January 18, 2018


Project management advice, tips, tools and recommended resources for existing and aspiring project managers.

Unconventional Uses for Gantt Charts

By Matthew Jagiello

Gantt charts are already very well-known among project managers around the world. They are de facto an industry standard, used by thousands of companies and institutions – if not far more! SoftwarePlant has looked at some of their clients to see whether Gantt charts can be used in a creative way, in industries very foreign to classic management and businesses themselves. The results are stunning!


Everyone used to be a child at some point in time. This leads us to schools. Remember all these lesson plans, charts of teachers’ free days, duty hours, announcements, etc? Most likely your school was doing all of this using only a printer (or even pen and paper). Nowadays, some schools use project management software* in order to optimize workload and make everything run smoothly. In fact, universities and colleges also do.

Physical work

Project management” is still too often perceived as something strictly related to cleanly shaven people in business suits. But our customers beg to differ – some of them construct buildings, roads, railways and many other things. Gantt charts and risk matrixes help them manage deadlines*** and serve the public in a timely manner.


When we follow political campaigns, we usually remember only a few key people from each party. This is precisely what the so-called spin doctors are for. But the truth is, political parties are as big as some corporations! In the US, the Democratic Party has 43.1 Million members, while the Republicans hover around 30 Million**. This is a massive number of people, all working on the same projects around the whole country – and good project management software does help them achieve the results they yield.



We all love to go to a concert once in a while. But even professional project managers from other fields rarely stop to think about the sheer scale of some of the cultural events they attend. The scene/stadium, sound systems, lights, tickets, everything involves a lot of hard work, and the deadline is permanently set in stone – it is pretty much impossible to postpone a concert. In order to ensure proper start and finish dates, some of SoftwarePlant’s customers install JIRA with the plugins and look at the risk matrix like a hawk guarding its chicks.


Logistics, engineer corps and administration amount to far more people than actual combat troops. Each soldier needs to be fed, dressed, transported and equipped on time, often abroad and in harsh conditions. The US started using Gantt charts around WW1****, and continues to do so until this very day. Even there the SoftwarePlant’s software has certain uses among military organizations, though details are (as expected) strictly classified.


SoftwarePlant is a start-up company. The interesting thing is, their product is used by many other start-ups, sometimes even from the same industry. They are pleased that other young entrepreneurs like their solutions and wish them luck with their ventures. After all, Skype, a small Estonian company before acquisition by Microsoft, could not have been developed if not for Gantt charts.

These are the cases that were found the most interesting – but what about you? Do you have an unconventional use for Gantt charts, be it practical or hypothetical? If yes, we encourage you to contact us and share this wisdom. Who knows, there may be great rewards…


* http://www.smartsheet.com/blog/Gantt-charts-for-sixth-graders

** http://2012election.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=004483

*** http://archive.excellencegateway.org.uk/media/KSSP/scheduling.pdf

**** http://www.chroniclegraphics.com/community/blog/a-brief-history-of-the-gantt-chart/


BigPicture_logoSoftwarePlant is a Polish-American start-up company that produces software for Project Portfolio Management. Its main products are developed for the JIRA platform, but custom development, training and implementations are also available.


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