QUERI – Quality Enhancement Research Initiative

Go to the HSRD website

Quality Improvement Methods

17. Gantt Chart

a. Definition: The sequence of tasks in a project is represented by a series of horizontal bars. The bars represent the beginning and ending of each task in the project. Other aspects of the sequence of tasks can be included such as the dependency of one task on another task. The chart can also include a graphic display of progress on each task once a project has begun. The Gantt Chart facilitates understanding of the timing and parallel nature of these tasks.

b. Literature: See Project Management references in Section 37.

c. Example:

Nearly all research projects can have their workplan described by a series of tasks with a beginning time and an ending time. Each task involves an expected amount of elapsed time, is sequential in nature and has various attributes such as resources required conducting them. An example of research project's workplan as a computerized Gantt chart is shown below done using the Microsoft Project Manager software. Shown is the duration of each task as well as a summary bar representing the group of individual tasks below

Gantt Chart

d. Steps:

1) Define project's objectives and scope.

2) Identify individual tasks, elapsed time requirements and necessary sequence of the tasks. Some tasks may only be possible to begin, for example, once another task has been completed.

3) List the tasks on the left and draw bars to the right representing the start time and relative length of time required for each task.

4) Additional information can be added to the chart such as resources required, and an outline format of tasks and sub-tasks.

Several types of computer software products are available to help organize a project plan in Gantt chart form as well as track project progress, delays and budgeting.