Improve Your Project Management: Activity on Arrow networks

by Phil Baguley

A project network is a flow chart that sets out to show the sequence in which a project's activities are to be completed. One of the two main project networks in popular use, the Activity on Arrow (AOA) network, uses arrows to depict activities. The direction of the arrow indicates the direction of time and the activity durations are attached. Here is a simple example:

A simple Activity on Arrow network
Here are some of the definitions associated with this sort of network:
• Float is the amount of time that an activity can be delayed without delaying the project completion.
• A dummy activity is an activity in an AOA network which has zero duration but indicates activity interdependency.
• A critical path activity is an activity with zero or negative float, or any activity on the critical path.
• The critical path is the sequence of activities which determines the earliest project completion.
• The EET, or earliest event time, is the earliest time by which an event can occur.
• The LET, or latest event time, is the latest time by which an event can occur.

The AOA network, in its computer-driven form, can be used on large and complex projects and, in its manually or computer-generated form, on the small projects of our homes and workplaces.

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