Henry Laurence Gantt

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Henry Laurence Gantt
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Henry Laurence Gantt was born on May 20, 1861 in Calvert County, Maryland. is one of the precursors of management science and representative of the engineering trend. One of his greatest achievements was the development and implementation of a time-bonus pay system, sometimes referred to as a bonus Gantt system or a system based on a bonus task. Gantt worked with Taylor for many years, and at a later stage was his personal assistant. He died on November 23, 1919 in Montclair, New Jersey at the age of 58.

Private life


Gannt was born into a family of planters in Calvert, Maryland at the outbreak of the Civil War. After the war, the family lost their slaves and land and moved to Baltimore.

Henry graduated from McDonogh School in 1878, and in 1880 he graduated from Johns Hopkins University. Then he returned to McDonogh School to teach for three years. After a few more years, he received a master's degree in mechanical engineering from the Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey.


Henry Gantt married Mary E. Snow on November 29, 1899 in Massachusetts.


The system created by Gantt assumed the development of a special card, on which the best method for performing each task (work), detailed tools to be used, and the time allocated for each activity were specified. The development of the task timeframe was investigated empirically on the basis of specific cases.

The Gantt system provided for additional bonuses for employees who followed the received instructions, which were in some way an addition to the daily allowance. In the absence of the use of designated methods and tools or failure to meet within a given time, the employee was deprived of the bonus, and only his daily allowance was paid to him.

The bonus for completing the task varied from 30 to 50 percent of basic (day) pay in the bonus system. Testing methods and standardizing work included in the Gantt system:

  • distribution of activities into elements,
  • separate tests of these elements,
  • synthesis, that is, collecting research results.

When implementing his system, Gantt encountered a number of problems. He noted that it is not difficult to convince employees to perform tasks with specific methods and tools, but the time of inactivity of individual machines during work was important. Therefore, he decided that a significant bonus would eliminate such irregularities. The high bonus ceiling dramatically reduced the amount of time wasted. It is important to point out that the system introduced allowed for:

  • increasing efficiency,
  • reducing breaks and wasting time,
  • increasing the activity of workers.

It should be mentioned that apart from the created system, Gantt became famous as the creator and designer of specific charts, later named after him.

The essence of Gantt charts is the development of the entire system of charts allowing to compare the actual and planned course of performing various types of orders. The graphs were presented in the form of tables, in which specific amounts of work and time for its implementation were entered, presented in the form of vertical lines and the actual execution status of a given task as horizontal lines (the ratio of work actually done to work planned for execution). For the needs of management in the upper right corners of the rectangles corresponding to the next days of the week (charts were usually created for a given work week) cumulative task sizes were entered.

The most important advantages of such charts are:

  • easy and effective method of work planning,
  • I understood the facts,
  • minimizing the time of inactivity and debugging in the task,
  • effective time management in the implementation of the task.

To sum up, it is necessary to emphasize Gantt's significant influence in the science of management. He himself learned from Taylor, collaborating with him many times. However, he created his own system, which can safely be included in the group of incentive systems. The constructed charts greatly facilitated the production analysis and enabled control over the task implementation processes.