# Lecture 26 CPM / PERT Network Diagram

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1 Lecture 26 CPM / PERT Network Diagram 26.1 Introduction to CPM / PERT Techniques CPM (Critical Path Method) was developed by Walker to solve project scheduling problems. PERT (Project Evaluation and Review Technique) was developed by team of engineers working on the polar s missile programme of US navy. The methods are essentially network-oriented techniques using the same principle. PERT and CPM are basically time-oriented methods in the sense that they both lead to determination of a time schedule for the project. The significant difference between two approaches is that the time estimates for the different activities in CPM were assumed to be deterministic while in PERT these are described probabilistically. These techniques are referred as project scheduling techniques Applications of CPM / PERT These methods have been applied to a wide variety of problems in industries and have found acceptance even in government organizations. These include Construction of a dam or a canal system in a region Construction of a building or highway Maintenance or overhaul of airplanes or oil refinery Space flight Cost control of a project using PERT / COST Designing a prototype of a machine Development of supersonic planes 26.3 Basic Steps in PERT / CPM Project scheduling by PERT / CPM consists of four main steps 1. Planning The planning phase is started by splitting the total project in to small projects. These smaller projects in turn are divided into activities and are analyzed by the department or section. The relationship of each activity with respect to other activities are defined and established and the corresponding responsibilities and the authority are also stated. 1

2 Thus the possibility of overlooking any task necessary for the completion of the project is reduced substantially. 2. Scheduling The ultimate objective of the scheduling phase is to prepare a time chart showing the start and finish times for each activity as well as its relationship to other activities of the project. Moreover the schedule must pinpoint the critical path activities which require special attention if the project is to be completed in time. For non-critical activities, the schedule must show the amount of slack or float times which can be used advantageously when such activities are delayed or when limited resources are to be utilized effectively. 3. Allocation of resources Allocation of resources is performed to achieve the desired objective. A resource is a physical variable such as labour, finance, equipment and space which will impose a limitation on time for the project. When resources are limited and conflicting, demands are made for the same type of resources a systematic method for allocation of resources become essential. Resource allocation usually incurs a compromise and the choice of this compromise depends on the judgment of managers. 4. Controlling The final phase in project management is controlling. Critical path methods facilitate the application of the principle of management by expectation to identify areas that are critical to the completion of the project. By having progress reports from time to time and updating the network continuously, a better financial as well as technical control over the project is exercised. Arrow diagrams and time charts are used for making periodic progress reports. If required, a new course of action is determined for the remaining portion of the project Network Diagram Representation In a network representation of a project certain definitions are used 1. Activity Any individual operation which utilizes resources and has an end and a beginning is called activity. An arrow is commonly used to represent an activity with its head indicating the direction of progress in the project. These are classified into four categories 1. Predecessor activity Activities that must be completed immediately prior to the start of another activity are called predecessor activities. 2. Successor activity Activities that cannot be started until one or more of other activities are completed but immediately succeed them are called successor activities. 3. Concurrent activity Activities which can be accomplished concurrently are known as concurrent activities. It may be noted that an activity can be a predecessor or a successor to an event or it may be concurrent with one or more of other activities. 2

3 4. Dummy activity An activity which does not consume any kind of resource but merely depicts the technological dependence is called a dummy activity. The dummy activity is inserted in the network to clarify the activity pattern in the following two situations To make activities with common starting and finishing points distinguishable To identify and maintain the proper precedence relationship between activities that is not connected by events. For example, consider a situation where A and B are concurrent activities. C is dependent on A and D is dependent on A and B both. Such a situation can be handled by using a dummy activity as shown in the figure. 2. Event An event represents a point in time signifying the completion of some activities and the beginning of new ones. This is usually represented by a circle in a network which is also called a node or connector. The events are classified in to three categories 1. Merge event When more than one activity comes and joins an event such an event is known as merge event. 2. Burst event When more than one activity leaves an event such an event is known as burst event. 3. Merge and Burst event An activity may be merge and burst event at the same time as with respect to some activities it can be a merge event and with respect to some other activities it may be a burst event. 3. Sequencing The first prerequisite in the development of network is to maintain the precedence relationships. In order to make a network, the following points should be taken into considerations What job or jobs precede it? What job or jobs could run concurrently? What job or jobs follow it? What controls the start and finish of a job? Since all further calculations are based on the network, it is necessary that a network be drawn with full care. 3

4 26.5 Rules for Drawing Network Diagram Rule 1 Each activity is represented by one and only one arrow in the network Rule 2 No two activities can be identified by the same end events Rule 3 In order to ensure the correct precedence relationship in the arrow diagram, following questions must be checked whenever any activity is added to the network What activity must be completed immediately before this activity can start? What activities must follow this activity? What activities must occur simultaneously with this activity? In case of large network, it is essential that certain good habits be practiced to draw an easy to follow network Try to avoid arrows which cross each other Use straight arrows Do not attempt to represent duration of activity by its arrow length Use arrows from left to right. Avoid mixing two directions, vertical and standing arrows may be used if necessary. Use dummies freely in rough draft but final network should not have any redundant dummies. The network has only one entry point called start event and one point of emergence called the end event Common Errors in Drawing Networks The three types of errors are most commonly observed in drawing network diagrams 4

5 1. Dangling To disconnect an activity before the completion of all activities in a network diagram is known as dangling. As shown in the figure activities (5 10) and (6 7) are not the last activities in the network. So the diagram is wrong and indicates the error of dangling 2. Looping or Cycling Looping error is also known as cycling error in a network diagram. Drawing an endless loop in a network is known as error of looping as shown in the following figure. 3. Redundancy Unnecessarily inserting the dummy activity in network logic is known as the error of redundancy as shown in the following diagram 5

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