Well done!Obviously this is a very basic Gantt Chart. We will now take a look at why Gantt Charts are valuable within a project and why they are used. We will also consider the limitations to the Gantt Chart and introduce some alternative methods that are worth carrying out some background reading on.
For further reading on the advantages of the Gantt Chart, please refer to Maylor Chapter 5 or Field and Keller Chapter 3.3
Beyond the Gantt Chart, Maylor 2001, European Management Journal, Volume 19, pp. 92-100Goldratt, 1997, Goldratt, 1997E.M. GoldrattThe Critical ChainNorth River Press, New York (1997)
Beyond the Gantt Chart, Maylor 2001, European Management Journal, Volume 19, pp. 92-100
Optional Task: read through the literature. Can you identify any other alternative approaches to scheduling?
PERT often displays the:O=Optimistic timeM=Most Likely timeP= Pessimistic Time
Please read Kerzner Chapter 12 for a detailed explanation of PERT.
The Gantt Chart
The Gantt Chart
The Theory of Henry
The Purpose of a Gantt Chart:
• To illustrate the relationship between project
activities & time.
• To show the multiple project activities on one chart
• To provide a simple & easy to understand
representation of project scheduling
Example of a simple Gantt Chart
You will see that a Gantt Chart is basically a Bar Chart.
Representing project activities against time.
Creating a Gantt Chart:
There are two methods to creating a Gantt Chart (Maylor, 2005).
1. Using a Forward Schedule: starting with the list of activities
and a given start date (6th Sept in previous example) follow them
forwards in time until you hit given deadline.
2. Using a Backward Schedule: look at the deadline, from that
date work in the logical list of activities.
Both of these methods allow you to ensure that all necessary
activities can possibly be completed within the given project
Steps to Creating a Gantt Chart:
1. Determine Project start date and deadline.
2. Gather all information surrounding the list of activities within
a project – the Work Breakdown Structure may be useful for this.
3. Determine how long each activity will take
4. Evaluate what activities are dependant on others
5. Create Graph shell including the timeline and list of activities.
6. Using either Forward Scheduling or Backward Scheduling,
Begin to add bars ensuring to include dependencies and the full
duration for each activity.
Consider the following:
1. Read Literature
2. Conduct Literature Review 14 days
3. Arrange Client Visits
4. Prepare Surveys
1 and 3
5. Conduct Surveys
6. Analyse Surveys
7. Write Up
1,2,3,4,5 and 6
Project Start Date = 1st September
Deadline = 20th Decemeber
• Step 5 - From the previous slide, steps 1-4 are
already complete. We now need to create a
• Step 6 – have a go at using either Forward
Scheduling or Backward Scheduling to
populate the graph.
The Finished Product:
• A useful tool for displaying time-based
information within a project.
• Very simple to create
• They provide a useful overview of project
activities, a good starting point for project
• The charts are widely used and understood.
• There exists several PC software packages that
allow you to build Gantt Charts.
• The Gantt Chart does not explain the
reasoning behind the chosen duration of each
activity. (Maylor, 2001)
• The Gantt Chart is very difficult to update
when changes to the project plan take place.
This makes it time consuming and results in
long-term planning being very difficult.
• Gantt Charts encourage a one-step approach to
planning – this prevents flexibility in project planning.
• Modern day Gantt Charts, using PC software, can look
very professional without actually having meaning,
preventing project teams from challenging their
content. This can lead to difficulties later in the
project. (Maylor, 2001)
• As Gantt Charts are difficult to update manually, they
can often become obsolete.
• The charts do not consider project costs or resources.
Work Breakdown Structure
Critical Path Method
Program Evaluation and Review
• Also a very traditional project planning
• PERT shows the list of activities within a
project, their duration and the relationship
• PERT is a complex process however it can help
to deliver a well defined project plan.
Graphical Evaluation and Review
• Similar to PERT, however allows for looping,
branching and the display of multiple project
• GERT can show possibilities if a section of a
project were to fail.
• Further GERT reading = Meredith and Mantel