April 13, 2024

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Gantt Chart Technique

A Gantt chart is a charting technique widely used in project management. These are primarily used in presenting the schedules of each task involved in a certain project, as well as the progress or the current status of each task. Can give the project manager a picture of the whole project because all the tasks required for its completion are indicated. The order in which the tasks need to be completed is also illustrated. Overall, it help project managers to become more organized with their management.

In the 1910s, an American social engineer named Henry Gantt first developed the charting technique. Soon after his passing in 1919, many project managers from different fields followed what he started. The chart was subsequently named after Gantt. Since its inception and development in the early 20th century, countless projects have utilized the chart. American highway constructions, as well as the Hoover Dam, benefited from the Gantt chart.

Basic Gantt charts have two fundamental axes. First is the horizontal axis which represents time. Depending on the total duration of the whole project, different units of time may be used. Second is the vertical axis which represents a list of the project tasks. Each task occupies a row in the vertical axis. A horizontal bar is placed adjacent to each row, usually to the right, and this represents the progress of a task. This bar’s length and location on the “Gantt chart” corresponds to the duration and the start/end dates of the task.

Because of the Gantt chart’s ability to visualize the project as a whole, project managers can easily do the following:

1. Organize tasks according to dependencies, if any are present. Some tasks may be dependent on the completion of one or multiple other tasks. Therefore, the project manager can decide which task to do first, which can save time and resources.
2. Spot potential errors and delays, and apply remedial action when necessary. This is very helpful, as everyone knows that an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.
3. Track which tasks are behind schedule, and assess what needs to be done in order for the task to get back on track.

During its early days, It had to be painstakingly written on paper. This was definitely a challenge, especially to project managers who are working with constant changes in their project schedules. Whenever a major change is made, the whole chart had to be rewritten most of the time. With today’s computer technology at the fingertips of most, if not all project managers, it has become very easy to create, change, and reproduce Gantt charts. A number of websites offer very useful Gantt chart templates, and many other tutorials. Several computer software programs, such as Microsoft Visio and Microsoft Project, also incorporate Gantt charts in their interfaces.