Confluence is a powerful solution for project managers (PMs) and for a good reason. It offers a vast array of functionalities when it comes to sharing knowledge, from collaborative editing to document organization. However, one of its greatest weaknesses is how it isn’t equipped with everything a PM may need. A key tool for project management is the Gantt chart and with Confluence as is, creating a Confluence Gantt chart isn’t as straightforward as you’d hope.
In our article, we’ll go over some of our issues with Confluence before guiding you through how you can make your own Gantt charts in Confluence.
Limitations of Confluence Out-of-Box
While Confluence may be fantastic for creating and managing a knowledge base, it isn’t perfect. There may be more praise than complaints but we’ve noticed a couple of issues worth griping over.
Overly Basic Roadmap Planner
One way to get around Confluence’s lack of Gantt chart integration is by using its Roadmap Planner Macro. Though it is an excellent planner for small teams, it is also very lightweight. While you’ll be able to create clear plans and make edits along the way, you’ll quickly notice that it lacks the raw power of a Gantt chart. For instance, you won’t be able to create dependencies between tasks and if you’re managing hundreds of factors, the roadmap simply won’t hold up to that much complexity.
No Gantt Chart Macro
By far our biggest issue with Confluence is how you aren’t able to create a Gantt chart without deferring to an external add-on. Confluence and Gantt charts go together as well as wine and cheese, so the fact that you can’t readily unite the two is a shame. Thankfully, there are ways to get around this, but not without help from external sources.
How to Create Gantt Charts in Confluence
Creating Gantt charts in Confluence is simpler than you might think. Here is a simple-to-follow guide:
For step one, head over to the Atlassian Marketplace and install Excel-like Tables for Confluence which is entirely free to use.
2. Download Gantt Chart Template for Project Management
Now that you have the tool to create Gantt charts, you’ll need a template to get started. You could technically start from scratch, but why reinvent the wheel when you can just build on what already exists?
We’ve prepared a template specifically designed for project managers, which you can download here.
3. Upload Template with Excel-like Tables for Confluence
Once you’ve downloaded both the template and the add-on, you’re ready to go. Simply create a Confluence page and upload the template to Excel-like Tables.
You can do this as per the following steps:
First, create a Confluence page and open Excel-Like Tables. Next, click on the ‘File’ button as shown below.
Afterward, press ‘Import’ and select the downloaded template as an Excel file.
Open it, save, and exit the app to return to your Confluence page. You can find these buttons on the top right as in the image below.
If you’ve successfully gone through all the steps above, your Confluence page should look something like this:
4. Edit Accordingly
Now that you’ve successfully created your very own Gantt chart in Confluence, you should be all set and ready to hit the ground running. Don’t forget to amend the chart and to edit its tasks and dates as per your project!
Having a backup is always a good idea on the off chance that the above method doesn’t suit your needs. Consider the following options:
Living up to its name, Easy Gantt Charts for Confluence is perfect for those looking for a solution that’s quick and straightforward. With its full Gantt chart-ready macro and emphasis on simplicity, creating dependencies, tasks, deadlines, and more will be a breeze. Adding, editing, and keeping track of your charts is also easy here because of its clear visuals.
Unfortunately, as it lacks features like horizontal scrolling and suffers from rendering issues, we suggest looking elsewhere if you’re dealing with projects that contain several variables.
The Mermaid Plugin for Confluence is another easy-to-use add-on for those on the hunt for a simple product. Here, by just inputting text you’ll be able to create not just Gantt charts, but diagrams and graphs as well. This is possible thanks to its built-in macros.
Of course, it isn’t without fault. You’ll quickly notice that it lacks more advanced features like those found in other options like the WBS Gantt-Chart for Jira and that detailed customization is quite limited.
Gantt Chart Planner for Confluence is a recently released project management tool that’s already proven invaluable in helping PMs create Gantt charts. Best of all, it’s incredibly easy and intuitive to use! With drag-and-drop simplicity coupled with attractive visuals and excellent user support, it’ll be a fine addition to any toolkit. This means that creating dependencies, deadlines, tasks, milestones, and keeping tabs on everything that goes on within a project will be a straightforward experience.
Because the app is by far the newest on our list of solutions and is currently in beta testing, you may encounter a bug or two while using it. That said, you can rest assured that Ricksoft is hard at work on improving their product.
Next Steps to Improve Your Confluence Instance
Now that you know how to create Gantt charts in Confluence, you should start incorporating them into your work as soon as possible. Only with practice and application will you hone your skillset.
So what’re you waiting for? Download our template and get our add-on today! Alternatively, you can also check out Gantt Chart Planner for Confluence if you’re looking for a dedicated tool that’s designed purely for Gantt charts.