Commonly used as an organisational tool for project management, Gantt Charts display a list of activities (or tasks) with their duration over time, showing when each activity starts and ends. This makes Gantt Charts useful for planning and estimating how long an entire project might take. You can also see what activities are running in parallel to each other.
Gantt Charts are drawn within a table: rows are used for the activities and columns are used as the timescale. The duration of each activity is represented by the length of a bar plotted along this timescale. The start of the bar is the beginning of the activity and the end of the bar is when the activity should finish. Colour-coding the bars can be used to categorise the activities into groups. To show the percentage of completion of an activity, a bar can be partially filled in, shaded differently or use a different colour, to differentiate between what is done and what is left to do.
Connecting arrows can be used to show which tasks are dependent on each other. Critical paths, the key activities required to finish the project can also be displayed with a series of highlighted arrows. Symbols can also be placed within a Gantt Chart to signify milestones and a vertical line running through the chart is used to highlight the current date.