Gantt charts are useful in project management because it offers a useful way to show specific tasks, events, or activities when displayed against time.
On the left-hand side of the chart, you would see a specific activity. Then a row extends to the right of this task, with a timeframe listed above each square to indicate when it is active. You can use this information as a way to track staff meetings, project deadlines, and where there are issues of overlap with only a glance.
When Was the Gantt Chart Invented?
A man named Karol Adamiecki invented the first Gantt chart. He ran a steel organization in southern Poland and used this method to modernize his techniques and management ideas.
When Henry Gantt devised a similar method about 15 years later, his U.S.-based location allowed the structure to spread around the world faster. It became popular to use, so the chart would come to bear his name instead.
The initial charts using this method were prepared by hand, which meant any changes to the schedule required people to redraw or amend it. That limited its usefulness, so it was only implemented in specific situations.
Thanks to the progress that project management software and computers have made in the past 40 years, Gantt charts are now one of the most widely-used options for taking control over a complex schedule.
The Scale of the Gantt Chart
A Gantt chart can be of any scale. If you use Outlook’s version to schedule blocks of time at work, then it operates like a calendar of events for each day. You can list items on the schedule in hourly, daily, or weekly increments.
If a Gantt chart is being used for project management, then it might have 5-10 years of length incorporated into it.
Then each item you place onto the chart automatically tracks with other events to see if there are any conflicts present. You can color-code different elements to examine specific tasks, activities, or schedules and their priority.
The newest Gantt charts include a solid bar to indicate completion of work as well. When you combine these elements with the task labels, staff responsibility, and other notes that can help productivity, being over-booked is a problem of the past.