CPM stands for Critical Path Method. While making a formal project report in Microsoft Excel, you might need to draw a CPM network diagram that visualizes a project’s overall look. Today in this article I am going to share with you how to draw CPM network diagram in excel.
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Introduction to CPM Network Diagram
A CPM diagram can be named a project diagram which is quite similar to a flow chart. While a flow chart represents only the process, on the other hand, the critical path method diagram visualizes the whole scenario of a project. It also demonstrates the project stages, starting period, finishing date, etc. It is very helpful to get a summarized view of a project.
3 Simple Steps to Draw CPM Network Diagram in Excel
In the following, I have explained 3 easy and simple steps to draw CPM network in excel.
Suppose we have a dataset of a project’s Activity, Daywise Time, and Predecessors. Now we will draw our CPM network diagram with the help of the dataset.
Step 1: Create Primary Diagram with Boxes and Lines
- To begin with, let’s create a cell with some borders just like the following screenshot.
- Then, we will draw some more boxes for project activities A and B.
- Similarly, draw boxes according to the arrangement for all the project activities just like the screenshot below.
- In order to connect them, we need to insert lines between the boxes.
- Hence, choose a “Line Arrow” from the “Shapes” option.
- After that, draw a line between “Start” and “Project Activity-A” to connect them.
- Similarly, draw lines to connect all the boxes to complete the network diagram.
Step 2: Put Values into Diagram from Dataset
- In this step, we will count the total days required to complete the project. To do so-
- First, put the values inside the drawn boxes from the list.
- Second, to connect the starting of the project and “Activity A” we will put “0” as the starting days are still “Nil”.
- As “Project Activity-A” need 3 days to complete so the total stands to “0+3=3” days.
- In the same fashion, for project activity B the total stands to “0+2=2”.
- Similarly, we will calculate the total days needed for project activities C, D, E, and F.
Step 3: Complete CPM Network Diagram
- Now if we come to “Project Activity G” you will see we have put “7” instead of “6”.
- The reason is as the activities “D” and “E” both are connected with “Project Activity-G” we have to take the highest number of days which also represents an idle day for “Activity-D”.
- This way, we will calculate all the values until the end of the project.
- Finally, we have successfully drawn our CPM network diagram indicating the total 12 days needed to complete the project.
Things to Remember
- You can also insert “Text Box” from the “Insert” option to draw boxes. But you won’t be able to draw borders inside the “Text Box”.
In this article, I have tried to cover all the steps to draw CPM network diagram in excel. Take a tour of the practice workbook and download the file to practice by yourself. I hope you find it helpful. Please inform us in the comment section about your experience. We, the Exceldemy team, are always responsive to your queries. Stay tuned and keep learning.