How to Make a Gantt Chart Using Microsoft Project

By Felicia Blue

If you desire to be a project manager, you must learn Microsoft Project. One major component of Microsoft Project you must understand is Gantt charts. Gantt charts are bar charts or timelines that enable you to view and manage resources, tasks, dependencies and milestones. Gantt charts are easy to create. In fact, every time you open up Microsoft Project, you will see a Gantt chart. It just doesn't contain any data until you add information into your tasks or resources columns. Before you learn how to create a Gantt chart, you should be familiar with both project management terminology and Microsoft Project.

Step 1

Open Microsoft Project. The interface consists of two separate panes. The left side consists of your tasks, duration, resources and predecessors. The right side, which is the Gantt chart, shows the timeline of your project, such as your tasks and resources.

Step 2

Type your task under the Task Name column. Tab to the "Duration" column and click on the up or down arrow to select the number of days it will take to complete the task.

Step 3

Tab to the "Start" column and click on the arrow to select the date you want to start the task. Tab to the "End" column to enter your end date.

Step 4

Tab to the "Predecessors" column and enter the information. You create predecessors or dependencies when you must complete a certain task before starting another one. For example, you cannot start editing the script until you have finished writing it.

Step 5

Tab to the "Resources" column, and click on the arrow to select your resource. Even if you have not entered your resource in the "Resource" mode, type the name in the field. Press "Enter."

Step 6

View and manage your project via the Gantt chart. To get a wider view of the Gantt chart, move your mouse to the line that separates your tasks/resources pane from your Gantt chart pane. The cursor will change its look. Drag the line to the left so that you will have a wider view of the Gantt chart.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make sure you visit Microsoft's website to take advantage of the tutorials on Microsoft Project. This is a great resource because Microsoft provides webcasts and podcasts on Project. By taking advantage of these resources, you will be a master at using Gantt charts.