What is the Gantt Chart?
The Gantt Chart is basically a bar chart which is used in the field of project management for showcasing the project management schedule. A Gantt chart will generally showcase both the starting date for a project, as well as the end date, and it will also feature various elements which are connected to the project.
Terminal elements typically featured on the Gantt chart, and summary elements may be added as well. These two elements are responsible for comprising the work breakdown structure for the project. Many Gantt charts also demonstrate the connections(called dependencies), which exist for the many processes that make up a project.
The Gantt chart is capable of showing the status of current activities, and this will generally be showcased using percentages and vertical lines. While the name Gantt Chart was taken from Henry Gantt, who was responsible for developing it, the evidence shows that early versions of this chart have existed since 1896, and were developed by Karol Adamiecki.
Since he lived in Russia, people in the West were not aware of the existence of his chart, which he called a harmonogram, and often solely attribute its creation by Henry Gantt. By the 1980s, Gantt charts begin to appear in computer software programs. Not only could such charts be showcased, but they could be edited and modified as well.
The desktop applications which were developed during this time were specifically designed for use by project managers, and by the 1990s, the Gantt charts were considered to be standard, especially when it came to applications which were web based. While the Gantt charts today have become quite common, they were state of the art during their introduction.
While there are a number of powerful advantages that come with usage of the Gantt chart, there are also some disadvantages to consider as well. Those who want to make maximum use of the Gantt charts must be aware of both. Gantt charts are very closely connected to the Work Breakdown Structure.
Limitations and Benefits of Gantt Charts
The Gantt Chart makes it easy to visualize the work breakdown structure. This visualization makes it easier for a large number of people to understand it. However, one mistake that people often make with the Gantt chart is that they try to define the WBS while defining the schedule process at the same time. When this is done, it makes it extremely challenging to maintain the 100% Rule.
It is absolutely essential that the WBS always be in line with the 100% Rule, because it is then possible for a project schedule to be structured correctly. While the Gantt Chart is very useful for smaller projects, it can also be used for projects which are much larger.
However, the limit for the Gantt chart is about thirty activities; once a team attempts to go beyond this, the Gantt chart will begin experiencing difficulties. The problem with some Gantt charts is that they may simply be too large for some computer screens.
Another criticism which is commonly made towards Gantt charts is that very little information is showcased for each unit region for display. The projects will often be a lot more complex than can be properly showcased with the Gantt chart. Gantt charts only symbolize a portion of the triple constraint which is generally connected to project, and the reason for this is because they place an emphasis on the management of schedules.
In addition to this, the Gantt charts do not symbolize the total size of a project, or even the size of the work elements that comprise it. Because of this, the total size of a condition which is not on schedule may not be properly communicated. If you are dealing with two projects that are behind schedule for an identical number of days, then the bigger project will have a much bigger effect on the utilization of the resources, but the Gantt chart does not symbolize this at the same time.
Despite the fact that the project management software can only properly showcase the dependencies which exist in the form of lines among activities, showcasing a lot of dependencies could cause a chart to appear unreadable.