What is a Gantt chart?
The Gantt chart is named after Henry Gant (1861-1919), a colleague of the “father of scientific management” Frederick Taylor (1856-1915).
- History of a Gantt chart
Gant studied management on the example of building ships during the First World War and proposed his diagram consisting of tasks and points as a means to represent the duration and sequence of tasks in the project.
- How long is this chart used?
This chart proved to be such a powerful analytical tool that for almost hundred years it has not changed.
And only in the early 1990s, for a more detailed description of the relationships, lines of communication between tasks were added to it.
All elements of the chart in MS Project are customizable segments, each of which can consist of three elements: the start point, end point and intermediate part (with any of the elements may be missing).
With the standard setting, the segments indicating the phases contain all three elements. The segments denoting tasks consist only of the intermediate part, and the final tasks are only from the starting point.
What are Gantt charts used for?
The Gantt Chart is one of the tools for project planning.
What make charts of Gantt so special?
- It has segments whose length correspond to the duration of the tasks, and the points that indicate the completion of tasks.
- It shows the relationship between tasks, the duration of tasks, the duration of the entire project.
- It refers to the type of bar charts and is called the band diagram.
How is it understood?
- Tasks in the form of a hierarchical tree are usually found on the left side of the chart.
- Each task on the right side of the diagram corresponds to a segment that is tied to the timeline.
To comply with and analyze the timing of project objectives, the Gantt chart is an indispensable tool that visually shows the progress of the project and provides an opportunity to compare planned times to actual ones.
How to read Gantt charts?
It is very easy to interpret them. To help you understand it better, let’s look at an example and discuss it like that.
Above you see a chart that is made to show the process of building a house.
What can we interpret from the chart?
- This process, obviously is divided to 8 small tasks.
The tasks are shown on the left, meaning y-axis of a chart. And the time that tasks need to be completed shown in the independent x-axis.
- You can see that the lines have different colors. These are used to show the starting and ending dates of work. There is nothing going on in the blue part, that’s the reason why it is deleted most of the times. The orange part show the starting and ending dates of the task.
- It is easy to see that, the time given for the foundation of a house started from 1st of June and continued till about 10th of June.
- The building of a roof, on the other hand, has started on 20th of June and has completed on 1st of July.
EASY GANTT CHART MAKERS
You do not have to have special knowledge of programs for making graphs and charts. There are plenty of online tools that you can use for easy and more effective making of charts.
If you do not wish to use a software, there are also some websites that give you a chance to make your chart. Fortunately, most of them are free to use!
- Office Timeline (officetimeline.com),
- Gantter (gantter.com),
- Mind Tools (www.mindtools.com) ,
- Smartsheet (smartsheet.com),
- GanttPRO (ganttpro.com)
are only some of them.
Why not to use this easy makers and make your own gantt chart without any effort and much time required?!