Network Diagram

The Network Diagram became the name for the PERT Chart view that you found in Project 98.

nn'nnm x Project doesn't really produce a PERT chart, but you can use an add-on product — PERT ( book.

rn Rfiivi lOT PERT chart Expert. Try out a sample using the demo that's on the CD-ROM of this

The Network Diagram view, shown in Figure 6-12, has less to do with timing than it has to do with the general flow of work and the relationships between tasks in your project. This view makes it easy for you to evaluate the flow of your project and to check task dependencies.

Figure 6-12: The Network Diagram view.

Each node in the Network Diagram view represents a task in your project. For Figure 6-13, I used Project's Zoom command (ViewOZoom) to enlarge a node so that you can see the details. A node contains the task name, duration, task ID number in the sequence of the project outline, start date, finish date, and, if assigned, the resource(s). The thickness of the border and color of each node represents different types of tasks — that is, critical tasks are red and thick borders, while non-critical tasks are blue and have thin borders. You can determine (and change) the meaning of node shapes in the Box Styles dialog box (choose FormatOBox Styles). The lines that flow between the nodes represent dependencies. A task that must come after another task is completed, called a successor task, appears to the right or sometimes below its predecessor.

Figure 6-13: You can see task details when you examine the nodes of the Network Diagram.

You couldn't filter Project 98's PERT Chart view; however, a filtering feature was added in Project 2000. While viewing the Network Diagram, choose ProjectOFiltered for and select the filter that you want to use.

You read more about filtering in Chapter 7.

Cross-Reference

Starting in Project 2002, you can group tasks in the Network Diagram view; this is similar to the way that you can group tasks in the Gantt view. Colored bands separate the nodes. For example, in Figure 6-14, you see tasks grouped by duration. Open the Project menu and point to Group to see the groups that are available by default. You also can create your own groups.

Figure 6-14: You can group tasks in a variety of ways in the Network Diagram view.

You can now display indicators and custom fields in Network Diagram nodes. You add the node information to an existing node template, or you create a new template. Follow these steps to display indicators or custom fields in nodes:

1. In the Network Diagram view, choose FormatOBox Styles.

2. Click the More Templates button, as shown in Figure 6-15.

3. In the Data Template dialog box, edit one of the existing templates or create a new template from scratch.

4. In the Data Template Definition dialog box, shown in Figure 6-16, click in the cell where you want either indicators or a custom field to appear. Project adds a list box indicator to the cell, thus enabling you to open the list and select the information that you want to appear in that cell of the node. In Figure 6-16, I'm adding the Indicators field to the nodes.

Figure 6-15: In the Box Styles dialog box, select the template that you want for the nodes in the diagram.
Figure 6-16: Add information to a cell of the Network Diagram node.

Note You can't edit the Standard template, but you can copy it, as I did in Figure 6-15.

5. Click OK to redisplay the Data Template dialog box.

6. Click Close to redisplay the Box Styles dialog box.

7. From the Data template list, select the template that you edited or created.

8. Click OK. You see the new field on appropriate nodes. In Figure 6-17, a Note indicator appears only in the Determine budget task, because no other tasks in view have notes.

Figure 6-17: A Network Diagram that displays indicators in the nodes.
Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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