Simplified Systematic Network Planning – step 1

Step 1 organizes the project and assures that it is well-defined, understood and realistically scheduled. SNP uses a standard, one-page Orientation and Issues Worksheet to capture project objectives, scope, issues, and schedule. The project’s schedule is developed around the six steps of Simplified SNP. Additional steps are added to give extra attention to key tasks. The worksheet uses the Gantt chart format, but any project scheduling software output can be used.

In the MTT example, only one facility produces 32 ounce plastic bottles. With increasing volumes and product proliferation, this facility cannot meet expected demand. MTT’s network planner has been asked to cost justify a second 32 oz “big bottle” manufacturing line. This line will be achieved by upgrading an existing line. The planner must also determine which of six existing plants will be the best location for the upgrade, and he will use an existing sourcing model and software to find the location with the lowest total cost. In addition, the decision must also consider other intangible or “non-cost” factors.


In the center of the worksheet, the planner lists the issues that must be resolved in order to reconfigure the existing sourcing model for use on the Big Bottle Analysis. The planner also lists the actions needed to resolve open issues and any proposed resolution. For example, the new capacity will be achieved by upgrading an existing line, but not every existing line can be upgraded and some are easier to upgrade than others. To assure that the project resolves critical network planning issues, it is good practice to list and rate their significance, importance or dominance as follows:

A – Abnormally high
E – Especially high
I – Important
O – Ordinary
U – Unimportant

Issues or factors beyond the planners’ control or outside of the project’s scope are flagged with an “X”.