Gantt Chart: Learn With a Simple Practical Example

A Gantt chart is a horizontal, timeline-based chart that represents a project plan in a certain period of time. It was invented by Henry Gantt around 1910. The Gantt chart can grasp the overall progress in terms of time, and clearly mark the starting and ending time of each task.

This article will help you understand the following topics: 

  • What is a Gantt chart?
  • How to create a Gantt chart in Excel?
    • Create a Stacked bar chart
  • Add duration data to the chart
  • Add task description to the Gantt chart
  • Transform bar chart into an Excel Gantt chart
  • Adjust the number of dates on the Gantt chart you’ve created

What Is a Gantt chart?

According to the Economics time, A Gantt chart is a useful graphical tool which shows activities or tasks performed against time. It is also referred to as a visual representation of a project where the project activities are split/broken down and each of them presented on a chart - making it easy for anyone to interpret and understand.

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How to Make a Gantt Chart in Excel?

Excel does not have an option of a Gantt chart, but we can create a Gantt chart by customizing Microsoft Excel’s stacked bar chart type. Below is the Gantt chart data that we will be using for our example for creating a Gantt chart in Excel.

ganttchart1

Create Stacked Bar Chart

We aim to create a Gantt chart in Excel that will allow us to track the number of days it took to complete a task.

To create a stacked bar chart, execute the following steps:

  • Select the range of start dates including the column header.

select range

  • Go to the Insert tab and click the Column symbol.
  • Click Stacked bar.

insert ganttchart

You will now see a stacked bar (as presented below) added to the worksheet.

x

Add Duration Data to the Chart

Now, the next step in creating a Gantt chart in excel, is to add one more series to our chart.

  • Right-click anywhere within the chart area and choose Select Data from the context menu. The Select Data Source window will open.

select data

  • Click the Add button to add more data you want to plot in the Gantt chart in the excel sheet. The edit series window will open.

duration ganttchart

  • In the Series values, select the duration data excluding the header.

edit series

  •  Click OK twice. Now the duration data is added to your chart.

gantt chart

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Add Task Description to the Gantt Chart in Excel

Having done the above action, you will be required to replace the days on the chart, on the left side of it with the list of tasks.

  • Right-click anywhere in the chart area and click Select Data. The select data source window will appear.
  • Make sure the Start Date is selected on the left pane and click the Edit button on the right pane.

gantt chart

  • An Axis Labels window will appear. Select the task data in the same way you selected the duration data.

chart

  • Click OK twice. 

click ok

Transform the Bar Chart Into an Excel Gantt Chart in Excel

Now we will transform our stacked chart into a Gantt chart in Excel by adding proper formatting to it. In order to convert this stacked chart into a Gantt chart in Excel, you will be required to remove the blue bars, to make sure that just the orange parts that represent the tasks are visible.  

  • Click on any blue bar on the chart. Right-click and choose Format Data Series.
  • The Format Data Series window will show up. Go to Fill & Line icon > Fill and select No fill.

no fill

  • Click on the list of tasks from the chart to select them. The format axis dialog box will appear. Select the Categories in reverse order option. 

reverse order

You will get a Gantt chart in Excel.

chart 3

Adjust the Number of Dates on Your Gantt Chart in Excel

Dates are stored as numbers in Excel. You can check the date in number format by clicking on the date cell and going to the number section to check the corresponding number. 

date number

  • Right-click on the date axis and select the Format Axis from the context menu. The format axis window will appear. Change the minimum bounds to 44136.

44136 ganttchart

Your Gantt chart in Excel is ready.

output 44136

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Conclusion

In this article, you have learned how to create a Gantt chart from a stacked bar chart. Gantt chart is considered to be a very successful and useful method for project management.

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Do you have any questions? Feel free to ask them in this article’s comments section, and our experts will promptly answer them for you! 

About the Author

Aryan GuptaAryan Gupta

Aryan is a tech enthusiast who likes to stay updated about trending technologies of today. He is passionate about all things technology, a keen researcher, and writes to inspire. Aside from technology, he is an active football player and a keen enthusiast of the game.

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