Use the Gantt Chart to establish a graphical timeline for project activities and to show the relationship between the tasks and the milestones. For example, a Gantt Chart can show the following information:
  • Relationship between the various tasks (sequential, simultaneous)
  • Expected start and completion dates
  • Percent of a task that is complete
  • Milestones (labels and dates)
Answers the questions:
  • What activities must we do?
  • In what order must we do these activities?
  • How long should these activities take?
  • How long did these activities take?
  • What is the time status of the project?
When to Use Purpose
Early in the project To identify and plan the major steps of the project to both force the clear identification of the tasks as well as establish an estimate of time to complete the project (or meet an intermediate goal or milestone).
Throughout the project To maintain management oversight on project progress and to identify bottlenecks that can delay the project.
In subsections of a project Individual Gantt charts may be used for any multiple task or step project; for example, identifying, designing, obtaining, and installing a new gage system to replace one that failed gage R&R.


Your data must be a list of tasks or steps required to complete a project, or a defined subset of a project, that includes the following information:
  • Start date (estimated or actual)
  • Completion or due date (estimated or actual)
  • Progress (percent complete)
  • Notes


  • Caution: A famous Six Sigma saying is "You don’t know what you don’t know." In some cases, when you plan your entire project at the beginning, you may find the original chart does not reflect reality (due to developing a new gage, qualifying a new vendor, obtaining agreement from a labor union, and so on). In these cases, you should modify the chart with appropriate notation that explains the reason for the change.
  • Size the tasks appropriate to your intent; for example:
    • If you want to maintain general oversight of an entire project, you might have 12 tasks (one for each of the 12 steps used in the 12-step project template).
    • If you are managing a time-critical process, you can break down the tasks into more defined steps such as create design, review design, draft, proof blueprints, make prototype, and so on.


  1. Identify and list each task sequentially.
  2. For each task, establish an estimated start date and due date.
  3. Enter any milestones such as a planned design review or a run-off at the vendor.
  4. As the project progresses, for the tasks that have started, enter the percent complete as a number (25) or as a percentage (25%).
  5. As the project progresses, enter any newly identified milestones.
  6. Add information for any specific task by using the Footnote column to reference a footnote in the bottom section of the tool.

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