What is a Gantt Chart? – Definition, History and How to Create a Gantt Chart?

What is a Gantt Chart?

A Gantt chart is a type of bar chart, adapted by Karol Adamiecki in 1896 and independently by Henry Gantt in the 1910s, that illustrates a project schedule. It is a graphical illustration of the duration of tasks against the progression of time. Gantt charts are useful tools for planning and scheduling projects.

A Gantt chart in Excel represents projects or tasks in the form of cascading horizontal bar charts. A Gantt chart illustrates the breakdown structure of the project by showing the start and finish dates as well as various relationships between project activities, and in this way helps you track the tasks against their scheduled time or predefined milestones.

A Gantt chart makes it easy to understand the steps required to complete a project, thus enhancing organization and improving the chances of success.

One of the biggest benefits of a Gantt chart is the tool’s ability to boil down multiple tasks and timelines into a single document. Stakeholders throughout an organization can easily understand where teams are in a process while grasping the ways in which independent elements come together toward project completion.

Gantt Chart Excel Example

The above image is an example of a Gantt chart created to plan the construction of a villa. It is an actual screenshot of Gantt Chart Excel.
It’s the most intuitive and easy way to build a chart quickly, right within excel.

Gantt Chart History

The first Gantt chart was devised in the mid 1890s by Karol Adamiecki, a Polish engineer who ran a steelworks in southern Poland and had become interested in management ideas and techniques. Some 15 years after Adamiecki , Henry Gantt, an American engineer and management consultant, devised his own version of the chart and it was this that became widely known and popular in western countries. Consequently it was Henry Gantt whose name was to become associated with charts of this type.


Originally Gantt charts were prepared laboriously by hand. Each time a project changed it was necessary to amend or redraw the chart and this limited their usefulness, continual change being a feature of most projects. Nowadays, however, with the advent of Gantt Chart Templates and project management software, Gantt charts can be created, updated and printed easily.

Today, Gantt charts are most commonly used for tracking project schedules. For this it is useful to be able to show additional information about the various tasks or phases of the project, for example how the tasks relate to each other, how far each task has progressed, what resources are being used for each task and so on.

How to Create a Gantt Chart in Excel?

If you use Microsoft Excel, you can create a Gantt Chart/ Project Timeline/ Schedule with almost no learning curve by downloading our Gantt Chart Excel Template. Excel is instantly familiar, so everyone on your team “gets it” and hits the ground running.

Our Gantt Chart template is completely automated and it is super easy to use. Download it now and you’ll have a professional-looking Gantt chart in minutes.

Download our Gantt Chart Excel Template
Gantt Chart Excel Template Ribbon
Gantt Chart Excel

Our Gantt Chart Excel Template gives you the ability to see every step of your project from beginning to end.