Gantt Charts

Gantt charts are used to manage projects. A project is an endeavor to create a product or a service. It includes resources needed to complete the project as well as human resources to perform the work. Specific tasks and objectives are set and resources are assigned to these tasks and objectives. The specific tasks typically also have starting and ending dates or times. A project manager is assigned to the project and has responsibility and authority over the project. When all of the objects of the project are met, the project is considered to be done.

A gantt chart is a tool used my project managers to help visualize the project, tasks and resources. In the past they were hand drawn, but with the popularity of computers, have become computerized. There are many programs available that will allow gantt charts to be created easily. If you searched the Internet for "gantt chart" you would get many hits.

Project management is a key position in just about any medium sized to large organizations. Not everyone has the skills to manage a project, keep it on track and keep it within budget, so it tends to be a highly specialized and demanded position that can pay quite well. If you like working with and managing people, have good time management skills for getting something done on time, and can manage funding effectively, this type of position could be for you. The IT industry is particularly needly of project managers because of the constant list of projects for new programs and systems.

Creating a Simple Gantt Chart with GanttProject

For this example, we will define a project to build a shed. Before we start GanttProject and create our project in the program, it is a good idea to pencil out the tasks and resources involved.

  1. Pencil out the Project
  2. Start GanttProject
  3. Save Your Project
    1. Click Project on the Menu Bar
    2. Select Save or Save As
    3. Select the Folder that you Want to save the Project In
    4. Type in the File Name and Click OK
  4. Start a New Project
    1. Click Project on the Menu Bar
    2. Select New


    1. Type in your name, organization and description of project.
    2. Click OK.



    1. Define a task by clicking Tasks on the Menu Bar and selecting New Task

    2. Type a task name in the highlighted task name field
    3. Double-click on the Begin Date field to open it and type in your beginning date.
    4. Double-click on the End Date field to open it and type in your ending date.
    5. The dates that you just entered will show on the timeline to the right.


    6. Set up your project resources by clicking Resources on the Menu Bar and Selecting New Resource


    7. Type in the Person's Name and information and Click OK

    8. Repeat step "k" for each person on the project.
    9. Select the Gantt tab, then select the task
    10. Click Tasks on the Menu Bar and Select Task Properties


    11. In the Properties Window, click the Resources Tab


    12. Click in the Resource Name field (this will bring up a list of Resources that you previously defined)
    13. Click the pull-down arrow in the Resource field and select the Person or Resource that you previously defined
    14. Leave the defaults in the other fields unless you want to change. Unit represents time required and the default is 100. If this resource is to be used for only 50% of the time, you should change this to 50.
    15. Click OK when done.
    16. Repeat Step e for each task of the project (at least 2 tasks are required for the assignment).
    17. Repeat Steps m through s to assign people to each task.

    18. Click the Gantt tab
    19. Size window so that all tasks and timeline show


    20. Take a screen shot of this window. Remember to use Alt + Print Screen to capture only the active window.
    21. Open your Paint or Draw Program and Paste the contents of the clipboard into the program
    22. Save or Export the image as gantt.gif or gantt.jpg to your project_3 folder on your disk. (This is the folder you made in the file management homework.)
    23. Include the .gif or .jpg image in your Project 3 zip file.
    24. NOTE: You may want to save your Gantt Project to your hard drive in case you need to reopen it and redo your screen shot. Otherwise, once you close the program you will loose your work.

Revised: 2007-08-01 © Sue Norris
Revised:2007-10-28 Russ Erdman