All you need to know about: Gantt Charts


 

Gantt Charts are a very popular tool here at Attitude Design. They are a perfect method to keep organised with clients and projects.  But what are they? This article gives you all you need to know about them…

History

Henry Gantt created a type of bar chart around 1910-1915 and called it a Gantt Chart – which was original. They are commonly used to illustrate a project schedule and are a perfect tool for managing projects. Originally they were drawn and redrawn by hand. But software has meant that charts can be created, updated and printed easily. Gantt charts are a common feature in software and websites for project management.

Why use a Gantt chart?

Gantt Charts are popular because they are a graphical representation of the duration of tasks against the progression of time that it will take to complete these tasks. These sometimes complicated facts are shown simply in a diagram which can be understood by a wide audience of people. The chart lays out the order in which the tasks need to be carried out as the main focus is on management of time. Other information representing cost, time and scope in projects can be easily communicated to the client through the chart. In complex versions of the Gantt chart, dependencies between activities are shown.

What does a Gantt chart show?

  • What activities are needed to complete the task
  • Where each activity begins and ends
  • How long each activity is scheduled to last
  • Where activities overlap with over activities and by how much
  • Start and end date of the whole project
  • What should be achieved at a point in time
  • How to take steps to get a project running to time after falling behind

 What does a Gantt Chart look like?

Every Gantt chart is different, but here is a quick example...

 

 What makes them different?

  • Start and finish dates are clearly shown at the beginning and at the end of the diagram
  • Terminal and summary elements comprise the work breakdown structure of the project
  • The position and length of a bar reflects the start date, duration and end date of activity
  • On the left of the chart is a list of the activities and along the top is suitable time scale
  • Current schedule status is shown through a percentage complete bar at top of diagram
  • Vertical today line shows where current status of the project should be at
  • Each bar can be easily moved and rearrange to make the Gantt chart highly flexible