Creating Network Diagrams in Microsoft Office
A network diagram is a project management flow chart that displays the relationships between all the components of a project. The illustrative format makes it easy to determine the flow of the project, where you currently are in the project’s lifecycle and links between parallel and successive activities as well, all with just a quick glance.
Creating a network diagram takes time, planning and effort, as you must establish all the various elements of a project that you want to incorporate into the diagram. Taking the time to properly prepare will enable you to design a diagram that helps your schedule run more efficiently. Once you complete the diagram, you may want to save it to use as a template in the future.
To create a template in a Microsoft Office program, select the File tab and choose Save As or press the F12 key. Choose *** Template (such as Word Template or PowerPoint Template) in the Save as Type box. Enter a name for the template and save it in the default location or anywhere on your computer where you can find it when you need it. This allows you to use the same diagram repeatedly without worrying about accidentally saving over an important file.
Before you begin, make a numbered list of all the milestones you intend to include in your network diagram. The list does not have to be in sequential order; the numbers serve only as identifiers. To the right of each item, enter the number of the item that precedes it, if any.
Pick the milestone with which you want to start. This should be the item that has no precursors. Add a shape to your page and label it with that milestone.
Add a connector and another shape. Enter the next chronological item in the shape. If there are multiple elements with the same precursor, draw connectors from the sides of the first one and add boxes to show parallel items.
Continue adding and connecting until you have included all the elements on your list. Finish with an “End" or “Closing" shape.
Alternatively, you can use one of the templates provided here.