In the Sequence Activities process of Project Time Management, the major output is a Network Diagram. But what is a Network Diagram? In the online PMP training, its purpose is explained as “visualizing the project activities in boxes with the activity IDs and showing the interrelationship of activities with arrows”. Network diagrams tell if an activity will start before, after or at the same time with another activity. As explained in the PMP training course the most common way of drawing network diagrams is called the Precedence Diagramming Method (PDM).
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In this article, we are going to list the 6 benefits of using Network Diagrams.
What are the benefits of Network Diagrams?
If you are in the process of application for PMP, you must be already aware that Network diagrams are very useful for the projects in many ways. During this lecture, we will go over the major benefits of network diagrams.
- Network Diagrams help justify your time estimate for the project. Since network diagram of a project shows how activities are interrelated with each other from the beginning of the project till the end, it will be very beneficial for calculating the overall project duration. After the critical path of the project is determined, activities on the critical path will give us the total duration of the project respectively.
- Network Diagrams aid in planning, organizing and controlling. Since all project activities are shown in sequence with relevant interrelationships, the network diagram of a project will help the project manager and team during planning and organizing. Network diagram will be useful during project execution as well since it is a snapshot of the project activities tied with the dependencies.
- Network diagrams show interdependencies of activities. Since interdependencies of activities are visible in the network diagram, it will be easier to see which activity can start after which one, which activity depends on each other, predecessors and successors of each activity etc.
- Network Diagrams show workflow of the project activities. So the project team will know the sequence of activities. At a certain point in the project, it will be easier to see in the network diagram what has been accomplished and the remaining activities and their interdependencies with each other.
- Network diagrams identify opportunities to compress the schedule. You may need to shorten the duration of the remaining activities in a project. This can be because your project is behind schedule and in order to complete the project on time, you need to compress the schedule. In this case, since network diagrams show the order of the activities and durations, it will be easier to focus on how to compress the remaining activities in the project.
- Network diagrams show project progress. Since it shows the order of activities in a project and total path from the beginning of the project till the end, it is a good instrument for showing the project progress.
So these 6 benefits of using a network diagram show that, in Time management, estimating the project duration, knowing the interdependencies between the activities, being able to see the workflow are really important. Furthermore, a network diagram can help the project team and the project manager to see the opportunities to shorten the duration of the project and also see the progress in general.
Review by: Tony Chapman