Usability of Gantt Charts
If you're perusing project management tools, the Gantt chart is going to be very hard to miss. Project managers worldwide use these charts to provide a clear image of their plans to stakeholders and executives. Tracking the progress of the project and illustrating the concept itself is easily done on the Gantt chart. With a clean start-to-finish flow, the Gantt chart allows managers to create schedules and enact plans with ease.
The Gantt chart is one of the best project management tools that show tasks in a vertical direction. The basic template shows the tasks on the left hand side of the chart and each task has its own bar running horizontally. Each horizontal bar stands for the duration of each task. The standard chart is designed in such a way that they can be read left-to-right. The amount of time allocated to each task determines the length or height of the bar. The starting and ending date of each task also determines the bar's location on the chart.
A Gantt chart can be used to show other details as well, depending on the available data and the taskís complexity. If a project lasts for a long time, the tasks can be divided into smaller units, with milestone indicators. These units can be associated with objectiveís completion dates, this will then lead up to the final goal of the projectís end. A complex chart like this will benefit from color coding and arrows to allow users to sort out all the variables.
In the early part of the 20th century (circa 1910), Henry Gantt, an American manager and engineer, invented a very popular charting technique and he also worked as a consultant. This technique is mainly using for charting the progress of a project. This charting technique became very popular and it spread quickly to all sorts of project management including business, construction, civil engineering and similar areas. The main purpose of his creation was to keep track of construction projects and ship building projects.
Henry Gantt was instrumental in developing this type of chart. Although he was considered as the pioneer in developing this visual depiction of a project schedule, another engineer towards the end of the 19th century also had been rumored as having developed and implemented a similar kind of chart. Karol Adamiecki, a polish steelworks engineer, also was believed to have developed and implemented this type of Project management chart.
Project managers can use software such as Project and Visio, both from Microsoft, to develop a good Gantt chart so they can plot the progress of their projects. pre-made templates are available in several computer programs that simplify the technique and make it possible to use the charting on many projects, no matter what the size.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Steve Wilheir is a project management consultant, teaching successful management practices to Fortune 100 companies looking to build a better tomorrow. If you enjoyed learning about project management, be sure to check out these other articles on Gantt diagram, Gantt chart tutorial and PERT charts vs Gantt Charts.