Activity network can be used in task decomposition to chart the flow of simple activities or sub-tasks between separate tasks within a project. It helps plan project tasks by creating a graphical representation of smaller pieces of work. The benefit of using activity network is that it simplifies planning through graphically displaying interdependent relationships between tasks and their sub-tasks as they all impact a related project.
Activity network diagram lets create a model of broader tasks in a project and develop a graphical design of project task breakdown. Here are how-to steps for using activity network diagram in decomposing project tasks:
- Identify root tasks that have broad objectives related to a project
- Divide each of these tasks into a series of implementation actions
- Divide broad objectives into smaller goals
- Create relationships between actions and smaller goals
- Estimate time frames required for doing actions and achieving goals
- Use a sheet of paper or a computer program to create a drafted scheme of activity network diagram
- Place root tasks and their objectives at the top level of the diagram
- Add lists of actions and their goals beneath root tasks
- Draw special signs (lines and arrows) in the diagram to show dependencies between elements of the breakdown
- Add a timeline to the breakdown to depict time frames on the diagram
- Review the diagram and check for errors
- Accept the diagram as necessary corrections are made.