So, you’re preparing your deck for your big fancy client.  You want to tell them all about the various amazing tasks you’re going to do for the project you’re doing together.  You want to make sure all of those tasks are clear and that it’s obvious what the phases of the project are.  BUT, you’re a bit confused on what sort of timeline you should use.

There are 2 main types of timelines to consider and they have very different purposes.

The first is a Gantt chart.  Gantt charts are deeply loved by business types and project managers because they are a clear way to list out all of the various tasks involved in a project in detail.  It’s very clear how many tasks are happening at once so PM’s can predict when the busy periods are going to be.  It’s also clear for “worker bees” to see what their tasks are at a glance, and to see what the other worker bees will be doing.  This is the type of chart you should use when getting into the details. We’ll get into tips for planning out a Gantt chart next post.  Here’s a quick view of what a gantt chart looks like:













The second kind is a Flow Chart.  Flow charts are great for high level conversations where you need to discuss phases of a project.  You won’t likely get into the detail but more into the big picture for each phase.  It is especially helpful when scoping out work in the first place in a proposal situation or if you are speaking to a high level executive who really doesn’t need the “worker bee” view.  They come in a variety of types and we’ll get to that in another post at a future date.  Here’s a quick view of what a typical linear flow chart looks like: