What is Gantt Chart ?

by StarAgile

September 28, 2020
Category Project Management


How to schedule and manage time when you have various important activities at home or office? When you go for shopping you may be interested in visiting stores in more than one location. How do we prioritize the things and the way we work in a smart, easy, and simple manner? It may be an easy task when you have only a few things in your mind or the list, how about having more than 15 things to sequence, prioritize, and schedule, it gets complex right!!. Think of a project having hundreds of activities to be managed and controlled in a better manner so that you are successful with the outcome. 

When you do shopping in multiple locations you make use of your brain to program it in a way that is the most efficient, however, it is not simple when you have hundreds of activities for the project. How do we know which one to complete first, what are the dependent activities, which resource works on which activity and how do we schedule the events in the form of milestones? Yes to visualize this you need a tool. In this blog, we will talk about the Gantt chart as a tool to visualize all the activities, the milestones, the schedule and timelines, and the resources that are required to complete the project.

Gantt chart is a visualizing tool to see all the project activities, their dependencies, the milestones, the resources, and project progress in a tool so that we can program the project completed efficiently and effectively. You can do the following with the Gantt chart,

  • What are the various activities needed for completion of the project
  • When each activity begins and ends
  • What is the duration of each activity?
  • Which are the dependent activities and how they are scheduled?
  • What is the overlap of each activity and by how much?
  • The start and end of the project

To know more about the Gantt chart enquire about the PMP Certification costs and PMP certification online with StarAgile.

The Gantt chart is shown in the diagram below,


Origin of Gantt chart for project management

The first Gantt chart was prepared by Karol Adamiecki in 1890; a Polish engineer was working in steelworks and was interested in management techniques. However, in the year 1905, an American engineer called Henry Gantt devised the chart and this chart was adopted in all the countries and is known as the Gantt chart. 

In those times the Gantt chart was prepared by hand and hence it was quite tedious as it required redraw and several changes to be done manually. However nowadays with the advent of computers and technology the Gantt chart is prepared using computer software which can be easily created, updated, and printed. The PMP project management course offered by the leading institute StarAgile will enable you to work on the Gantt chart and know about its usage. 

Advantages of using Gantt chart for project management

1. Visualization - The main advantage of the Gantt chart is it helps to visualize the big picture and broad perspective of the projects. You can know various minute details about the project and helps you not to miss anything even very small activities or timelines about the project. Most of the Gantt chart are products of Software-as-a-Service architecture so that it can be updated from anywhere and anytime and can be shared with different stakeholders to see.

2. Management - With the help of the Gantt chart you can manage the entire project in one go. That is by breaking down the core activities and putting time duration from start to end and to manage the dependencies it becomes very easy and you can know who works on which assignments, when, and how.

3. Progress tracking - It becomes easy when you know the progress of the project at any given time frame. You know when the project activities are behind schedule how to manage them and make the project alright by interfering in the activities so that you can make a data-driven decision on the fly. The progress tracking with the help of the Gantt chart will help the team members as a motivation to achieve the goals and objectives of the project collectively.

4. Following dates and deadlines - You can make informed decisions on the project by following the dates of every activity their duration, milestones, and timelines. You know when to interfere in the project and make corrections, deviate or control the project from drastic derailment to make it successful. You also can visualize the deadlines of each activity and how it impacts the project completion date. Normally the project completion date cannot be modified, you need to provide required buffers and calculate the floats of the various activities. Remember that the critical path has zero floats.

5. Creating dependencies between the tasks - You need to structure the Gantt chart in such a way that you can visualize and evaluate the dependencies between each of the tasks, and know exactly which are the dependent activities and which activities are parallel activity and where there is an overlap of activities. Most of the Gantt charts offer auto-scheduling which means if there is any change in the duration of the predecessor activities then the next activities will automatically have changed schedule and duration.

6. Team and resource management - Team and resource management is the key to the successful completion of the projects. The Gantt chart can be used as a tool for resource management where you can find out who is working on what and you do not overload or create too many slack periods in the activities. Team management becomes the key to the successful completion of the project and the Gantt chart helps everyone to work effectively with everyone and everything engaged in the plan. Since the requirements are structured in the Gantt chart the team works easily on the tasks they are responsible for.

What are the components of the Gantt chart/progress chart in project management?

The nine components of the Gantt chart as follows,

1. Dates - You can see the dates of all the activities and from start to finish and also project start and completion dates.

2. Tasks - Tasks are recorded on the left side vertically in the Gantt chart. It will consist of large numbers of subtasks from the listed main tasks

3. Bars - Bars show the duration of each task and subtasks listed in the Gantt chart. Bars are shown horizontally in the Gantt chart.

4. Milestones - In the Gantt chart milestones indicate the completion of every key activity. The milestones are shown at the end of the key activities in a diamond or circular shape.

5. Arrows - Arrows in your tasks shows the dependencies of the task start and finish from various other tasks. They show that the beginning of the current task is done when the predecessor task is completed; this is represented by the arrows in the Gantt chart.

6. Taskbars - This is nothing but a color indication of the progress of the tasks and subtasks concerning the current date whether how much portion is completed and how much more work is to be done.

7. Task ID - If your project is large and complex then you can show the tasks and subtasks by the Task ID to differentiate various tasks and subtasks.

8. Vertical Line Marker - The vertical line marker helps you to monitor the project at any given date. Normally the vertical line marker indicates the current date of the project and you can easily visualize all the tasks completion and progress made for each task and the project itself.

9. Resources - This is the main feature of the Gantt chart which indicates clearly who is assigned to what tasks. It can be helpful if you have the names of the individuals on each of the tasks. This helps you manage the people, tools, and skills needed for completion of the project. 

Checkout resource leveling in project management. 

To try and work on the Gantt chart with real-time example, register for the PMP online training with StarAgile. 

How to know more about what is Gantt chart with Gantt chart example

The Gantt has been used in many industries such as Manufacturing, Hi-Tech, IT and software, etc. It shows us the project completion date, start date, the progress made so far as per the current date, the resources allocation and individual tasks with its subtasks, etc. Gantt chart has been highly successful in the software industry, with tracking the project deliverables. An example of the Gantt chart used in the software industry is as shown in the diagram below.


Final suggestions 

If you want to track and monitor the projects in an efficient, simple, effective, and easy way, then use the Gantt chart. It is one of the project management tool widely used by project managers across the world. The key is to practice with live and real-time examples. To know more about the Gantt chart and its use in the project management register for the PMP certification training course online with StartAgile. 

StarAgile is a partnership concern with PMI for leading the PMP certification course. Happy Learning!!!