In project planning, a Project Network Diagram is essential to ensure the smoothness and float time management of a project. As a result, users need to create a Project Network Diagram in Excel.
In this article, we discuss diagram segments and step-by-step procedures to create a Project Network Diagram in Excel.
How to Create a Project Network Diagram in Excel: Step-by-Step Procedures
A project network diagram contains segments referring to each activity. And each segment has multiple time periods indicating Starting, Finishing and Float time. Follow the below steps to create a Project Network Diagram in Excel.
Step 1: Entering Activities and Schedule Time
🔼 Divide the entire project into multiple activities such as A, B, C, etc. Afterward, determine the activities that need precursor activities. Finally, enter all the activities and schedule time, maintaining the activity flow.
Step 2: Maintaining a Fixed Cell Measurements for Segments
As we use box segments to display project network diagrams, strict cell measurements need to be followed. Users can maintain any column width and row height for the cells. Otherwise, users can change the cell size using the Home > Format.
➤ Choose Column Width from the Context Menu options.
➤ Enter any number as the Column Width (i.e., 3).
🔼 Execute the previous step for Row Height. Enter any desired value (i.e., 19) to custom shape the cells.
Step 3: Ensuring Diagram Segments with Custom Borders and Labels
After custom shaping all the cells within worksheets, users need to constitute Box Segments with Labels. As we have 6 different activities to complete the project, each box segment needs to be the same size and format. The segment labels are
- Early Starting (ES)
- Duration (D)
- Early Finishing (EF)
- Late Starting (LS)
- Float Time (F)
- Late Finishing (LF)
🔼 Maintain an exact format for each box segment as depicted in the below image.
🔺 Users can have a custom border using Home > All Borders (in the Font section).
Step 4: Project Network Diagram Layout in Excel
As soon as users finalize their segment design and label assignment, they can select any of the diagram layouts depending on their demand. The diagram layout symbolizes the essence of the entire project. Also, the network diagram layout must have the capability to visualize the consecutive activities to finish the project successfully.
Step 5: Creating the Project Network Diagram Maintaining Its Layout
Since the project’s network diagram layout has 2 distinctive parts; Project Activities and Network Diagram, users must replicate them using box segments.
🔼 Compile all the box segments indicating each assigned activity. Also, all the box segments must have the segment labels as discussed earlier.
🔼 Copy each box segment using CTRL+C or Right Click > Copy. Then right-click outside the Project Activities section > Choose Paste Special (from the Context Menu) > Select Paste as Image (under Other Paste Options).
🔺 Repeat the previous step to replicate all the box segments as shown in the picture below.
🔼 Insert suitable Shapes to indicate the network flow among activities. To choose the desired shapes, go to Insert > Illustrations > Shapes.
🔼 After inserting the desired shapes, select any of the shapes. Afterwards, Excel displays a Shape Format tab to modify the inserted shapes according to users’ demand.
🔺 Furnish the Project Network Diagram. At the end, the diagram may look like the below image.
⧭ Notes: For simpler representation, we don’t include any time frame or actual days in the box segment labels. Users can enter time periods mentioned in the project schedule or contract to further modify the diagram.
Read More: How to Create a Network Diagram in Excel
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Use the Excel file as Template or practice with it.
This article discusses various aspects of a project network diagram and its creation in Excel. Download the attached dataset to use as a template or practice, Comment if further complications arise or you have something to add.