Project Management Profession

Henry Gantt, the Developer of Gantt Chart

Henry Gantt - charts
Written by Otto Sipos

Picture of Henry GanttThere is no project manager who has not heard about Gantt chart.

Who was Henry Gantt the developer of the famous chart?

Henry Laurence Gantt, was an American mechanical engineer and management consultant who is best known for developing the Gantt chart in the 1910s.

His biography on Wikipedia:

Gantt was born in Calvert County, Maryland. He graduated from McDonogh School in 1878 and then went on to Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey.

He then worked as a teacher and draughtsman before becoming a mechanical engineer.

In 1887, he joined Frederick W. Taylor in applying scientific management principles to their work at Midvale Steel and Bethlehem Steel—working there with Taylor until 1893.

In his later career as a management consultant—following the invention of the Gantt chart—he also designed the ‘task and bonus’ system of wage payment and additional measurement methods worker efficiency and productivity.

Henry Laurence Gantt
He was an American mechanical engineer who is famous about his charts.

About Gantt Chart

The Gantt chart is accepted as an important management tool.

It provides a graphic schedule for the planning and controlling of work, and recording progress towards stages of a project.

The charts were designed  so that foremen or other supervisors could quickly know whether production was on schedule, ahead of schedule, or behind schedule.

A Gantt chart is one of the most popular and useful ways of showing activities (tasks or events) displayed against time.

On the left of the chart is a list of the activities and along the top is a suitable time scale.

Each activity is represented by a bar; the position and length of the bar reflects the start date, duration and end date of the activity.

This allows you to see at a glance:

  • What the various activities are
  • When each activity begins and ends
  • How long each activity is scheduled to last
  • Where activities overlap with other activities, and by how much
  • The start and end date of the whole project

People talking about Gantt Chart over the world

Videos about Gantt Charts

Gantt Charts

Link of the “Gantt Charts” video:

Developing a Basic Gantt Chart / Bar Chart Using Critical Path Method (CPM)

Link of the video:

Microsoft Project 2010 Video Training Tutorial – Gantt Charts

Link of the video:

Making a Gantt Chart with Excel

Link of the video:

Making a Gantt Chart with Google Docs

Link of the video:

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Top 10 benefits of a Gantt chart

Joe Taylor summarized the benefits of a Gantt chart:

1. Clarity

One of the biggest benefits of a Gantt chart is the tool’s ability to boil down multiple tasks and timelines into a single document. Stakeholders throughout an organization can easily understand where teams are in a process while grasping the ways in which independent elements come together toward project completion.

2. Communication

Teams can use Gantt charts to replace meetings and enhance other status updates. Simply clarifying chart positions offers an easy, visual method to help team members understand task progress. To see other ways to compile status information, check out these series of articles.

3. Motivation

Some teams or team members become more effective when faced with a form of external motivation. Gantt charts offer teams the ability to focus work at the front of a task timeline, or at the tail end of a chart segment. Both types of team members can find Gantt charts meaningful as they plug their own work habits into the overall project schedule.

4. Coordination

For project managers and resource schedulers, the benefits of a Gantt chart include the ability to sequence events and reduce the potential for overburdening team members. Some project managers even use combinations of charts to break down projects into more manageable sets of tasks.

5. Creativity

Sometimes, a lack of time or resources forces project managers and teams to find creative solutions. Seeing how individual tasks intertwine on Gantt charts often encourages new partnerships and collaborations that might not have evolved under traditional task assignment systems.

6. Time Management

Most managers regard scheduling as one of the major benefits of Gantt charts in a creative environment. Helping teams understand the overall impact of project delays can foster stronger collaboration while encouraging better task organization.

7. Flexibility

Whether you use Excel to generate Gantt charts or you load tasks into a more precise chart generator, the ability to issue new charts as your project evolves lets you react to unexpected changes in project scope or timeline. While revising your project schedule too frequently can eliminate some of the other benefits of Gantt charts, offering a realistic view of a project can help team members recover from setbacks or adjust to other changes.

8. Manageability

For project managers handling complex assignments, like software publishing or event planning, the benefits of Gantt charts include externalizing assignments. By visualizing all of the pieces of a project puzzle, managers can make more focused, effective decisions about resources and timetables.

9. Efficiency

Another one of the benefits of Gantt charts is the ability for teams members to leverage each other’s deadlines for maximum efficiency. For instance, while one team member waits on the outcome of three other tasks before starting a crucial piece of the assignment, he or she can perform other project tasks. Visualizing resource usage during projects allows managers to make better use of people, places, and things.

10. Accountability

When project teams face major organizational change, documenting effort and outcomes becomes crucial to career success. Using Gantt charts during critical projects allows both project managers and participants to track team progress, highlighting both big wins and major failures. During professional review periods, team members who frequently exceed expectations can leverage this documentation into larger raises or bonuses.

The project management tool set would miss a great tool without the genius of Henry Gantt.

Thanks Henry, we think about you every day.

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