An Alternative to Clunky Gantt Charts for Marketing Campaigns

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Circular planning helps make a complex marketing campaign simple to understand, while avoiding the drawbacks of a Gantt chart.

Marketing strategies can get pretty complex, especially if you’re planning a comprehensive campaign for more than a quarter. To keep it under control and running smoothly, you need to capture multiple layers of activity, by multiple players on the team, who will be responsible for multiple deliverables over the course of weeks and months.

Project management tools are a great help to track daily tasks, but they can steer your attention away from the larger picture. Before you know it, you’re lost in the weeds and focused merely on assembly-line churn.

While it’s important to have your finger on the details, you need to be able to view all of the various components at once—and to understand how they interact with each other. It’s important to see a clear picture from the 30,000-foot view, with just a glance. The simplicity of the high-level perspective helps you understand the entire campaign and maintain better control of the overall project.

Are Gantt Charts the Best Choice?

Most organizations rely on Gantt charts to visualize complex projects. Gantt charts provide tremendous value, because they allow you to plan out the entire schedule of a multidimensional project. Milestones are clearly marked, you can easily view start and end dates, and the visual approach provides clarity and helps maintain time management.

But Gantt charts have their drawbacks, as well. Perhaps their biggest problem is the very element that makes them so easy to use: their layout. Short projects are easy to display on a page, but a longer project—or a highly granular one—quickly spills over the page. The functionality of the Gantt chart quickly suffers, and the only way to view the entire chart is to shrink it, making it difficult to read.

Gantt charts don’t display complexities very well, either. If you have a milestone that requires multiple tasks or subtasks, it becomes difficult to display the details clearly.

Gantt charts are often used as immutable plans that are set in stone. Inevitably, a wrinkle develops in the project, or an unseen gap is discovered. With Gantt charts, the usual reaction is to shift your teams into high gear and squeeze more work into the same time frame in order to meet the next milestone. Although project requirements, timelines, and dependencies may change, Gantt charts typically aren’t updated to adjust to the new situation.

An Alternative to Gantt Charts

There’s a better way to view multilayered, complex marketing campaigns. Circular planning lets you maintain the critical high-level view of a project, while avoiding the drawbacks of a Gantt chart.

No matter how long your marketing campaign, or how complex it is, circular planning provides a crystal-clear, high-level overview at a glance. You won’t ever have to flip between pages, because the circular format makes for a more efficient plan. And if your marketing plan is a cyclical one, the tool allows you to see how the beginning and end of the cycle interrelate.

The format provides a tremendous improvement when presenting your marketing plan. Not only is the circular planning tool compact, it’s also visually appealing—making it an asset for client presentations.

Circular planning allows you to include complexities that Gantt charts don’t easily capture. For example, subtasks are easily displayed on layered and sub-layered rings. And with Plandisc’s circular planning tool, you can add details within each task that can be toggled on or off.

With Plandisc, your marketing campaign is an interactive tool that can be easily updated at a moment’s notice. So when project details change, it’s easy to make the adjustment in real-time. And because you can embed the plan on your intranet or website, your team can easily stay updated on project changes.

Give Circular Planning a Whirl

Plandisc’s interactive, real-time planning tool uses circular planning to make complex marketing campaigns easy to visualize. Circular planning, also called årshjul, was originally developed in Denmark and is used extensively in Europe. See how Plandisc can help marketers master their campaigns, and play around with a live template. Like it? Get Plandisc for free!