Gantt Chart

DEFINITION of 'Gantt Chart'

A Gantt chart is a visual representation of a project schedule. A type of bar chart, a Gantt charts show the start and finish dates of the different required elements of a project. Henry Laurence Gantt, an American mechanical engineer, is recognized for developing the Gantt chart.

BREAKING DOWN 'Gantt Chart'

Gantt charts are useful in planning how long a project should take and helping to sequence the events by laying them out in the order in which the tasks need to be completed.


Typically, tasks are shown on the vertical axis, and the project time span is represented on the horizontal axis. Each task has a corresponding bar that shows the time span required for that task. The bar can be filled in to show the percentage of the task that has been completed. Gantt charts also indicate dependencies, those tasks that are dependent upon other tasks. Today there are many software applications available for creating Gantt charts, as well as functions in popular programs such a Microsoft Excel.

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