Chapter 6. Constructing and Analyzing the Project Network Diagram

Structure is not organization.

Robert H. Waterman, Management consultant

The man who goes alone can start today, but he who travels with another must wait 'til that other is ready.

Henry David Thoreau, American naturalist

In every affair consider what precedes and what follows, and then undertake it.

Epictetus, Greek philosopher

Every moment spent planning saves three or four in execution.

Crawford Greenwalt, President, DuPont

The Project Network Diagram

At this point in the TPM life cycle, you have identified the set of tasks in the project as output from the WBS-building exercise and the task duration for the project. The next task for the planning team is to determine the order in which these tasks are to be performed.

The tasks and the task duration are the basic building blocks needed to construct a graphic picture of the project. This graphic picture provides you with two additional pieces of schedule information about the project:

  • The earliest time at which work can begin on every task that makes up the project

  • The earliest expected completion date of the project

This is critical information for the project manager. Ideally, the required resources must be available at the times established in this plan. This is not very likely. Chapter 7 discusses how to deal with that problem. In this chapter, I focus on the first part of the problem — creating an initial project network diagram and the associated project schedule. ...

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