Today, Gantt charts are a staple tool in project management software. They show up in project binders, on boardroom walls, and in project management plans — all because they are able to visually convey what would take paragraphs of boring text. But who invented them? What makes them beneficial for project planning? And what are the useful parts of every Gantt chart?

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Below we've put together an infographic to explain what is a Gantt chart, how it came to be, and why it's an awesome management tool that isn't going away anytime soon. Feel free to download it now and share it with your social networks, or read on for some more information about this ever-popular tool.

What is a Gantt Chart? Why should you use a Gantt Chart?

What is a Gantt chart?

Put simply, a Gantt chart is a visual tool used in project management that provides an illustrative timeline for tasks or activities involved in a project. Named after its inventor, Henry Gantt, this chart is essentially a horizontal bar chart that displays project tasks against a timeline. Each task is represented by a bar; the position and length of the bar reflect the start date, duration, and end date of the task. Gantt charts can also show dependencies between tasks, i.e., how the tasks are interconnected. 

This visual representation aids project managers in scheduling, managing, and communicating the project plan, making Gantt charts an essential tool in effective project management.

The evolution of Gantt charts in project management

Gantt charts have evolved significantly since their inception. Initially, they were used as a basic visual tool to track the progress of tasks. However, with the advent of digital project management software, Gantt charts have transformed into dynamic and interactive tools. 

Modern Gantt chart software now offers features such as real-time updates, drag-and-drop adjustments, and integration with other project management tools. This evolution has made Gantt charts and Gantt chart software an indispensable part of 21st-century project management.

The benefits of Gantt charts in project management

Gantt charts for project planning offer a visual overview of projects, enhancing planning and scheduling. They illustrate task dependencies, aiding in sequencing activities and identifying potential bottlenecks. 

By promoting transparency, they improve communication among team members and stakeholders. Gantt charts facilitate efficient resource allocation, preventing over or under-utilization. Moreover, they serve as a reliable tool for tracking progress and keeping everyone informed about accomplishments and upcoming tasks. They're a great tool for successful project management.

If you’re wondering how to use a Gantt chart for project management, learn more about Wrike’s award-winning Gantt chart software here. Ready to try for yourself? Start your two-week trial now.

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