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Network Plan

A network plan is an important part of project planning and control, in which the tasks and processes of a project are visualized in a graphical representation. This representation helps to better understand the project progress and to manage the resources and dependencies of individual tasks more efficiently. A network plan is a crucial component for successful project management and is often associated with the keyword "network plan".

Fundamentals of the Network Plan

A network plan consists of various elements that are interconnected and represent the course of a project:

  • Operations: The individual tasks or processes that must be performed in the project.
  • Arrows: The connections between the operations, which represent their dependencies and sequence.
  • Nodes: The points at which the arrows meet and which mark the beginning or end of an operation.

The network plan can be created in various forms of representation, such as a bar chart, Gantt chart, or PERT diagram.

Creating a Network Plan

To create a network plan for a project, the individual operations and their dependencies must first be identified. Subsequently, the sequence of the operations is determined and the required resources are specified. Finally, the operations and their dependencies are visualized in a graphical representation.

Application Areas of Network Plans

Network plans are used in various industries and application areas to plan and control complex projects. These include:

  • Construction
  • IT projects
  • Research and development projects
  • Production planning
  • Logistics and transport

Advantages of Network Plans

The use of network plans offers several advantages for project management:

  • Clarity: The graphical representation of the project's course and structure provides a better overview of the project.
  • Resource Planning: Network plans support the planning and control of resources by showing the resources needed for individual operations and their timing.
  • More Efficient Control: By illustrating dependencies and buffer times, bottlenecks and delays can be identified early and measures for control can be initiated.
  • Communication: Network plans facilitate communication between project participants and stakeholders, as they clearly present the project course and can serve as a basis for discussion.

Challenges in Creating Network Plans

The creation of a network plan can be associated with some challenges:

  • Complexity: The more complex a project is, the more difficult it can be to create a clear network plan and to correctly represent all dependencies and resources.
  • Uncertainties: In project planning, uncertainties can occur that may affect the accuracy of the network plan, for example, in terms of the duration of individual operations or the availability of resources.
  • Updates: Network plans must be regularly updated to take into account changes in project progress or new insights.


A network plan is a decisive tool in project management that supports the planning, control, and communication of projects. Through the graphical representation of operations, dependencies, and resources, project managers can better understand the project progress and respond promptly to challenges. However, the creation and maintenance of a network plan require a high degree of care and up-to-dateness to ensure the greatest possible benefit for project management.