Gantt charts are designed to assist with planning a project. They display a timeline showing the different stages of the project while simultaneously giving the overall picture of what the project will look like when complete. Gantt charts are especially helpful in technical reports and proposals.
Typically, within a Gantt chart each task or activity takes up one row. Activities are listed on the left side. A timeline is usually given at the top or bottom of the chart – the timeline will have days, weeks, or months labeled on it, depending on the task at hand. In other words, the horizontal axis of the chart represents the duration, and the vertical axis of the chart represents activities taking place during the duration. The estimated time to complete a task is represented by a bar or arrow that runs in between the start and end dates of the task. These bars or arrows that represent estimated duration of tasks may overlap if necessary. Keep in mind that each event within a Gantt chart should have clearly defined start and end points. Also remember to keep the tasks represented in a Gantt chart down to a manageable number. Typically, most Gantt charts represent no more than 20 tasks.
One final thing to remember when designing a Gantt chart is that these types of charts usually require computer software to be produced effectively. The following Gantt chart was made using the table function in Microsoft Word, so it may vary slightly from some of the other Gantt charts that you see.
Copyright 2003 by the Academic Center and the University of Houston-Victoria.
Created 2003 by Candice Chovanec-Melzow.
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