Thursday 3 February 2022

Gantt Project – cross-platform software for project planning


Gantt Project is a cross-platform software designed for project planning and task and resource management using Gantt charts as the main planning tool. In addition to Gantt charts, the program allows you to build pert type diagrams. 


Since almost all software in this series is in one way or another an alternative to a paid product from Microsoft (Ms Project), it is important that Gantt Project Planner, created in Java, supports the import-export of Microsoft Project documents. At the same time, the alternative program is distributed free of charge on the rights of the GPL Open License Agreement.

Specifications & Requirements


This software for project planning can be installed on Linux, Windows, macOSX operating systems. Compatibility with other (third-party) projects ensures the use of the MPXJ library. However, Gantt Project supports only one of the 5 formats available in the library – MPX (Microsoft Project Exchange). Files in .txt and .xml formats are imported and exported. Reports are saved in .html and .pdf formats, and images are saved in .png, .jpeg or .csv formats, optionally, which makes it possible to subsequently use programs for working with spreadsheets.

Since the program is designed primarily for single-user use, a bonus is the ability to upload and save a project file to FTP, allowing multiple users to open the same document. However, editing at the same time can create meaningful problems that you intend to resolve manually.

The interface of the program is translated into 20 languages, including US.

In addition, an instruction (user manual) has been issued so that the software can be freely used by all participants involved in the project, including those who speak only US. Standardization in the approach to the style of the interface simplifies the process of mastering the program for beginners.

Functionality of the program

The project planned in the program is represented in the form of a tree of tasks, for each of which the user assigns a performer. Each task is given a certain time. To enable scheduled processes to form a single logically coherent project, dependencies and relationships are established between tasks, for example, in the format: "Do not start task Y until the end of task X.

To display information that is tied to the calendar, two types of charts are used –

Gantt and PERT.

Sample Gantt chart

A Gantt chart here is a type of horizontal chart (rectangular bars) that illustrates a plan, a work schedule, and the structure of project tasks. On the left, the task is inscribed, and on top is a calendar ruler that measures the duration of the process. A vertical line that measures the progress of tasks is drawn on the current date. In addition to the time dependency, the charts reflect the relationships between tasks.

The Program Evaluation and Review Technique (or PERT) network diagram is also a diagram that shows the dependencies between tasks within a project.

The developers announced that work was underway to implement the Critical Path Method (CPM) mapping, but this work has not yet been completed.

The stages of the project for clarity and ease of orientation, if necessary, are highlighted in different colors. In addition to the deadlines for the implementation of tasks and dates, additionally the following can be displayed on the charts:

  • task name,
  • information about the project coordinator,
  • information about the assigned resources.

The "People" tab makes it possible to display employee employment statistics. Moreover, the program implements the highlighting of the status of this performer by the type of current employment in the following options:

  • "busy" ("swamped with work"),
  • "free" (for appointment to work),
  • "does not finalize",
  • "on vacation".

You can create user fields directly in the tasks in which these users are involved. The whole process of activating the project is carried out by creating an empty task with its subsequent display on the chart. Since each task has certain properties, they must be entered (edited) in the properties window with the allocation of certain human resources to solve the problem.

The employee account involves filling in the fields with the name, function (role), phone, email, and the period of the planned vacation. Functions (or roles) can be set in the program settings in any quantity. By default, only 2 roles are offered: "coordinator" and "person with an indefinite role". In general, this utility contains the minimum functional set necessary to maintain relatively simple projects.

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