PERT Chart & GANTT Chart

Question: What is a PERT chart (Secret 13) and a GANTT chart? I had a hard time visualizing what these are.

Answer: No worries.

PERT: I don’t think I’ve ever needed to do a PERT chart. Click here for a Wiki explanation of a PERT chart.

GANTT: “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. Gantt charts illustrate the start and finish dates of the terminal elements and summary elements of a project.” (source: Wikipedia)

A Gantt chart is similar to the “activity timeline” table discussed in secrets 8 and 27. Here is an example of an activity timeline…


An activity timeline or Gantt chart is some times used in the “Methods” section of a proposal. Our experience is that an activity timeline or Gantt chart is an easy way to set your proposal apart from the competition. It is also helpful to use once a grant is funded to 1) write up a job description, 2) get multiple people/agencies on the same page, and 3) hold yourself accountable over time.

According to The Back of the Napkin by Dan Roam,  “a Gantt chart is really nothing more than a bar chart laid on its side, with the length of each bar representing how long a specific task will take to complete.” He is a sample Gantt chart on a napkin from this fascinating book around the timeline needed to get to the moon in the 60’s…


Some claim that “the Gantt chart was used to schedule and monitor large construction projects like the Hoover Dam started in 1931 and the Eisenhower highway network launched in 1956. It has been refined and used ever since and is a powerful graphic tool to illustrate project schedule and progress.” Here is a more recent chart used to depict 10-year project of construction phases of the Hoover Dam…


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