What is a Gantt Chart? Definition and History

Gantt charts are commonly used for tracking projects and project management. But, do you know why they are called Gantt charts? Learn all about it here.

When someone mentions Gantt charts, some people might think of old-fashioned spreadsheet-chaos. But they couldn’t be more wrong. Why? Because Gantt charts are great. In this article, you will find a complete guide to understanding the effectiveness of Gantt charts for your projects, regardless of what kind of industry you work in.

Gantt charts are commonly used for tracking project schedules, and they are especially useful in project management. To put it simply, they illustrate and allow you to know what needs to be done, and when it needs to be done. Gantt charts are also able to show you additional information regarding the different tasks or sections of a project, such as how far have tasks progresses, how a group of tasks might depend or other groups of tasks, how important several tasks are, and resources are being used within a project.

One of the great things about Gantt charts is that they are extremely visual. On the left side of a chart, you will find a list of tasks necessary for a project, and on the top, you will find a time scale. Here comes the important part: each task is represented by a bar; its length represents the duration of a task. At the same time, each bar is represented by the title of the activity that needs to be completed, along with any relevant information that will help carry it to completion.

To summarize, Gantt charts will allow you to:

  • Know what the different activities are
  • When activities need to start, and when they need to finish.
  • How long your activities were primarily scheduled to last.
  • How much your activities cost, and how much your project is likely to cost.
  • Which activities depend on others to be effectively completed.
  • Current progress status.
  • The duration of the entire project.

Where do Gantt charts come from?

In the mid-1890s, Karol Adamiecki, a Polish engineer, was known to utilize the first tool of this kind. However, it was not published until several years later and only in Polish, which limited his authorship and recognition.

Around the years 1910 and 1915, it was Henry Gantt, an American engineer, who designed his own version of the chart. It was this version that became popular in western countries, hence the name Henry Gantt gaining recognition today for this widely known chart.

Back then, Gantt charts were drawn and difficult to build. Any change could set back hours of work. Today, however, specialized Gantt charts project management tools are here to make people’s life easier.

Gantt charts are also especially wonderful for team collaboration and to have everyone contribute to a project because team members can easily see who is working on what, and what needs to be completed next.

What should I expect from online Gantt chart project management software?

Some of the most important features you should be looking for are:

  • Task and workload management
  • Time and progress tracking
  • Dependencies and milestones
  • Team collaboration

The good news is, a tool like Instagantt would be the perfect need for your online Gantt chart building needs. Why? Because you get it all in one place! Instagantt will allow you to manage your resources, your workload schedule, your budget, and most importantly, your team.

Our Gantt chart software is great for project managers, marketing professionals, social media and community managers, freelance workers, IT managers, developers, designers, wedding planners, contractors, you name it! We’ve built our software thinking of the features will undoubtedly need when successfully running a project from start to finish. So give it a try, now!

Want to discover more?

Try Instagantt for free, full featured for 7 days.
GET STARTED FOR FREE