How to Create a Project Network Diagram in Excel

Project Network Diagram-How to Create a Project Network Diagram in Excel

A project network diagram contains segments referring to different activities. Each segment indicates Start, Finish and Float time.

Step 1 – Entering Activities and Scheduling Time

  • Divide the entire project into multiple activities (A, B, C, etc).
  • Determine the activities that need precursor activities.
  • Enter all the activities and schedule time.

Activities and Schedule time

Step 2 – Maintaining a Fixed Cell Measurements for Segments

Box segments are used to display project network diagrams, so strict cell measurements need to be followed.

To format cells:

  • Go to the Home tab > Format.
  • Select the entire worksheet and right-click a column.
  • Choose Column Width in the Context Menu.
  • Enter a Column Width (e.g., 3).

Column Width-How to Create a Project Network Diagram in Excel

  • Enter a Row Height (e.g., 19).

Row Height

Step 3 – Craeting Segments with Custom Borders and Labels

  • Create Box Segments with Labels. The segment labels are:
  • Early Starting (ES)
  • Duration (D)
  • Early Finishing (EF)
  • Late Starting (LS)
  • Float Time (F)
  • Late Finishing (LF)

Segment Labels

  • Each box segment must be the same size and format.

Segment Border and Labels

  • Customize borders: Home > All Borders (in Font).

Applying Border

Step 4 – Project Network Diagram Layout in Excel

  • Select a diagram layout.

Project Diagram Layout-How to Create a Project Network Diagram in Excel

Step 5 – Creating the Project Network Diagram 

  • The project network diagram has 2 parts; Project Activities and Network Diagram:  replicate them using box segments.
  • Compile all box segments for an assigned activity.

Entering Labels

  • Copy each box segment using CTRL+C or Right Click > Copy.
  • Right-click outside the Project Activities section > Choose Paste Special > Select Paste as Image (in Other Paste Options).

Paste as Image

  •  Repeat the previous step to replicate all box segments as shown below.

All Activities

  •  Enter Shapes to indicate the network flow: go to Insert > Illustrations > Shapes.

Inserting shapes

  •  Select a shape. In the Shape Format tab you can modify the inserted shapes.

Shape Format-How to Create a Project Network Diagram in Excel

This is the output.

Project Network Diagram-How to Create a Project Network Diagram in Excel

⧭ Notes: Time frames or days may be inserted in the box segment labels.

Read More: How to Create a Network Diagram in Excel

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Maruf Islam
Maruf Islam

MARUF ISLAM is an excellent marine engineer who loves working with Excel and diving into VBA programming. For him, programming is like a superhero tool that saves time when dealing with data, files, and the internet. His skills go beyond the basics, including ABACUS, AutoCAD, Rhinoceros, Maxsurf, and Hydromax. He got his B.Sc in Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering from BUET, and now he's switched gears, working as a content developer. In this role, he creates techy content... Read Full Bio

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