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GENERATING NETWORK DIAGRAMMS USING “ACTIVITY ON

NODE” METHOD
Consider the example given in “Management for Engineers, Scientists and
Technologists by John V. Chelsom et all, Chapter 18, page 366.

The data referring to a certain project is given in Table 18.1

DURATION
ACTIVITY PRECURSOR ACTIVITYIES
(weeks)
A 4 – –
B 3 – –
C 6 A B
D 1 B –
E 7 D –
F 2 C –
G 5 C E
H 8 E –
J 4 G –
K 5 F G
L 6 J H
M 3 L K

The general configuration of an “Activity node” is shown in figure 1.

early start early finish

activity

late start late finish


duration

Fig. 1

Now following the data given in table 18.1 the complete network logic of different
activities, part of a certain project, can be developed.

1. The first “activity node will be the one referring to the “Start” of the activities;
2. Next there are two activity nodes for A and B which have no precursor
activities as shown in figure 2. At this stage only the data given in table 18.1
are used i.e. activity name and the duration.

1
A F
4 2

Start C
0 6

B D E
3 1 7

Fig 2
The
3. Activity C has precursor activities A and B while activity D complete
has as precursor network l
only activity B (see Fig. 3)

A F
4 2

Start C G J
0 6 5 4

B D E
3 1 7 H
8

The complete network logic based on the given


Fig. 3

4. Activities E and F have each only one precursor activity; D and C respectively.
5. Activity G has two precursor activities C and E respectively (see Fig. 4)

2
0 4 10 12
A F
4 2
0 0 4 10 11 16
Start C G
0 0 0 6 5
0 3 3 4 4 11
B D E
3 1 7

Fig. 4

6. Following the same rule the final network logic diagram can be generated as
shown in figure 5

A F K
4 2 5

Start C G J
0 6 5 4

B D E
3 1 7 H L M Finish
8 6 3 0

The complete network logic based on the given data

Fig. 5
7. Once the complete network logic diagram is completed the early start and
early finish durations can be completed.
a) The early start for activities A and B will be 0 and the duration of early
finish will be the ones given in table 18.1, 4 and 3 weeks respectively.
b) As activity C depends on finishing first activities A and B (precursor)
the early start for C will be 4 weeks as although activity B is finished in
3 weeks, activity C cannot start until activity B is finished as well i.e.
the longer period must be selected.
c) The early finish time will be calculated by adding to the early start
value the duration of the activity i.e. (Early finish)A = 4 + 0 = 4, (Early
finish)B = 3 + 0 = 3, (Early finish)C = 4 + 6 = 10, (Early finish)D = 3 + 1
= 4 etc.,

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d) For each activity the early finish value of the precursory activity will be
the early start value for the follow up activity i.e. early finish C = early
start F = 10 weeks.
e) When there are two precursory activities, the largest early finish value
will be selected i.e. The precursor for G are C and E and the largest
precursor early finish is 11 weeks (activity E)

As activity "C" is precede by activityes A and B (run concurently), The earlyest that activity C can be finished will be
the earliest start for activity C must be 4 not 3. i.e. both activities time from the start of the activity C (4 weeks) + the
A abd B must be finisthed first before activity C starts. duration of the activity C (6 weeks) = 10 weeks

0 4 10 12 16 21
A F K early start early finish
4 2 5
4 10
0 0 4 10 11 16 16 20 C
activity
Start C G J
6
0 0 0 6 5 4
0 3 3 4 4 11 duration
B D E 11 19 20 26 26 29 29 29
3 1 7 H L M Finish
8 6 3 0

Early Start and Early finish time

Fig. 6

8. Once the early finish and early start diagram is completed, the late start
and late finish values can be calculated by going “backward” in the diagram
shown in figure 7.

early start early finish


0 4 10 12 16 21
A F K 4 10
1 4 5 19 2 21 21 5 26 activity C
0 0 10 16 20 5 6 11
4 11 16
Start C G J late start late finish
0 0 0 5 6 11 11 5 16 16 4 20 duration
0 3 3 4 4 11
B D E 11 19 20 26 26 29 29 29
0 3 3 3 1 4 4 7 11 H L M Finish
12 8 20 20 6 26 26 3 29 29 0 29

Calculation of the Late start and Late Finish activities

Fig. 7

a) In the “Finish” activity node the early start and early finish values were
calculated as equal to 29 weeks . The same value will be introduced in the
space allocated for the late start and late finish of the activity as there is no
duration listed
b) For activity M (next in line going backward) the late finish value will be equal
to the late start value of the Finish activity node = 29 weeks. The late start

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value will be obtained by subtracting the duration time from the late finish
value i.e. 29 – 3 =26 weeks.
c) The late finish value for an activity will be equal to the late start value of the
previous activity going backward. (see Fig. 8)

early start early finish


10 12 16 21
F K 4 10
19 2 21 21 5 26 activity C
16 20 6
11 16
G J late start late finish
11 5 16 16 4 20 duration
4 11
E 11 19 20 26 26 29 29 29
4 7 11 H L M Finish
12 8 20 20 6 26 26 3 29 29 0 29

ulation of the Late start and Late Finish activities


Fig. 8

d) (Late finish)M = (Late start)Finish = 29 weeks; (Late finish)L = (Late start)M =


26 weeks; (Late finish)H = (Late start)L = 20 weeks; (Late finish)J = (Late
start)L = 20 weeks; etc.
e) If the activity C is considered the follow up activities are G and F with late
start values of 11 weeks and 19 weeks respectively. The late finish time for
C will be the late start value of G = 11 weeks. This time the smallest value is
considered. (see figure 9).

0 4 10 12 16 21
A F K
1 4 5 19 2 21 21 5 26
0 0 4 10 11 16 16 20
Start C G J
0 0 0 5 6 11 11 5 16 16 4 20
0 3 3 4 4 11
B D E 11 19 20 26
0 3 3 3 1 4 4 7 11 H L
12 8 20 20 6 26

Fig.of
Calculation 9 the Late start and Late Finish activities

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f) The activity G cannot finish later than 11 weeks, otherwise the duration of the
project will be extended.

N.B. When calculating the early finish value the duration of the activity is
added to the late start time. When calculating the late start time the
duration of the activity is subtracted from the late finish time

g) In any project there are some activities which are part of a “critical path”. If
the duration of any activity on the critical path is increased the duration of the
project is extended by the same amount. To establish the critical path the total
duration of the activities on the critical path must be equal to the last early
finish value calculated i.e. 29 weeks (fig. 6).
o Path START – B – D – E – H – L – M – FINISH = 28 weeks
o Path START – B – D – E – G – J – L – M – FINISH = 29 weeks.
THIS IS THE CRITICAL PATH
o Path START – B – C – G – J – L – M – FINISH = 27 weeks
o Path START – A – C – F – K – M – FINISH = 20 weeks
h) The activities not part of the critical path have “float” which is calculated as :

Late finish – duration – early start

i.e. Float C = 11 – 6 – 4 = 1 ; Float D = 4 – 1 – 3 = 0; (float for critical activities


= 0)
Table 18.2 shows the float values for the different activities.
Table 18.2
Activity A B C D E F G H J K L M
Total
1 0 1 0 0 9 0 1 0 5 0 0
float

Figure 10 shows the critical path line START – B – D – E – G – J – L – M – FINISH


(float = 0). From the diagram the project manager can see that a serious delay
of 8 weeks for the activity F (Late start F – Late start G = 19 – 11 = 8 weeks )
does not increase the total project time.

0 4 10 12 16 21
A F K
1 4 5 19 2 21 21 5 26
0 0 4 10 11 16 16 20
Start C G J
0 0 0 5 6 11 11 5 16 16 4 20
0 3 3 4 4 11
B D E 11 19 20 26 26 29 29 29
0 3 3 3 1 4 4 7 11 H L M Finish
12 8 20 20 6 26 26 3 29 29 0 29

The critical path line

Fig. 10