What is a Gantt Chart?
Charts are often used to illustrate the progress of a project or a business activity. Such a chart was first developed in the 19th century by Karol Adamiecki, a Polish engineer, naming it harmonogram. Yet, Gantt chart is named after Henry Gantt, an American engineer and consultant. Gantt’s chart became widely used in many countries. The Gantt chart is the most famous chart used in project management.
Gantt charts are mostly used to follow project schedules. Additional information about the various tasks or phases of the project is shown on the charts. One can observe how they relate to each other, the progress of the task, resources being used and all the data that needs to be followed. At first, Gantt charts were drawn by hand. Therefore, they had to be redone every time a change was to be made. So, as projects had to be constantly followed and charts updated their use was limited and time consuming.
However, since the introduction of computers in the business world this has become much easier. Due to the software that is now available, Gantt charts are created by computer applications, like Mavenlink, Wrike, Smartsheet, Sciforma, or AceProject, so they are now easily amended printed and shared with all parties concerned. Their use is gaining more ground among project managers as Internet has made them accessible and has helped increase collaboration. Such, collaborative software assists functions, such as task assignments, time-managing deadlines, and shared calendars.
Gantt charts are used to illustrate the stages and activities of a project. They are popular means of communicating project information as they are easily understood across the business world. A Gantt chart is a useful tool for small projects that fit in a single sheet or screen. For longer, more complex projects, Gantt charts may prove inconvenient for computer display.
Gantt charts deal mainly with schedule management, they do not show the size of the project or work elements involved. Providing a lot of information may end up in a confusing, incomprehensible chart. There may be some difficulty in reading a Gantt chart of a large project as the horizontal bars of the chart have a fixed height. Time –phased requirements of a project may be misread.
Before creating a Gantt chart you must have a detailed project plan. All the tasks that need to be carried out and in which particular order. Tasks need to be to be performed in a specific order. A Gantt chart allows you to link tasks so they depend on each other. Tasks are linked in a dependency, meaning that the first task you must end before the next task you select can start, and so on.
Project Managers use Gantt charts to show tasks against time. A list of activities is recorded on the left of the chart and along the top an appropriate time. Every activity is represented by a bar, its the length and the position shows the beginning, the duration, and the finish of the activity. Therefore, making it easy to observe the progress of various activities, how much time they require to be completed, their dependency, from start to end of the project. In general, a Gantt charts allows you to monitor what is required to be done in a project and the times that its phase of the project has to be completed.
Gantt Chart Example with Mavenlink
Mavenlink cloud-based project management software has dynamic Gantt charts designed to help its users collaborate and manage projects with ease. Mavenlink’s Gantt charts enable users to create a visual timeline of a project’s progress, optimize a team’s productivity, and quickly assess task dependencies. The charts allow them to get a quick snapshot of a project’s current progress, providing them the visibility to immediately be informed when a project is at risk of being late or go over budget.