hold down the Ctrl button and rotate the wheel on your mouse to zoom the chart in or out. After that, you can move around the chart by pressing Ctrl (for Windows) or Alt (for MacOS) and dragging the chart in the necessary direction.

Zoom in Gantt chart

Customize your chart and share the results

Now all you need to do is change the bars’ colors and set the titles to match your brand book guidelines.

Setting Gantt chart colors

You can select more appropriate colors for each type of task or each task in particular.

If standard app colors don’t match your company style or simply don’t satisfy you, specify the colors for each task in a table.

Table with Gantt chart colors

Pick colors from this list or set your HEX codes.

Gantt chart with colors from a table

Now that you’re ready with all the information on the project, it’s time to present your boss with the Gantt chart you created.

Here’s how you can share your Gantt chart with your boss and your colleagues:

  • export the Gantt chart or the Confluence page to Word or PDF
  • share the link to the page

Since your boss asked you to show the project schedule in Confluence, the second option would suit you best.

Bonus tip: make your Confluence tables and graphs look more professional

We created a Gantt chart from scratch with the help of the Table Filter and Charts app, but you can do a lot more. Try this handy solution for free to discover all of its features:

You can manage your tables in Confluence on the fly using a bundle of this app’s easy-to-use and fully customizable macros. Check out how user-friendly features Table Filter and Charts are and elevate your tables in Confluence to the next level.

If you have any questions, feel free to comment on this blog post below or contact us.