A network diagram is a visual or graphical representation of information used within a network. The specific details of the diagram will depend on what type of system it is for. For example, network diagrams used in computer systems will show the various computer and network components within a system. This is very helpful for troubleshooting, adding in new devices, and understanding how the system as a whole works. For project management, a network diagram will show a graphical representation of the different tasks, responsibilities, and workflows that need to be completed.
Types of Network Diagrams
In most situations there are two different types of network diagrams that can be used. Each one has a slightly different look to it and is more ideally suited for specific situations. The two types are:
- Arrow Diagram Method – With the arrow diagramming method the arrows represent activity that has to be done as part of a project or system. The point on the arrow should represent the place where the activity is completed. The length of an arrow can indicate how long it should take, though that is now always used in every system.
- Precedence Diagram Method – In this setup each box or node will represent an activity. The arrows along the way are used to represent some type of relationship between the two nodes. There are multiple different types of relationships that can be present, each which would have a different logo or other designation.
Creating a Network Diagram
Most people will use computer software to create a network diagram no matter what it is going to be used for. It is also possible to use pencil and paper to create this type of diagram, but that is going to take much longer and be more difficult to update as needed. Another advantage of using software for this type of thing is that it will have built in logos and other details that can be used to make the diagram easier to follow.