Thursday 17 February 2022

Project activity diagram


When it comes to a project, the entire project is divided into many interdependent tasks. In this task set, the sequence or order of the tasks is very important.

If the sequence is incorrect, the end result of the project may differ from what management expected.

Some tasks in projects can be safely performed in parallel with other tasks. In the project activity diagram, the task sequence is simply illustrated.

There are many tools that you can use to draw project activity diagrams. Microsoft Project is one of the most popular programs for this type of work.


Have you seen the technological schemes? If so, the activity charts take the same shape. Usually, there are two main shapes in activity diagrams, rectangles and arrows.

The rectangles of the activity chart indicate tasks, and the arrows show relationships. Usually, relationships are sequences that take place in actions.

The following is an example of an activity diagram with tasks in cells and relationships represented by arrows.

activity diagram

This type of activity chart is also known as a node activity chart. This is due to the fact that all actions (tasks) are displayed on nodes (blocks).

In addition, there is another way to present an activity diagram. This is called the activity chart on the arrow. In this diagram, actions (tasks) are represented by arrows.

Compared to the activity charts on the node, the activity charts on the arrow introduce a bit of confusion. Therefore, in most cases, people often use activity charts on nodes. Below is a diagram of the actions on the arrow:

How do I draw an activity diagram?

Creating an activity diagram is easy. For this purpose, you can use a paper material such as a note or software. Regardless of the environment used, the process of creating an activity diagram remains the same.

The following are the main steps to create an activity diagram:

Step 1

First of all, define the tasks in the project. You can use WBS (Work Breakdown Structure) for this purpose, and there is no need to repeat the same thing.

Just use the same task breakdown for an activity chart. If you're using software to create an action chart (which is recommended), create a window for each action.

Illustrate all boxes of the same size to avoid confusion. Make sure all your tasks have the same granularity.

Step 2

You can add more information to task fields, such as who completes the task and due dates. You can add this information to the field or add it somewhere near the field.

Step 3

Now arrange the fields in the order in which they run during project execution. Early tasks will be on the left side, and tasks completed in the later part of the project will be on the right side. Tasks that can be performed in parallel must be parallel to each other (vertically).

You may need to change the sequence several times until you do it correctly. That's why the software is a simple tool for creating action charts.

Step 4

Now use the arrows to connect the task blocks. These arrows will show the sequence of tasks. Sometimes "start" and "end" fields can be added to clearly represent the beginning and end of a project.

To understand what we've done in the above four steps, please refer to the following action chart:


You can use activity diagrams to illustrate the task sequence of a project. These charts can be created with minimal effort and give you a clear understanding of interdependent tasks.

In addition, the action chart is the input for the critical path method.

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