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Chapter IX. Planning—The Project Network... > THE BASIC CONCEPTS OF PROJECT NETWOR... - Pg. 88

Planning--The Project Network Diagram Approach 88 and other knowledge advance while the project is being performed, creating a risk that the product of the project will be obsolete before the project is completed. Thus, it is essential to incorporate changes into the project whenever appropriate. This places a premium on a technique that can facilitate changes to our plans. Network-based planning techniques provide that capability. As projects became larger in magnitude and complexity, even the most adroit schedulers had dif- ficulty processing the myriad of details involved. A new language of planning was required. In the early fifties, a new language--project network diagramming--was developed that proved quite suc- cessful in a variety of applications. Using this language, the resulting plan can be described as the road map for the project. Among its many advantages are the ability to analyze alternative schedules and even alternative plans, reduce total project duration, reduce costs, and gain greater assurance that the project can be completed as scheduled. The computer was an integral part of these systems, as they all required substantial computational capability. Thus, the computer was at once a significant contributor to and a serious constraint on the development and use of this new language of project planning and control. Primitive computers, as well as primitive systems employing project network diagramming hindered many early applica- tions of project network diagramming. Developments in both computers and project management software have overcome most of the problems of the past. It is essential that project personnel and executives of modern organizations have skills in using this new language of project planning and control. They must be skilled in planning, scheduling, asking penetrating questions, analyzing, rescheduling, and taking appropriate actions to manage the projects, given new tools that are more precise and sensitive. THE BASIC CONCEPTS OF PROJECT NETWORK DIAGRAMS