What is a Gantt chart? The most useful tool to organize your time ever
What is a Gantt chart? Let us answer that question through a brief story. Joe was born in one of the northern States of the US, where the mountains merge into the trees and you can see deers and wolves running around. He is an active young man, and sly as a fox. But this summer he was left with nothing to do and the ladies who are in charge of the children summer camp in town wanted to hire him as a monitor.
He refused in the most respectful way, but in the end, they caught him escaping with all his belongings, in the middle of the night. Threatening him with a broom stick to tattle it all to his mother, they put him in the main cabin, along with all those dissected beast heads, to make a plan of activities. Needless to say, he became the new monitor for this year. Now, “Broomville” depends on the profits of this summer camp.
Our good and attractive Joey wanted to know how much time it would take them to do each activity, before planning whether they would go on a kayaking or rafting adventure the first week of august. So, he classified the tasks one after the other, whatever they were, and organized them within the schedule. Sometimes he even surprised himself. His expert mind worked like that.
As the chieftains of the town had told him, he had to program different activities, check the time available for each one, determine their pace at some point, and of course, assign responsibilities in each execution. There must be a way to organize everything, place it on the interactive whiteboard and please everybody.
Holy Mother of God! Of course! Why didn’t he come up with that before? A Gantt chart!
“What is a Gantt chart?”, you may wonder. “What is a Gantt chart?”, you may also ask the person sitting next to you. “What is a Gantt chart!”, you may scream to the room, wherever you might be reading this article. Well, a Gantt chart is a visual tool to plan and program activities or tasks on a timeline. It allows the user, in this case Joey, to set the duration and the beginning of each activity. Through an easy-to-interpret chart, the user can plan tasks efficiently.
Since the very beginning, Gantt charts have become a basic tool in any kind of project management. Their purpose consists of picturing the different stages, tasks and activities programmed as part of a project or creating a timeline featuring the different activities, turning it into an even more efficient method.
The Gantt chart is really extended among project management professionals, since, among other features, it allows you to divide the project in smaller tasks.
We already know the answer to the question “what is a Gantt chart?”, but how do we make a “diy” version? Well, we have to create an “horizontal axis” that we will use as a predefined calendar or timeline. Its measure units need to be adapted to the job that must be performed. There is also a “vertical axis” where we will take note of the activities that we are going to carry out. You have to bear in mind that the duration of each activity is represented by a rectangular block whose length indicates its duration. The position of each block in the chart will show the beginning and the conclusion of the corresponding activities.
There is no specific consensus about who created this chart, since it could have another name. Although it is generally believed that the success of this chart belongs to Henry Laurence Gantt, mechanical engineer and consultant in business administration. The truth is that, a couple of years before, around 1896, another engineer, Karol Adamiecki, developed something similar, but his studies were published in Polish which was not very commercial at the time. So, Henry, way more smart, just had to popularize his version, slightly modified, in English, through several articles published in the Journal of Engineering in New York, between 1910 and 1915.
Anyway, whoever was responsible for this absolute success, more than a century later, this famous chart continues to be one of the most used management tools, and it has not even evolved that much! Joey, who is an expert in the field, knows this. Although sometimes the chart has some disadvantages, it is far superior in a specific detail, which Joe knows will be very useful in the camp. The schedule encourages communication between the manager and the team. Indeed, it provides a quick and useful display of the time available and the time devoted to the different tasks. This will allow Joey and the troop assigned to his camp, to act quickly and take accurate decisions. That way, he will be able to manage different resources at any time and reward his peers for their efforts. How will he reward them? Well, that’s up to him. Perhaps giving them Pop Tarts or leaving them a couple of minutes to take a nap from time to time.
Bearing all of this in mind, Joe could also use Integria IMS if he wanted, a software that provides, among other features, a project management system that allows you to create a classic project methodology, based on Gantt.
In addition, it also offers you other useful tools, such as an inventory or an issue management system (help desk software) based on tickets (ticketing), among other functions.
Are you curious and want to know more? Would you like to know better what Integria IMS can offer you? Click here: https://integriaims.com/en/
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The great team behind Integria IMS will be glad to assist you!
Laura is one of our translators. She speaks English and French, although she is also studying German, Japanese and Korean. She loves travelling and visiting art galleries.