Top 14 Project Management Charts (2023 Guide)
Who doesn’t love charts?
They’re usually bright, visually appealing, and can make even the most snore-worthy presentations slightly more bearable.
And when it comes to project management, they serve another important function:
A project management chart breaks down project-related data into easily digestible pieces and helps keep everyone on the same page.
There’s one problem though:
As everyone’s realized how handy charts can be, there are hundreds of project management charts available, with each suitable for different situations.
And while having a selection to choose from isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it can make things pretty confusing. But don’t worry, we’re going to make sure you find the right project management diagram or chart for your project.
In this article, we’ll cover what a project management chart is and highlight the most popular one. We’ll also list ten other important project management charts that can help you manage projects efficiently.
- What is a Project Management Chart?
- The Most Popular Project Management Chart: Gantt Chart
- 13 Other Important Project Management Charts
Let’s get started!
What is a Project Management Chart?
The best project management charts are visual representations of certain data that helps you manage multiple projects efficiently.
This data can be anything related to a project, like:
- Number of tasks completed over time
- Timeline of project events
- Project management process
But can’t you use Powerpoint and Excel documents to keep track of these?
Why do you need a project management chart?
To start with, a project management chart helps you visualize data.
Wait… we mean, you get all the information you need, via data visualization tools without having to go through the trouble of reading lengthy documents every time.
But that’s not all.
Project management charts also:
- Facilitate better project management and more efficient project team communication, as it provides in-depth and clear information
- Manage resource allocation without the risk of overallocation or under allocation
- Identify the current project and task progress at a glance (you won’t have to conduct never-ending review meetings anymore)
- Easily analyze critical project planning data like budget and resource management, and project process with simpler project charts instead of manually going through large data-sets
The Most Popular Project Management Chart: Gantt Chart
Even if you don’t know much about project management charts, you’ve probably heard of “Gantt charts”.
I mean, if project management charts are superheroes of the project management tools universe, then this one is Batman and Superman rolled into one!
We’ve written an introduction to Gantt Chart project management if you’d like to learn more.
What is a Gantt chart?
Get a visual overview of your project’s progress over a specific time duration.
It highlights crucial task details like:
- Tasks within the project
- Project task assignees
- Your entire project timeline
- Start and end date of each task
- Resource allocated for each project task
- Task dependencies
Wait… what are task dependencies?
A task dependency is a relationship between tasks where a task needs to be completed before the dependent task can be attempted. For example, if task B is dependent on A, then you’ll need to complete A before you can tackle task B. Learn more about dependencies and task relationships in our in-depth guide.
So how are details like task duration and dependencies represented in a simple Gantt chart?
- Tasks: each rectangle depicts individual tasks
- Task duration: the start and endpoints of the rectangle. It can be represented in days, weeks, or months.
- Task dependencies: the arrows shows the relationship between the tasks
This makes these visualization charts one of the quickest ways to manage your project schedule and resources.
Want to learn more about how a modern Gantt chart works? Check out our comprehensive article.
But how do you create and manage dynamic Gantt charts?
By using a Gantt chart software!
How ClickUp helps set up a powerful Gantt Chart
For those who aren’t familiar with ClickUp, it’s one of the world’s highest-rated project management tools used by super productive teams in companies from startups to giants like Google, Ubisoft, Airbnb, and Webflow. It’s the only tool you need for managing projects efficiently.
Undoubtedly the best in the project management circle, ClickUp’s Online Gantt Charts provide a way in which to lay out the entire project timeline from start to finish.
So what sets this Gantt chart tool apart?
As project management charts are all about visual representation, ClickUp’s Gantt Charts are beautiful and extremely fun to use.
ClickUp’s Gantt chart maker also saves you from using Excel project management templates.
I mean, why pick a Gantt chart template and add project data manually every time, when you can use ClickUp’s awesome automated Gantt charts for FREE?
Yes, you read that right.
This online Gantt chart tool’s Gantt view feature also comes with tons of automation.
For added functionality, ClickUp’s charts:
- Automatically readjust project task dependencies when tasks are rescheduled
- Calculate the project progress percentage based on tasks completed/total tasks
- Compare current vs. expected project progress
- Help with workflow management
- Calculate a project’s critical path to pick the tasks to be prioritized (click here to learn about the critical path method)
- Highlight important project Milestones
All you need is a quick look at ClickUp’s interactive Gantt chart and you’ll know how your project is progressing.
13 Other Important Project Management Charts
Let’s now learn about the other superheroes of this universe.
Can’t ask Batman to rescue us every time, can we?
Here’s a list of ten other project management charts that’ll help you with managing project progresses and project development steps:
1. Project Timeline
A timeline chart is a graphical representation of a sequence of milestones, deadlines, and other significant events involved in a project.
This visual can help you:
- Monitor the total time taken by a project
- Identify potential delays
- Track project or task progress
Sounds like a Gantt chart?
Nope, they’re different.
To start with, Gantt charts are much more detailed. And while a Timeline chart also shows project milestones, they lack:
- Inter-dependencies of tasks
- Resource allocation data
How ClickUp helps you draw up a Timeline
With ClickUp’s Timeline view feature, you can easily execute the project planning process and create visual roadmaps. Sorta like the Gantt Chart feature, but with multiple tasks per row.
In the Timeline view, you can:
- View task and project schedule for a particular day, week, or month
- Group tasks by assignee, priority, tags, and more
- View unassigned tasks for the current viewing period
- Track unscheduled and overdue tasks for improved project efficiency
2. Bar chart
A bar chart highlights data as rectangular bars, with the heights and lengths of the bars proportional to the values and frequencies they represent.
For example, in the above chart, you can see the number of tasks a person completed, with each color denoting a specific task stage.
Note: Bar and line graphs can be plotted both horizontally and vertically.
Use a for:
- Displaying each category of data with its frequency distribution
- Showing relative numbers of multiple categories
- Portraying data trends better as it is frequency based
With ClickUp, you can easily add a bar chart to your workspace.
Just add the Custom Widgets to your Dashboard to set up this management chart quickly. This way, you can visualize your workspace’s activity any way you want.
3. Cumulative flow chart
A cumulative flow chart or cumulative flow diagram (CFD) highlights:
- Project progress
- Total backlog items
- Project sprints
- Any bottlenecks hindering the project progress
It’s a useful tool for Agile and Kanban project and task management. Project managers can use this flowchart to visualize how tasks are progressing and quickly identify potential roadblocks.
In the above cumulative flow chart:
- X-axis highlights the time frame
- Y-axis highlights the user stories
- Grey area shows project scope
- Blue area shows work in progress items
- Green area shows completed items
Check out our in-depth guide on cumulative flow charts here.
How ClickUp helps Project Managers Create a Cumulative Flow Chart
ClickUp’s Cumulative Flow Diagrams help you easily monitor your project progress.
Unlike other charts, these powerful cumulative flow diagrams also color-code your tasks based on their current project status.
- Use this to easily monitor task progress
- You’ll be able to quickly identify project problems before they snowball
And just like bar charts, you can easily set up a custom cumulative flow chart on your Dashboard using ClickUp’s Sprint Widgets.
Agile project management charts
There are three types of Agile project management charts to help you efficiently manage your Agile or Scrum projects:
- Velocity charts
- Burndown charts
- Burnup charts
4. Velocity Chart
A velocity chart gives you a visual representation of:
- Overall status of your project
- Total workload your project team can handle in the later sprints
Use this to monitor your team’s progress and overall productivity.
Want to learn more about velocity charts? Here’s our detailed guide.
In ClickUp’s Velocity Charts, your tasks are split into weekly intervals which makes it super easy to understand.
It also lets you choose any metric like tasks and time estimates as a unit of velocity.
These Velocity Charts are automated. The project tasks get automatically grouped in the bar chart based on Lists or Custom Fields.
5. Burndown chart
A burndown chart depicts the amount of work remaining in a project and the time remaining to complete it.
It’s usually of two types:
- Sprint burndown: track the work left in a specific sprint
- Product burndown: track the work left in the entire project
For more information on burndown charts, click here.
Unlike other burndown charts, ClickUp’s Burndown Charts include a projected progress line. It depicts what your project progress will look like if you continue the same way. This helps you easily estimate how your project will progress further.
6. Burnup chart
A burnup chart represents the work completed and the total project work.
Use this to see if things are going according to the plan as you can compare what’s been completed against the project scope.
Check out our comprehensive guide to learn more about burnup charts.
With ClickUp’s color-coded Burnup Charts, you can easily track your project’s progress.
In the above chart:
- The grey line shows the total number of project tasks
- The green line shows the number of tasks to be completed
7. Pert chart
Created by the US Navy in the 1950s, a PERT (Program Evaluation Review Technique) chart lays out the project timeline as a network diagram.
In a pert chart:
- Nodes represent project milestones or events
- Arrows denote tasks
Use this to visualize complex projects and analyze tasks that you should tackle in order to successfully complete a project. It can also be used to determine the minimum time required to complete tasks or projects.
However, as a pert chart focuses on deadlines, teams should update it regularly. Otherwise, you’ll be staring at unreliable estimations which could ultimately derail the project.
We don’t want that to happen, right?
Bonus: PERT Charts vs Gantt Charts
8. Work breakdown structure
A work breakdown structure (WBS) lays out the project into a tree-like structure of tasks.
It breaks down a project into smaller components which can be used to:
- Organize the tasks involved
- Assign tasks to project team members
- Allocate resources
- Identify potential risks
Additionally, splitting projects into manageable parts can help your team members tackle them with ease. Not only will this increase overall team productivity, but it’ll also give them a sense of accomplishment, boosting their morale.
9. Pareto chart
A Pareto chart represents the frequency and the cumulative number of defects in a product or process.
It combines both a bar chart and line chart where the bar chart depicts the frequency and the line chart highlights the cumulative number of defects.
But what are these defects?
A defect can be anything affecting the quality of the process.
For example, the above graph depicts the reasons (defects) for arriving late for work. Here, the bars represent the frequency of defect and each point on the line shows the cumulation.
You can use a Pareto chart to:
- Quickly visualize problems and their causes
- Identify the most significant cause
While this management chart is mostly used for Six Sigma analysis, it can also be used for any project management method like Agile, Scrum, and Kanban.
10. Stakeholder analysis matrix
The stakeholder analysis matrix is a project management tool that visualizes stakeholders and their involvement in the project.
Use this to identify:
- Interests of the stakeholders
- Potential issues and risks for stakeholder mapping
- Mechanisms for positively influencing other stakeholders
- Negative stakeholders and their effects on the project
- Key people to be informed during the project execution phase
Additionally, in tricky situations, the stakeholder analysis matrix diagram can assist in your risk management plan.
Check out these Matrix Templates!
11. Pie chart
As the name suggests, a pie chart is a graph that’s the shape of a pie!
A pie chart is divided into slices where each slice depicts a category of data. The arc length of each slice corresponds to the quantity it represents.
What’s an arc length?
It’s the distance between one point of a slice to the other, on the circumference of the circle.
To make things clearer, in the above pie chart, slice “Production 12” has the longest arc length and the slice “Closed 1” has the shortest.
With ClickUp, you can easily add a pie chart to your workspace.
Just add Custom Widgets to this task management tool’s Dashboard and create your own pie chart based on any data.
12. Line chart
A line chart is a graphical representation of data that changes over a specific period of time. It’s a continuous line formed over a series of data points.
Use a line chart to quickly analyze the variables and trends in the data with the rise and fall of the line.
With ClickUp, this management chart can be easily added to your workspace. Just add Custom Widgets to this task management tool’s Dashboard and you can set up a line chart based on any data.
But that’s not all ClickUp can do!
For maximum functionality, this project management software offers tons of other features, like:
- Project Management Automation: automate 50+ actions and even create your own
- Custom Task Statuses: create any task status according to your project needs
- Docs: create a project plan or detailed knowledge bases easily
- Dependencies: ensure that individual tasks are attempted in the right sequence
- Team Reporting: track your remote or in-house project team performance in real-time
- Pulse: see your team’s activity across a specific time
- Notepad: a personal notepad to quickly note down project planning ideas
- Priorities: assign task priorities like low, normal, high, and urgent
- Native Time Tracking: track the time projects and individual tasks take in ClickUp
- Collaboration Detection: know when someone works on the same task as you
- Mobile Apps: powerful iOS and Android apps for managing project on the go
13. Cause and Effect Diagram
A cause and effect diagram, also called an Ishikawa diagram, a why-why diagram, or fishbone diagram, helps you break down the causes of problem statements, ultimately leading you to discover the root cause of each problem.
Use cause and effect charts to analyze project data from the planning stage to project completion. This type of PMP project chart is popular for use in product design and quality management.
With ClickUp’s Whiteboard View, you can easily create a cause and effect diagram for the whole project. And, since this online whiteboard is real-time, it’s quick and convenient for project managers to collaborate and share project data that could help identify the causes and effects of problems.
A project management chart plays a key role in efficiently managing projects.
And while online Gantt charts are the most popular project management chart, you have other charts, like timeline and cumulative flow diagram, to help you out as well.
Just go through the list of project management charts we covered here and you’ll easily know which ones fit you best.
But remember, without the right project tool you can’t take full advantage of these charts.
That’s why you need a project planning tool like ClickUp!
Not only is it the best Gantt chart app in the market, but it also gives you a host of other powerful project management features.
So why not sign up for ClickUp today and ace project management with the perfect dash of visual creativity!
Questions? Comments? Visit our Help Center for support.