About Gantt Chart

A gantt chart is a visual representation of time.  It makes it easier to see projects and tasks over a set time period.

The gantt chart was originally developed by Henry Gantt in 1910 to summarise key project tasks and make sharing his project plans with others more effective.  Ultimately the Gantt Chart is both a project management tool and a communication tool.

Early gantt charts were drawn in pencil on a paper grid.  With the advent of computers, the first gantt chart software program was developed by Geoff Reiss and was called Pertmaster.  This simple project planning tool took inputs including start dates, end dates and dependencies and mapped them on a grid over time.  Pertmaster was originally available for the Apple Macintosh IIE.

Currently the gantt chart is used for a very wide variety of projects from planning a wedding to complex business projects.  More complex projects employ gantt chart automation by using dependencies.  Dependencies can come in four different forms Start to Start, Start to Finish, Finish to Start and Finish to Finish. 

How does Gantt Chart automation work?  Gantt Chart automation is used when planning a project to make the management much simpler and automate the task of shifting tasks as a result of changes in actual timeframes.  For example you may wish to update your gantt chart automatically if the first task in a chain runs behind time.    If subsequent tasks are dependent on the completion of the first task then all dependent tasks will move out in time.  This instantly shows the impact of the slippage on the overall delivery timeframe.

When should I use a Gantt Chart?  If you are planning any project of more than 10 inter-related tasks, a Gantt Chart will ensure that you can both see your project as planned and manage the delivery of the tasks.  Task management is a critical element of any project and the gantt chart should provide you the ability to  create tasks lists for each person who is allocated a task to perform.  The gantt chart will then provide an overall understanding of the context of the task within the overall project.