Project Management Knowledge

Dummy Activity

A dummy activity is a simulated activity of sorts, one that is of a zero duration and is created for the sole purpose of demonstrating a specific relationship and path of action on the arrow diagramming method. Dummy activities are a useful tool to implement when the specific logical relationship between two particular activities on the arrow diagramming method cannot specifically be linked or conceptualized through simple use of arrows going from one activity to another. In this case, the creation of a dummy activity, which serves essentially as a form of a placeholder, can provide exceedingly valuable. Dummy activities should in no cases be allocated any duration of time in the planning and/or scheduling or project activities and components. When they are illustrated in a graphical format, dummy activities should be represented by the user of a dashed line with an arrow head on one end, and may in some cases be represented by a unique color.

This term is defined in the 3rd edition of the PMBOK but not in the 4th.


  1. I’m doing a college assignment which includes critical path method. Can a dummy arrow be a part of the critical path? I’m asking this because I have like 3 critical paths and one of them goes through a dummy arrow..

  2. NO a dummy activity cannot be part of the Critical path because its duration is zero and the purpose is for showing connection in diagramming .

  3. From a particular node I have to follow two dummy activities. So is it allowed to create two dummies from a single node?

  4. is it possible for a dummy to be used in this case
    And if so, how ?
    Activity precedence
    L k
    M e,g,l
    N h,l,m

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