PERT – An Essential Tool in Project Management

PERT, or Program Evaluation and Review Technique, has long been an important tool for project managers. It allows analysis of the involved tasks in completing a given project, especially the time needed to complete each task, and identifying the minimum time needed to complete the total project. In addition, it clearly highlights the critical steps and the critical path, enabling better decision making.

There a few rules that are generally followed while designing PERT charts:

Conventions:

  • A PERT chart should have event numbers in multiple of tens (10, 20, 30, etc.) to allow insertion of additional events at a later time
  • All activities are displayed by arrows that link two consecutive events
  • The events are presented in a logical sequence and no activity can commence until its immediately preceding event is completed.
  • The planner decides which milestones should be PERT events and also decides their “proper” sequence.
  • A PERT chart may have multiple pages with many sub-tasks.

There are numerous advantages of using PERT charts, namely:

  • PERT chart explicitly defines and makes visible dependencies (precedence relationships) between the WBS elements
  • It facilitates identification of the critical path and makes this visible
  • It identifies early start, late start, and slack for each activity,
  • PERT can help in reduction of the project duration through better overlapping of tasks and activities where feasible
  • The visual representation is easy to understand and share with large audiences and helps in better decision making

Deskera Project Management would include Critical Path Analysis using PERT charts. This would enable better project planning and efficient execution.

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