How to create a Gantt chart when your project data is in Microsoft Planner

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When your tasks are in Microsoft Planner and you need Gantt charts, check out this third-party app.

Image: vladim_ka/Adobe Stock

Gantt charts are an essential part of task management when a project needs to meet deadlines. These charts track tasks belonging to a larger project to help everyone meet their deadlines. Microsoft Planner is a task management software, but it does not offer Gantt chart functionality. If you have Microsoft Project, you can connect both, but if you have Project, you’re probably not using Planner. Don’t despair, because you’re not between a rock and a hard place, as long as you can use Microsoft Edge or Chrome.

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In this tutorial, I will show you how to use a Chrome extension to generate a Gantt chart based on Microsoft Planner project tasks. I’m using Planner on Windows 10 64 bit system and Microsoft Edge with Chrome extension Apps4.Pro PlannerGantt which you can download for a 14-day free trial. The instructions should work the same with Chrome. The planner comes with Microsoft 365.

How to Install the Chrome Extension

Planner doesn’t offer Gantt chart functionality, which is a bit odd considering its purpose. Fortunately, you can use a Chrome extension available on the Chrome Online Store with Chrome or Edge.

If you’re using Edge, the store will prompt you to authorize extensions from a store other than Microsoft Store. Once you’re done, click Add to Chrome, as shown in Figure Aand confirm the download to continue.

Figure A

Use this extension with Edge or Chrome.

How to Access Apps4.Pro PlannerGantt in Edge

You will access the extension like any other. First, sign in to your Microsoft account to get access to Planner. In Edge, click the Extensions icon and choose Apps4.Pro PlannerGantt from the drop-down list as shown in Figure B. The first time the extension is launched, it will show a list of new features. When you have finished reading the list, close the window to continue.

Figure B

Choose the extension from the Extension Icon drop-down list.

Figure C

PlannerGantt imports your Planner projects.

As you can see in Figure C, PlannerGantt automatically imports the first Planner project, which has three tasks. On the right, the simple Gantt chart shows the start date and assigned staff. To switch projects, click the Planner Hub menu in the upper left corner (circled in Figure C) to access other projects in Planner, as shown in Figure D.

Figure D

You have access to all your Planner projects.

How to Improve Scheduler Tasks in GanttPlanner

Using the Planner Hub, you can quickly switch to another project to update it. With the new project in GanttPlanner, you can add parameters to make the chart more efficient. To do this, select a task and click Edit Task on the right. GanttPlanner will open a settings pane.

As you can see in Figure Esome settings are already set, based on Planner settings. Figure F shows the result of adding the number of hours, 3, that Susan plans to spend on the project each day, for an estimated total of 87 hours. At any time, you can update this number.

GanttPlanner uses the start and end days to determine the number of project days, 29. Click View (the eye icon) and check the settings that are useful to you, as shown in G-figure.

Figure E

GanttPlanner uses the default planner settings.

Figure F

Indicate the number of hours per day.

G-figure

View the settings that are important to you.

Using GanttPlanner, you can add a child task to an existing task. Click on the parent task, then click More (the three dots) to see more actions. H-figure shows a child added to the first task. Perhaps the volume of documents is too large for one person to sift through and meet the deadline.

H-figure

Use the More options to add a child.

You cannot print directly from GanttPlanner, but you can export the chart. To do this, click on Basic Export (the printer icon) and preview or export the current chart in .pdf format as shown in I figure.

I figure

Export the graph to be able to print it.

GanttPlanner is the fastest and easiest way I know to create a Gantt chart on project data in Planner. This is a set of robust and easy to implement offerings. There is so much more to offer. GanttPlanner is available for purchase through a suite of products, and it’s much easier to use than Microsoft Project.

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