11.57 A Logical Network of Commitments

Backwards planning, also known as Pull Planning, helps us determine all the steps, elements, their dependencies, and their efficient order.

On something as simple as a house, a schedule may have 100 to 200 major activities.

On a large infrastructure project, the project may have tens of thousands of activities.

On a program of action composed of many large projects, the program will have hundreds of thousands or millions of activities.

As we discovered through pull planning, every activity logically relates to other activities in various ways. We know that the structural framing of a house must be installed after the foundation, and before the roof. And we know that after the roof is installed, both the solar panels on the roof and the interior finishes can concurrently begin. If an activity must occur before another activity, it is called a Predecessor. If an activity must occur after another activity, it is called a Successor.

Each activity also has certain key traits associated with it, for instance how many days it will take to complete, what it will cost, and how many people will be required to complete it within that amount of time.

In the logical Network of Commitments, each task must be connected to at least one Predecessor, and at least one Successor. Many tasks are connected to multiple predecessors, and multiple successors.

The totality of the relationships of all tasks to one another forms the total logical network.

The properly tied and ordered logical Network of Commitments affords us the ability to run algorithms to calculate and plan in a variety of ways.

It also enables us to calculate the Critical Path towards The Goal, and to engage in effective Risk Management around the various paths that feed into the Critical Path.

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