Gantt Charts & Network Diagrams


Operations managers use many techniques to solve problems. Some of these techniques are graphical and can be solved using software tools and programs. Before you start this activity, review the Excel for Operations Management Software page. You will use Excel to solve real-life problems encountered by operations managers.

How many times have you waited, not so patiently in the departure area, for your aircraft to be serviced before you board? Airport operations managers strive to achieve the shortest “turn around time” possible through a carefully choreographed process. Aircraft only make money when they are in the air!

This chart provides a generalized flow for the turnaround of an aircraft. Your task is to produce a Gantt chart, draw an activity on node (AON) network diagram, and determine the critical path.

ActivityDescriptionImmediate PredecessorsTime (Min)
AAircraft stops at the gate
BJet bridge connectedA:05
CPassengers deplaneB:10
DBaggage offloadedA:10
ERefueling/water servicingC:25
FGallery servicingC:25
GCabin cleaningC:30
HBaggage loadedD:10
IPassengers boardedE, F, G:10
JAircraft ready for departureH, I



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Complete the steps in each section and then submit your assignment for grading.

Step 1: Produce a Gantt Chart

Use Excel to produce a Gantt chart of the aircraft servicing process from the time the aircraft stops at the gate until it is ready for departure. Use this information to create your chart.

  • Use the Gantt Chart project planner template to get started. In Excel, select New and then search for the planner.
  • Assume that the PLAN START (earliest start time) begins as soon as the predecessor is completed.
  • Set the ACTUAL STARTACTUAL DURATION, and PERCENT COMPLETE time to 0 (since we are only using this chart for planning the project).

Once you have completed your Gantt chart, study it and provide suggestions on ways to shorten the turn around time. Remember that some items must be completed before others can start (i.e., the jet bridge must be connected before you can offload the passengers and the aircraft cannot have passengers aboard when refueling).

Step 2: Draw an AON Network Diagram

Create a slide to construct a diagram of activity on node (AON) network of the aircraft turnaround operation.

Step 3: Determine the Critical Path

Use your AON network diagram to determine the critical path and calculate the total time of completion. Make sure to annotate the critical path and time of completion on the slide. Once you produce the AON graph consider what would happen if activity G cabin cleaning could be reduced to: 20 minutes. Write a brief statement on the changes to the critical path and time of completion. Place your statement on the slide.

Step 4: Submit the Assignment

Submit your Gantt chart and your network diagram slide.

Save your assignment using a naming convention that includes your first and last name and the activity number (or description). Do not add punctuation or special characters.

Review the Problems Rubric for detailed grading information.

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