Open Source Gantt Tools: What are they? Why use them?


Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

The What: Open source gantt tools

An open source Gantt tool is a software application that allows users to create and manage project schedules using the Gantt chart method. The Gantt chart is a graphical representation of a project’s timeline; showing the start and end dates of each task and the dependencies between them. Open source Gantt tools are often free to use and the source code is available for anyone to modify and distribute. This gives organizations more opportunity to customize the software on a self-install and to match it to what their company is using it for.

The History of the Gantt Chart

The Gantt chart was first developed by Henry Gantt in 1910. Henry Gantt was an engineer and a business person. He believed that only the application of the scientific analysis could produce industrial efficiency. His drive for industrial efficiency was imparted in the continued use of the gantt chart today and has since become a widely used method for project planning and management. Gantt charts are ideal for situations in which you need to visualize the progress of a project and it can help project managers (and non-project managers alike) identify potential issues, assess likelihood of success, and make adjustments as needed.

The Why: Using Open Source Gantt Tools

Open source Gantt chart tools are available in a variety of forms, from desktop software to web-based applications. Some of the most popular open source Gantt tools include GanttProject and Gantt-Editor. While some tools will focus primarily on the Gantt chart, systems like Leantime will incorporate it alongside the other stages of project management — creating a endless possibilities for the full project lifecycle.

The advantages of open source gantt software over traditional project management software

One of the key advantages of open source project management tools is that they are free to use. This can be particularly beneficial for small businesses and organizations that may not have the budget to purchase expensive project management software. Open source software also offer users the ability to customize the software to meet their specific needs. This can be done by modifying the source code or by creating custom plugins and extensions.

The open source community is changing the way we view and manage software

Another advantage of open source Gantt tools is that they are often supported by a community of users and developers. This can be incredibly valuable as users can share tips and tricks, and developers can collaborate on new features and improvements. This also means that open source Gantt tools are often updated and improved more frequently than proprietary software.

Leantime, for example, has been supported (as of Jan 15th, 2023) by 64 contributors and by several supporters that contribute with funds. These contributions have allowed Leantime to be available in 22 languages and the community often offers insights in features they’d like to see and in reporting bugs as they come up.

Open source software: building in public means more transparency & visibility

Open source tools are also generally considered to be more secure than proprietary software. This is because open source software is open to public scrutiny, and any vulnerabilities can be identified and fixed quickly. Additionally, open source Gantt tools are often more transparent than proprietary software, which can be beneficial when it comes to data privacy and security.

Gantt charts are best served with project management features

When it comes to features, open source Gantt tools offer a wide range of capabilities to help users manage their projects. Some of the most common features include:

  • Task management: Users can create and manage tasks and subtasks, set start and end dates, and assign resources.
  • Resource management: Users can manage resources, such as team members, equipment, and materials.
  • Project tracking: Users can track the progress of their projects, identify potential issues, and make adjustments as needed.
  • Collaboration: Users can collaborate with team members, share files, and communicate through integrated chat and messaging features.
  • Reports and analytics: Users can generate reports and analyze data to better understand the performance of their projects.

The best systems will also support you in the management of the full project lifecycle — including the above and things like the ability to track goals, manage ideas, track project research and keep you and your team focused.


Gantt Tools: Go open source for better flexibility and for the possibilities

In conclusion, an open source Gantt tool is a software application that allows users to create and manage project schedules using the Gantt chart method. These tools are often free to use with the source code being available for anyone to modify and distribute (pending open source license). Open source Gantt and open source project management tools offer a wide range of features to help users manage their projects and they are often supported by a community of users and developers. They are a great option for businesses and organizations that want to manage their projects without breaking the bank.

Looking to learn more about related features? Visit our Leantime features page for more information.

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Gloria Folaron is the CEO and founder of Leantime. A Nurse first, she describes herself as an original non-project manager. Being diagnosed with ADHD later in life, she has hands on experience in navigating the world of project and product management and staying organized with ADHD.

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