Activity Network Diagram

The Activity Network Diagram is one of the Seven Management and Planning Tools.

It is very similar to the P.E.R.T. approach commonly used in project planning and management.
The diagram starts on the left hand side, and links the activities that need to take place to achieve the goal (right hand side) in the order of precedence that they must occur.
Tasks that need other tasks to be completed before they can take place, are placed to the right of them and linked by an arrow.
Activities that can take place in parallel are placed above and below each other to show that they are in separate chains of events.
The tool is key to developing an efficient approach to delivering the goal in the shortest possible time. It is commonly used for developing a time plan of the activities arising out of the Tree Diagram, or out of the PDPC.
By laying out the Activity Network Diagram on a large section of wall, it is possible to engage the whole project team in working together to develop an overall plan, and in developing commitment to the success of the plan. By using post-it notes, sections of the plan can easily be moved around as required. However, it is important to note that in the Activity Network Diagram it is the lines that represent activity, not the nodes between them.
Further information on the Activity Network Diagram (and indeed on all of the Seven Management and Planning Tools) can be found on the ASQ website.

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