Recall that a WBS is a topology of the project deliverables. A WBS takes the project and breaks the project down into major components. These components can then be broken down again into other components, then again into work packages, and, finally, documented with a task list that is derived from the WBS. Once the WBS has been created, the activity list can then be entered into Microsoft Project, or your favorite Project Management Information Systems (PMIS) software . Once you enter the activities into Microsoft Project, you can create a Gantt chart like the one in Figure 7-2. It shows a mapping of each of the units of work required to complete each phase of the project.
Figure 7-2: A WBS decomposed the project into similar, accessible work units.
The Gantt chart is ideal for simple, short-term projects. It is a timeline of the events with consideration given to tasks that can be completed concurrently within a project’s lifespan. Traditional Gantt charts have some drawbacks:
• Gantt charts do not display detailed information on each work unit. (Microsoft Project does allow project managers to add task information and notes within a Gantt chart on each task.)
• Gantt charts only display the order of tasks.
• Gantt charts do not clearly reflect the order of tasks in multiple phases.
• Gantt charts do not reflect the shortest path to completion.
• Gantt charts do not reflect the best usage of resources.
• To address these issues, project managers can use a Project Network Diagram (PND). PNDs are a fluid mapping of the work to be completed. Figure 7-3 is a sample of a portion of a network diagram. Incidentally, the terms “PND,” “Project Network Diagrams,” and “network diagrams” all refer to the same workflow structure—don’t let the different names confuse you. Such diagrams allow the project manager and the project team to tinker with the relationships between tasks and create alternative solutions to increase... [continues]
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