Effective ways of displaying information
Effective ways of displaying information

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Effective ways of displaying information

2.8.1 A case study

Figure 18 shows part of a critical path for converting surplus retail space into a warehouse. Each task is represented by an arrow; the length of an arrow does not relate to the duration of the task. The junctions (called nodes) where arrows meet would normally be numbered. You may come across other formats which use slightly different terms from those we have used.

The numbers on the arrows represent the number of working days it will take to complete each task. As you can see, there is one critical path highlighted. This is because each of the critical tasks depends on the completion of the previous task before it can start. If you add up the number of days for these tasks (2 + 20 + 10), you will see that stock cannot be received until 32 working days have elapsed. Only by changing the timescales for the highlighted tasks can the overall timescale be reduced. Gaining time on other tasks will not affect the calculation.

Figure 18
Figure 18: Converting surplus space for warehousing – a preparatory diagram for a network (or critical path) analysis

Box 6: Network analysis: Some key points to bear in mind

  • Some tasks depend on the completion of other tasks to enable them to start.

  • A string of such tasks makes a path through your plan, and that path has a very significant effect on the timescale for your project.

  • The path will tend to define the shortest feasible timescale for the accomplishment of the project, irrespective of the tasks elsewhere.

GSG_5

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus