For one of my university’s projects I needed to plan a schedule. A lecturer of mine suggested the Gantt chart as a good instrument. To be frank I already had no idea about what exactly is and how does a Gantt chart work! So I surfed the internet and found lots of practical information about the Gantt chart and how to take it into account for project planning. Now I’m going to share them with you, maybe you either find it a useful and practical tool.
A Gantt chart is a type of bar chart that illustrates a project schedule. Gantt charts illustrate the start and finish dates of the terminal elements and summary elements of a project [*]. This graphical representation shows duration of tasks against the progression of time.
In the following example 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 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 (TE) is computed using the formula (O + 4M + P) ÷ 6.
It is a common instrument for project planning and keeping track of the condition of individual tasks within a project. This type of chart was invented in 1910 by a mechanical engineer named Henry Gantt, and there are now a great many software tools that use Gantt charts in project planning. Excel is a popular tool for creating Gantt charts, but for more advanced project management activities, you may need a tool such as Microsoft Project or a project management add-in for Excel (download link / tutorial video).
There are lots of helpful videos on youtube.com; you just need to do a quick search.
Making a Gantt chart in Excel 2007