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🗺 Use Confluence Gantt Chart Planner macro for visualizing project roadmap

Do you use Confluence for documenting and monitoring project plans? In this article, discover how to extend Confluence with a strategic roadmap for end-to-end project management. 

 


Every project starts with a plan, where you document the core components of the work:

  • Project scope (i.e., the desired outcome of delivering a product or service)

  • Project schedule (i.e., milestones and timeline)

  • Required resources (i.e., team members and budget allocation)

Each component is intricately connected, changes in one aspect can have cascading effects on others.

For instance, scope changes will lead to delayed schedules, while lacking resources might limit the intended scope.

You need to maintain visibility across all these components to ensure project success. It’s also important to have a planning tool to accommodate changing requirements as the project progresses.

If you’re envisioning a strategic roadmap, that’s exactly it!

Whether you need to communicate your plan to stakeholders or to align the work across teams, a roadmap is the best visual representation of the project's direction and evolution over time. And Confluence is an excellent tool to bring your project together.

In this article, you’ll learn how to use Confluence and the Gantt Chart Planner macro to create the next game plan and visualize your roadmap to success.

Specify the project scope: Start with Confluence templates

No matter the nature of your project, it should have a well-defined outcome, the work that needs to be done, and constraints. These are what goes into the project scope.

Take advantage of Confluence’s project templates instead of starting from scratch. You can freely customize these templates to fit your business needs. Another benefit of using a template is to keep the layout consistent for similar projects so everyone can expect where to find the key information.

This page is a single source of truth that gives all teams a high-level overview of their purpose and role in the project. It also helps you set early expectations of the commitment required from everyone, making it easier to plan the capacity ahead of time. We’ll discuss more on this in the next step.

On the other hand, stakeholders can access this page to provide timely feedback and stay updated on the project’s progress.

 

Put your roadmap together: Prioritize tasks and define resources using the Gantt Chart Planner macro

Based on the scope outlined at the beginning, it’s time to break down the project into specific deliverables and milestones. These outputs signify the progress and completion of your team’s work.

With the native /roadmap macro, you can organize deliverables in swimlanes and markers representing milestones.

Confluence roadmap macro.png

However, this static roadmap does not always reflect the latest state of your project. Plus, there’s no clear way to visualize the dependencies between them, which makes it difficult to determine the priority of tasks as well as the sequential order.

There are many projects with strict deadlines. In that case, you need to plan work in greater detail. From the main objective, you’ll need to break it down into smaller chunks of work along with the expected delivery dates.

While it’s not necessary to have everything set in stone, decomposing your plan that way helps decrease the chance of overlooking something significant. Ultimately, your team can estimate the effort and time required to complete the work more effectively.

You’re in luck! Gantt Chart Planner is an all-encompassing tool that allows you to break down your project work without losing sight of the big picture.

Like the /roadmap macro, simply use the command /gantt to bring up the tool. Then, you can start creating your plan directly from your page.

Gantt Chart Planner - sample research project.png

The macro comes with all functionalities of a full-fledged Gantt Chart tool. You can list the project deliverables and visualize them in a hierarchical order, including important milestones. It’s also possible to customize your Gantt view to include or exclude different project components, such as resources and task linkage or dependencies.

Remember that a plan is only meant to communicate a desired outcome and the work to achieve, it’s not a guarantee of the future. With the flexibility of the Gantt Chart Planner, you can quickly adjust the scope, timeline, or resources to see how the plan would play out.

🗂 Create and organize your deliverables

There are different ways to organize your tasks on the Gantt chart. As an example, this Research plan is broken down by phases:

Break down tasks on gantt chart.png

These are other common methods to decompose a plan:

  • By product components: iOS version, Android version

  • By organizational units: Product team, marketing team, engineering team…

  • By functions: Design, development, test,…

You can also add a major checkpoint to your plan by converting a task into a milestone.

Once you’ve defined the work breakdown structure, the app will automatically calculate the duration of the parent based on the start and end date of the children tasks.

One of the advantages of using the Gantt chart macro is the ability to link tasks to actual work items:

👥 Assign resources to tasks

The next step is to add respective teams to carry out the work. Like many aspects of a project, working resources can be more flexible at this planning stage.

If you have a dedicated project team with clearly defined responsibilities, simply assign the tasks to them. Otherwise, it’s possible to add the roles or business units that are best fit to handle the work instead of individual assignees.

It’s common to have shared resources across multiple projects. That’s why you should consider their availability as well while planning for resources. The last thing you’d want is to run into delays or overwork your team due to the lack of resources and foresight.

Fortunately, the Gantt chart tool is equipped with a capacity planning feature as well. Using the “work unit” calculation, you can define how much time your team can spend working on this project or task.

For example, your researcher is working on two separate projects, so they can spend 50% of their time (20 hours a week, assuming they have a 40-hour work week) on each project. You can set this value directly on the resource view:

Manage resources.gif

Share your project game plan! 

There you have it! An interactive Gantt Chart detailing a plan directly on your Confluence page.

 

Now, all your teams and stakeholders can stay aligned on the project scope and progress in real-time.

Happy planning!

 


👉 Get your free trial from the Marketplace: Gantt Chart Planner for Confluence 

Stay tuned for more resources on project management in Confluence! 

2 comments

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Ivan YURIN
I'm New Here
I'm New Here
Those new to the Atlassian Community have posted less than three times. Give them a warm welcome!
June 5, 2024

Hi! Can I create few teams in resources view and include team members in each team?

Solved, I've find. https://docs.ricksoft-inc.com/gantt-chart-planner-for-confluence/resource-view-to-monitor-workloads

Takafumi Ohtake -Ricksoft-
Marketplace Partner
Marketplace Partners provide apps and integrations available on the Atlassian Marketplace that extend the power of Atlassian products.
June 10, 2024

Hi @Ivan YURIN 

I'm Takafumi from Ricksoft, the vendor of the app.

Thank you for your comment.

As you saw in the doc, you can define teams as custom resources so that you can easily see the team's tasks.

If you have further questions, please feel free to let me know.

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