Who is Henry L Gantt?

The term "Gantt Chart" goes back to a gentleman called Henry Gantt, who was living from 1861 to 1919 in the United States. Together with Frederick W. Taylor (yes, the guy who gave his name to "Taylorism"), we was trying to apply scientific management principles to increase the production of steel mills in 1886.

He then become a representative of an entirely new profession – the industrial consultant, later know as management consultant. In this new field of action, he developed a series of tool to visualize important facts and to support the change inherent to any improvement. One of his first inventions was the "task and bonus" system of wage payment to increase worker efficiency and productivity.

Another field of work of Henry Gantt was project management and he was the first to establish a visual graphic schedule for project planning and controlling of work. The chart has a modern cousin, the PERT chart (program evaluation and review technique).

Gantt invented different types of charts, depending on the audience – the purpose of all charts was to allow foremen and supervisors to see whether a project – or the production – was on schedule, ahead of schedule or behind of schedule.

Nowadays, we are living in an agile world where the work is managed somewhat differently – Kanban, Burn charts and similar representations are good examples of this. However, Gantt charts are still a very good way to give the "big picture" of an undertaking, and that's why gantt.io focuses on the best possible graphical representation of the project sequence, leaving the detailed management of the project activities to other tools.