Gantt charts are useful for project management because they
divide projects into tasks and timeframes. Discover the components of a Gantt
chart and how to make one.
What Exactly Is a Gantt Chart?
A Gantt chart is a project management tool that aids in the
planning and scheduling of a sequential list of tasks and resources for a
project, as well as how they relate to one another. The Gantt chart is a
popular chart for scheduling complex projects such as large construction projects,
software development, or marketing campaigns.
In the late 1890s, Polish engineer Karol Adamiecki created
an early version of the chart known as a "harmonogram," before Henry
Ganttâ€”a US engineer and project management consultantâ€”produced his version of
the chart, which became the industry standard for such charts in Western
countries. Early versions of the Gantt chart were hand-drawn by workers and
required reconfiguration for each new project. Gantt charts are now generated
by computers using project management software.
Gantt Charts in Project Management
Gantt charts are horizontal bar charts with horizontal and
vertical axes. The vertical line represents the individual tasks of the
project, while the horizontal axis represents the project timeline, including
the task start and end dates. The chart's horizontal bars depict workflow by
tracking the time it takes team members to complete project tasks. Simple Gantt
charts track project progress through milestones and deadlines; newer Gantt
chart templates share a feature with another project management tool called a
PERT chart, which tracks task dependenciesâ€”or the factors that link each
Gantt charts track progress in any project plan by
displaying the critical path. The critical path identifies all tasks that must
be completed in order to meet the project's completion dates. Planners use this
data to determine which tasks require more time or must be completed first,
allowing them to create a more accurate roadmap for project progress.
The Benefits of Online Gantt Charts and Apps
Online Gantt charts and apps have a variety of features that
make them an effective resource management tool. Among the characteristics are:
Collaboration: In order to meet milestones and deadlines,
all members of a project team must have access to the business plan. Gantt
chart software enables project managers to share business plans and initiatives
with clients, stakeholders, and project executives in real time.
Integration: Many Gantt chart software packages allow users
to integrate their data with other project and workflow management
Scheduling: By streamlining the scheduling process, online
Gantt charts make it easier to assign team members to tasks. Many charts
include drag-and-drop functionality that allows managers to easily move stacked
bars while also tracking project resources such as equipment.
How to Create a Gantt Chart
Gantt chart software is available, or you can create your
own. To begin, follow these steps:
1. Assess: Begin your Gantt chart creation by thoroughly
reviewing all of the steps necessary to complete the project. Make use of a
Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), which is a tree diagram that delineates the
tasks and deliverables required to meet project deadlines. The work breakdown
structure (WBS) serves as the foundation for your Gantt chart.
2. Determine: Examine each task and keep track of the
dependencies. They identify the project's critical path and make it easier to
allocate more or less time to specific tasks.
3. Assign: Enter the project timeframe and the tasks that
must be completed into an online Gantt chart template or project management
software. Some tasks are too large to finish within the project timeline and
must be reassigned as subtasks.
4. Include: Include additional information to help team
members understand the scope of the Gantt chart. This includes task
descriptions and pricing, the budget required to complete the project, and,
most importantly, the individuals or project teams in charge of completing each
task. Add their names as collaborators to the Gantt chart.