4.2 : Key elements of campaign management – Gantt chart
Dr. Aleksej Heinze, Associate Professor at KEDGE Business School (France), Visiting Lecturer, Salford Business School, UK
One of the key elements of planning is using a tool that is called a Gantt chart. Ultimately it is very difficult for an individual to take in a lot of words if they are specially written in documents. But it is much easier for you to actually read the diagram and see on one single piece of paper where the project is up to.
Gantt chart – a visual representation of a project
It illustrates the tasks to be undertaken, how they are related and who is responsible for which task
So, therefore, Henry Gantt invented something that is called a Gantt chart, and it could be either very complicated or a very simple way for you to represent information of where your project is up to.
So the first thing that you would expect to have in a Gantt chart is the tasks that the project is expected to fulfil. So they will usually be written in a chronological order, but there are some types of tasks that are reoccurring so therefore, you can visually identify with the calendar markings on one side to show when that individual task is occurring. You can also allocate resources. The individuals who will be assigned to those charts, and also interdependencies – what has to happen before something else.
And this will also help the organization to go through the process of planning, writing down all the tasks that will be there so that people are not expecting that somebody keeps it all in their memory but it is written and documented and everybody in the team who is responsible for that is able to pick up a Gantt chart and use it to see where the project is up to.
Colin Telford, Managing Partner, The Candidate Ltd, UK
In terms of using a Gantt chart for what we do, we don’t use that at the moment and we don’t use those particular charts in order to plan things out. It may be an idea to do so but we are still a relatively small company and we would prefer to develop marketing plans based on the content that we’re going to produce, the different vehicles for that PR, and the desired results. Gantt charts, for us, would be a little bit sophisticated but I could see what the benefits would be for other businesses if they used them correctly.
Gantt charts are not used by all organizations but why not experiment to see if one would work for you?
Alex Charalambidis, Digital Marketing Strategist, MONKS, Greece
Especially for the content strategy, it really helps in rearranging content, combining with special events and name days.
Gantt charts particularly help to visually highlight when certain communications are released in content planning.
Learning from past Gantt Charts
Review the campaign report for the JEMSS project focusing on the Gantt Chart section – see pages 17 – 20 (it is available to you here – JEMSS-campaign-example).
Think of one example of how this information could be useful for you if you were to create a similar campaign? Share your thoughts here with others.
Before posting your comments, see if the same point has been made by others and if so reply to their comment. Once you have posted your contribution, comment on at least three contributions of your peers.
Sample Gantt chart template
Please download a sample Gantt Chart table in MS Excel from here:
MS Excel – only possible to open in Microsoft Excel – save a copy on your local machine to start using it!
Google sheets – this version allows you to download the file in different formats – save a copy on your local machine to start using it!
See page 19 and 20 for a Gantt Chart example
See JEMMS CAMPAINGN REPORT JEMSS-campaign-example
A social media guru’s daily, weekly and monthly checklist
Campaign management software
Bampo, M., Ewing, M. T., Mather, D. R., Stewart, D., & Wallace, M. (2008). The effects of the social structure of digital networks on viral marketing performance. Information systems research, 19(3), 273-290.
For other sections of chapter 4 follow these links:
4. 0 How campaigns fit into a wider implementation of the overall organisation strategy
4.1 Example company campaign plan
4.3 Risk management
4.4 Digital project management tools and techniques
4.5 Project plan monitoring and review
4.6 Marketing automation
4.7 PPC campaign planning