- Explain how to create and use both PERT and Gantt charts.
Because they also need to control the timing of all operations, managers set up schedules: They select jobs to be performed during the production process, assign tasks to work groups, set timetables for the completion of tasks, and make sure that resources will be available when and where they’re needed. There are a number of scheduling techniques. We’ll focus on two of the most common—Gantt and PERT charts.
A Gantt chart, named after the designer, Henry Gantt, is an easy-to-use graphical tool that helps operations managers determine the status of projects. Let’s say that you’re in charge of making the “hiking bear” that we ordered earlier from the Vermont Teddy Bear Company. Figure 11.7 “Gantt Chart for Vermont Teddy Bear” is a Gantt chart for the production of one hundred of these bears. As you can see, it shows that several activities must be completed before the bears are dressed: the fur has to be cut, stuffed, and sewn; and the clothes and accessories must be made. Our Gantt chart tells us that by day six, all accessories and clothing have been made. The stuffing and sewing, however (which must be finished before the bears are dressed), isn’t scheduled for completion until the end of day eight. As operations manager, you’ll have to pay close attention to the progress of the stuffing and sewing operations to ensure that finished products are ready for shipment by their scheduled date.
Figure 11.7 Gantt Chart for Vermont Teddy Bear