What is the precedence diagramming method?

Precedence Diagramming method

The Precedence Diagramming method is a schedule network diagramming technique in which schedule activities are represented by boxes (or nodes). Activities are graphically linked by one or more logical relationships to show the sequence in which the activities are to be performed.
An example of a Precedence Diagram which can be used to calculate the Critical Path in project schedule
The boxes show the activity ID and description, its duration, total float, the earliest start and earliest finish and the latest start and latest finish. All of the boxes are linked by lines, which unlike the arrows in arrow diagrams, have zero duration (they just show logical order).

Why is the Precedence system the dominant system of notation?

The precedence system is the most widely used system of notation for scheduling because it is easy to construct and interpret, and provides a great deal of information.
  • Precedence diagrams look like engineering flow diagrams so they tend to be easier to understand than arrow diagrams, particularly for people with no training in critical path scheduling.
  • Precedence notation allows more freedom to express complex relationships than the arrow diagram method. For example, you can show that tasks are running in parallel rather than following each other strictly sequentially.
  • On the other hand, you can also show tasks that need to be separated by a time delay. For example, tasks that have a finish-to-start relationship + x days.
  • Lastly, precedence networks inform and are supported by scheduling software (arrow networks are not).

How to view the Precedence diagram for your project in Microsoft Project

In Microsoft Project Online Desktop Client Project Professional 2021 Project Standard 2021 you can find the Network diagram view by going to View &gt Network Diagram.

See also

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Methodology specific dictionaries / glossaries