Budget Tables and Gantt Charts

Good project management is best described as a balance between 3 fundamental competing priorities: Cost, Schedule, and Technical. While teams focus their design reports heavily on the technical design and performance of their rover, managing cost and schedule should not be overlooked! This page provides guidance to teams on the proper use of budget tables and Gantt charts for design review milestones (the PDR and SAR), and the final Financial Report.

Budget Table

The Budget Table shows whether the team has realistically planned costs for this year’s project and that it has received sufficient funding, including a credible plan for raising remaining funds required, i.e., if the budget projects a bottom-line deficit, that is a problem. The budget must be presented as a table (not a graph, and not a pie chart). An example is shown further below. Different table layouts and formatting are possible, but it must include the following information:



Final Financial Report

Sample PDR Budget Table

Gantt Chart

A Gantt chart is a specific schedule format that helps to show task dependencies, and manage the resources (e.g. people!) that will accomplish each task. A Gantt chart shows whether the team has realistically planned the design, development, building, and testing of the rover. It is a spreadsheet-like table that indicates WHO (sub-teams and/or individuals) will be doing WHAT (relating to subsystems and activities), WHEN (dates).

There is no single correct way to organize the chart, but there are basic content and layout principles. The chart should contain the following data:

A Gantt chart should be a single integrated chart. If you present a collection of individual Gantt charts (one for each sub-team), you are effectively communicating to judges that you have not thought about integration!

Typically the chart must be resized (shrunk) to fit on the page; you must verify that when the judges enlarge the page, the chart is fully readable without having to zoom past 200%.