PMP Exam Tip: The Schedule Network Diagram Explained
The preparation for your PMP Exam must include a thorough understanding of the concept of a schedule network diagram. This must include all of its subcomponents as well. Here are some important definitions that you should be familiar with from the PMBOK Guide glossary:
A Project Schedule Network Diagram is a “graphical representation of the logical among the project schedule activities”. You likely have seen this diagram generated by Project Management software or even drawn by hand especially if your project is fairly simple. What is important is for the Project Schedule Network Diagram to depict the scheduled activities and their dependencies.
In other words, underlying the Project Schedule Network Diagram is Network Logic (i.e., “the collection of schedule activity dependencies that makes up a project schedule network diagram”). The schedule dependencies may be mandatory or discretionary or be an internal or external in nature. These dependencies affect how you schedule of activities and how you go through or traverse the Project Schedule Network Diagram. A way of traversing the diagram is a Network Path. More formally, a network path is “any continuous series of schedule activities connected with logical relationships in a project schedule network diagram.” The series of scheduled activities are connected in a logical and flowing manner.
You can focus in on just a portion of the network. This fragment is called a subnetwork or a “subdivision of a project schedule network diagram, usually representing a subproject or a work package. Often used to illustrate or study some potential or proposed schedule condition, such as changes in preferential schedule logic or project scope.”
For example, if you were to organize and host a fundraising event, your activities would include creating an invitee list, sending invitations, selecting a caterer, scouting out venue, etc. You can depict these on a diagram, that shows the logic and dependencies of activities. A subnetwork you may just consider
Another term you should master is the Time Scaled Schedule Network Diagram It basically a project schedule network diagram where activity duration is graphically represented. The PMBOK Guide Glossary describes this as “any project schedule network diagram drawn in such a way that the positioning and length of the schedule activity represents its duration. Essentially, it is a bar chart that includes Schedule network logic.”