A Gantt chart is one of the most popular and useful ways of showing activities (tasks or events) displayed against time.

On the left of the chart is a list of the activities and along the top is a suitable time scale. Each activity is represented by a bar; the position and length of the bar reflects the start date, duration and end date of the activity. This allows you to see at a glance:

  • what the various activities are
  • when each activity begins and ends
  • how long each activity is scheduled to last
  • where activities overlap with other activities, and by how much
  • the start and end date of the whole project

To summarise, a Gantt chart shows you what has to be done (the activities) and when (the schedule).