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Author: Daiv Russell

What is project management? It is the field in which a manager manages various resources, such as people, time, and money effectively. The goal of project management is to complete the project with desired quality in time. A skilled project manager also reduces the cost of the project through better methods. A few examples of projects are efforts such as construction of a bridge or implementation of a new antenna network.

Project management includes developing a project plan, which includes defining project goals and objectives, specifying tasks or how goals will be achieved, what resources are needed, and associating budgets and timelines for completion. It also includes implementing the project plan and to ensure that the plan is being managed according to plan.

Gantt Chart Description

The Gantt chart is a specialized bar chart used to provide a graphical overview and schedule of all tasks or to indicate the work elements and dependencies of project. This is a chart with rectangular bars. The length of each bar is proportional to the time value necessary for each task on the work breakdown structure. You can compare two or more task durations very easily on the Gantt chart. The final product illustrates the schedule of a project.

The format of initial in the chart was developed by Henry Laurence Gantt. Henry Gantt innovated many different charts and inspired many others. The Gantt chart that is popular today was described in 1942 as a layout chart by W. Clark. The use of additional charting lines to show the dependencies between tasks was a much later innovation and did not really become established until 1987.

Gantt Chart Importance

The project's summary and terminal elements, which combine to form the project's internal structure, are shown on the Gantt chart. Many charts will also depict the precedence rankings and dependencies of various tasks within the project. The charts can illustrate the start and finish project terminal elements in project management. It can also show summary elements and terminal dependencies. The smallest task tracked as part of the project effort is known as a terminal element. Gantt chart represents the tasks in most modern project scheduling packages. However other management applications use simpler communication tools such as message boards, to-do lists and simple scheduling etc., therefore, they do not use Gantt charts as heavily.

The way to create this chart begins by determining and listing the necessary activities. Next, sketch out how you expect the chart to look. List which items depend on others and what activities take place when. For each activity, list how many man-hours it will require, and who is responsible. Lastly, determine the throughput time.

This technique's primary advantage is its good graphical overview that is easy to understand for nearly all project participants and stakeholders. Its primary disadvantage is its limited applicability for many projects, since projects are often more complex than can be effectively communicated with this chart.

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About the Author

Daiv Russell is a management and marketing consultant with Envision Consulting in Tampa, Florida. Consult our Project Management Course Guide or learn more about Project Management Basics, and How to draw a Gantt Diagram.


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