How to Display Your Project's Schedule
Unless all your project activities are on a critical path, your network diagram doesn't specify your exact schedule. Rather, it provides information for you to consider when you develop your schedule. After you select your actual dates, choose one of the following formats in which to present your schedule:
Milestone list: A table that lists milestones and the dates you plan to reach them
Activity list: A table that lists activities and the dates you plan to start and end them
Combined milestone/activity list: A table that includes milestone and activity dates
Gantt chart: A timeline that illustrates when each activity starts, how long it continues, and when it ends
Combined milestone and Gantt chart: A timeline that illustrates when activities start, how long they continue, when they end, and when selected milestones are achieved
Here's a 45-minute schedule for a picnic at the lake in a milestone/activity list:
You may combine two or more formats into a single display. Have a look at the following combined work breakdown structure (WBS), Responsibility Assignment Matrix, and Gantt chart (in which triangles represent milestones) for the picnic-at-the-lake example. (In addition to requiring less paperwork to prepare and being easier to update and maintain than separate information documents, a combined display can provide greater insight into the plan by presenting two or more aspects together for ready comparison.)
Each format can be effective in particular situations. Consider the following guidelines when choosing the format in which to display your schedule:
Milestone lists and activity lists are more effective for indicating specific dates.
The Gantt chart provides a clearer picture of the relative lengths of activities and times when they overlap.
The Gantt chart provides a better high-level overview of a project.