What is a Network Diagram? Meaning and definition

In project management Network Diagrams show what needs to be done and in what order it needs to be done.

In project management jargon the network diagram is "the logical representation of tasks that define the sequence of work on a project". It may include start and end dates, task names, and the organisation or person responsible for the delivery of each task. It should show, at a glance what needs to happen and in what order to deliver a project.

Network diagram using arrow notation

Why do you need a Network Diagram?

Network diagrams are useful because they:
Network diagrams can become very complex stretching over multiple sheets of A3 or even A0 paper covering office walls. For this reason network diagrams are sometimes skipped in the project planning process - this is big mistake because it leads to unrealistic project schedules. Thankfully, there are many project planning tools (software or online tools) that enable you to easily create a network diagram, which can then be turned into a Gantt chart or to view a network diagram of your project Gantt chart.

More on Project Planning

How to create a Precedance Diagram

How to Plan a Project

Microsoft Project Template Project Plans


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