Gantt Chart


A Gantt chart is a type of bar chart that illustrates a project schedule, named after their inventor, Henry Gantt, who designed such a chart around the years 1910–1915. Modern Gantt charts also show the dependency relationships between activities and current schedule status.

Gantt Chart

What is a ‘Gantt Chart’

A Gantt chart is a graphical depiction of a project schedule. A Gantt chart is a type of bar chart that shows the start and finish dates of several elements of a project that include resources, milestones, tasks and dependencies. Henry Gantt, an American mechanical engineer, designed the Gantt chart.

Explaining ‘Gantt Chart’

The Gantt chart is the most widely used chart in project management. These charts are useful in planning a project and defining the sequence of tasks that require completion. In most instances, the chart displays as a horizontal bar chart. Horizontal bars of different lengths represent the project timeline that includes task sequences, duration, and start and end dates for each task. The horizontal bar also shows how much of a task requires completion. The horizontal bar length is proportional to the time necessary for a task’s completion. In addition, the project tasks are visible on the vertical bar.

How It Works

A Gantt chart aids in scheduling, managing, and monitoring specific tasks and resources in a project. The chart shows the project timeline that includes scheduled and completed work over a period. The Gantt chart aids project managers in communicating project status or plans and helps ensure the project remains on track.

When to Use

Projects of all sizes and types use Gantt charts. These charts are utilized in several industries and for a range of projects, such as building dams, bridges and highways, software development, and development of other goods and services. Project management tools, such as Microsoft Visio, Project, SharePoint or Excel, or specialized software, such as Gantto or Matchware, aid in designing Gantt charts.

Further Reading

  • Integrated earned value Gantt chart (EV-Gantt) tool for project portfolio planning and monitoring optimization – [PDF]
  • Implementing the Gantt chart in Europe and Britain: the contributions of Wallace Clark – [PDF]
  • Visualizing Certainty: What the Cultural History of the Gantt Chart Teaches Technical and Professional Communicators about Management – [PDF]
  • Integrated on line production and financial scheduling with intelligent autonomous agent based information system – [PDF]
  • Gantt chart generation technology based on web applying in manufacturing execution system – [PDF]
  • Guns or Gantt Charts?—The Leadership Challenge for UK Defence – [PDF]