Gantt Chart is a process control chart or a graphical representation that illustrates work plans and schedules by using horizontal bars and is used for production management or project management. It is named after its inventor, Henry Laurence Gantt.
Overview of Gantt Chart
Gantt Chart has a vertical axis representing tasks or resources and a horizontal axis representing time and illustrates the duration in which a task is being worked on or a resource is used by using horizontal bars. It is considered as a representative of classical management principles.
The advantage of Gantt Chart is to help people visually grasp the progress of a task and operational status of a resource. It is also frequently used in IT-related area. On the other hands, its disadvantage is that it is difficult to grasp correlation among tasks and resources and to prioritize them for the sake of management in case where multiple tasks and resources are involved.Gantt was working on research about scientific management principles under Frederick W. Taylor, who is an inventor of scientific management principles. Being influenced by Taylor's approach, Gantt Chart, at the core, seems to aim effective activities and resource allocation by means of scientific management.
Many of typical process control and management principles used nowadays are related to Gantt Chart, so its merit is significant.
Background of Gantt Chart
Gantt Chart is invented by Henry Laurence Gantt in early 1900s. At the beginning, its horizontal axis represented the amount of a resource or task, but later it was used in order to represent time.
In 1922, Wallace Clark, who was working under Gantt, published "The Gantt Chart A Working Took of Management," and Gantt Chart got widely known. After that, it was utilized as a management principle of large-scale projects, such as the construction of Hoover Dam and the construction of interstate highway network. Owing to the fact that Gantt Chart is used in such large-scale projects, it established its status as a classical management principle.
In addition, various variants of Gantt Chart, such as a milestone chart which contains milestones and a chart that can show dependencies among tasks by using auxiliary lines, have been developed.
PERT (Program Evaluation and Review Technique), which is the representative of today's process control and management principles, is one of these variants of Gantt Chart.
- 1903: "A Graphical Daily Balance in Manufacture" was published.
- 1916: "Work, Wages, and Profits" was published.
- 1919: "Organizing for Work" was published.
- 1922: "The Gantt Chart A Working Tool of Management was published by Wallace Clark.
- 1931: The construction of Hoover Dam
- 1956: The construction of interstate highway network
As mentioned above, Gantt Chart is used in a variety of fields, such as a civil engineering area, industrial area, and project management.
Examples of software products that can be used to draw Gantt Chart are:
- Microsoft Project
- ProjectKeeper OSS
In addition to the ones above, Microsoft Excel etc. can also be used to draw a simple Gantt Chart.
Effectiveness of Gantt Chart in BPM
Gantt Chart can effectively visualize tasks, time required to complete tasks, and statuses of achievements of tasks. In addition, In order to draw Gantt Chart, tasks need to be identified, and a process model, such as the scheduling and required manpower, must be clarified. Thus, drawing Gantt Chart helps re-organize and clarify the process model. Therefore, Gantt Chart is a highly effective tool in BPM, which aims to improve and manage business process.