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Network analysis is a successful technique frequently used to plan,
monitor and control the projects involving thousands of activities. Its
objectives are as follows:
• To minimize project cost.
• To minimize the project time.
• To ensure optimum utilization of human and other resources.
• To ensure minimum conflicts and unnecessary delays.
• Network Analysis is a vital technique in Project Management. It
enables us to take a systematic quantitative structured approach to the
problem of managing a project through to successful completion.

The two most frequently used forms of network planning are:

1. Programme Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT)

2. Critical Path Method (CPM)
A network is a graphical diagram consisting of certain configuration
of “Arrows” ( ) and “Nodes” ( ) for showing the logical sequence of
various tasks to be performed to achieve the project objective.

PERT / CPM Techniques

The initial step in PERT/CPM project scheduling process is the
determination of all specific activities that comprise the project and their

Network Diagram is used in computer telecommunication to draw a

graphical chart of a network.

Generally, a network diagram usually consists of a network that is

made up of interconnected groups or systems.
1. Activity - An activity refers to the physically identifiable part of the project
which consumes time and cost. An activity is represented by an arrow. The
activity may have a predecessor activity and a successor activity.

Activities can be of three types:

Predecessor Activity: This activity must be completed before other

Successor Activity: This activity must be immediately initiated after the
completion of one or more activities.
Dummy Activity: This activity is a fictitious activity with zero activity
time used to represent precedence or used whenever two or more activities
have the same starting and ending nodes. It is represented by a dashed
2. Event - An event represents the start and the end point of an activity.
It is normally represented by a circle called nodes.

The events can be further classified into following categories:

 Merge Event: Many activities lead to a single event.

 Burst Event: Many activities are initiated due to a single
How to represent an activity?

1. Activity should be represented by an arrow connecting 2 nodes.

2. All activities should be in forward direction, it may be upward or
downward direction but it can never be in reverse direction.
3. Activities should be either represented by numbers or alphabet.
4. All alphabets and nos. should be in ascending order.
How to represent an activity?

1. Each defined activity is represented by one and only one arrow in

the network.
2. Before an activity can be undertaken, all activities preceding it must
be completed.
3. The arrows depicting various activities are indicative of logical
procedure only. The length and bearing of the arrows are of no
4. The arrow direction indicates the generalprogression in time. Head
events and Tail events.
5. When a number of activities terminate at one event, it indicates that
no activity emanating from that event may start unless all activities
terminating there have been completed.
6. Events are identified by numbers.
7. The activities are identified by the numbers of their starting and
ending events or by alphabets.
8. A network should have only one initial and terminal

9. Parallel activities between two events, without intervening events, are

prohibited. When two or more parallel activities in a project have the
same head and tail events, dummy activities are needed in constructing
the network. Dummy activities do not consume time or resources. An
efficient network contains aminimum number of dummy activities
required to portray the correct precedence relationships.
10. Looping is not permitted in a network.
CPM is a special application of network analysis. It uses network
analysis for scheduling production, construction projects as well as
research and development activities. Besides this, it is used in certain
other situations that require estimates of time and performance.

Consider all the paths in a project, beginning with the start event and
stopping at the end event.
 For each path, calculate the time of execution.
 The overall time it will take to complete the project and the path
with the largest time is called the critical path and the activities along
this path are called critical activities or bottleneck activities.
Why critical path is important to the management?

Because any delay along this path will postpone the final completion
date of the project.

Spots potential bottlenecks early.

Avoids unnecessary pressure on the other paths that will not result in
an earlier final completion date.
Advantages of Network Technique
Aids management in planning, scheduling and controlling the
activities of projects.
Helps in ascertaining time schedules.
Helps in guiding and directing team efforts more effectively.
Encourages discipline.
Aids in handling uncertainties regarding time schedules, coordination
of various activities and controlling costs involved