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Now You Know How Magellan Felt

To get your hands around the project, you need to arrange the tasks into a logical mapping of events. In this map, you identify the phases that can begin simultaneously, the work units within each phase, and the tasks within each work unit. You literally create a map of the work to be completed. This map is called a Project Network Diagram (PND). Depending on the number of people involved in the project, a PND can help you organize your work and visualize the dependent and independent tasks.

Figure 1 is a portion of a PND; it covers just the path of the tasks in the network cable upgrade part of the project. Note that some tasks may begin at the same time, while others are dependent on prior tasks to complete before they can start.

Figure 1Figure 1 A PND maps out the work of the technical project.

On my assignment, I completed a PND—not only to give myself and staff a plan to follow, but to share with the client so they could visualize the work we'll be completing for them. You may be saying, "Hey, I don't have no stinkin' clients," but if you're a network admin, you do: your boss and your colleagues who use the network you administer.

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