As we all know, project managers monitor and control numerous activities to ensure that tasks are completed successfully on schedule. If you cannot finish a task within the fixed time or even finish a task out of sequence, there could be chain reactions to the rest of the project. It could deliver late, and cost a lot more. That is why most project managers need to see everything that needs to be done, when each activity needs to be completed.
What is Gantt charts?Gantt charts are named after Henry Gantt, an American engineer and project management consultant, who devised his own version of the chart based on Karol Adamiecki who created the very first Gantt chart. Gantt charts show this information visually. All of the tasks involved in a project, and their order are demonstrated by it. This gives you an instant overview of a project, including all kinds of tasks, and when these need to be finished.
Why Use Gantt Charts?For project managers, when you want to start a Gantt chart, you have to be familiar with all tasks in your project, and think out who will be responsible for each task, how long each task will take, and what problems your team will encounter. These reasonable ideas can helps you make sure the rationality of assigning each tasks, what's more, you have to plan for anything that you might run into before you start.
The important feature of Gantt chart is that it can help you work out all aspects of projects. Project managers have to know the minimum time it will take to deliver. Beside, this problem which tasks need to be completed before others can start need to be solved in advance. Project managers can use Gantt chart to create the criterion that all tasks must be completed in sequence on time if the whole project is to deliver on time. Because of this, progress of tasks can be shown by Gantt chart anywhere or anytime.
Gantt Chart as a Tool
Let's look at an example from Wikipedia and see how a Gantt chart converts data into a diagram.
"There are seven tasks, labeled a through g. Some tasks can be done concurrently ( a and b) while others cannot be done until their predecessor task is complete ( c and d cannot begin until a is complete). Additionally, each task has three-time estimates: the optimistic time estimate ( O), the most likely or normal time estimate ( M), and the pessimistic time estimate ( P). The expected time ( T E) is estimated using the beta probability distribution for the time estimates, using the formula ( O + 4 M + P) ÷ 6."
The diagram below is a Gantt chart with all information provided in the table above.
In the context of Agile software development, a Gantt chart is used to illustrate releases or sprints. Agile tools generally offer features of Gantt Chart to help visualize the task dependencies and the task relationship of task processors and successors.
If you want to know more about Gantt Chart and Agile, you can refer to Gantt Charts and Agile: charts, methodology and tools.
If you want to know more the Gantt Chart feature in agile tools, you can refer to Gantt Chart in ZenTao ALM.