PERT Chart PERT (Project Evaluation and Review Technique) Chart, how it is used to monitor a project activity and its advantages & disadvantages The Project (or Project) Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT) chart is a chart which is widely used to portray statistics in project management. It is essentially designed to analyze and represent the tasks that are assigned to a project team in completing a designated project. The PERT technique of analyzing representing data is first done by the United States Navy for managing the Polaris submarine missile program.
This chart is a graphical representation of a project’s schedule and is widely used to schedule, organize and coordinate tasks within a project by the project management team in order to plan and finish the project accordingly. A PERT Chart Just like in the figure above, a PERT Chart is an illustration of a project which is portrayed graphically as a network diagram consisting of the rectangles (known as nodes) which are marked in the form of numbers that represents the events within a project. The lines in the above diagram that are marked as programming, test code, test system, installation, and activity are the tasks of the project.
Sequences of these tasks are indicated by the direction of lines. The nodes which are in the form of a series (2, 4, 8, 10 and 7, 9, 11) and the tasks connecting these nodes must be completed in an order and these are known as serial tasks. Likewise, since the tasks between 5 & 6 and 5 & 7 are not in a sequential order, these tasks can be finished simultaneously and these are known as parallel tasks. However the tasks that are represented by dotted lines must be completed in a sequence but they do not require resource or specific time period and these are called dummy activities.
These tasks are considered to have event dependency. PERT uses a network representation to capture the precedence or parallel relationships among the tasks in the project. One of the major advantages of the PERT chart is that the tasks can be performed simultaneously within a project management as this method saves a lot of time and ensures that the project will be finished before its scheduled deadline. This technique can be constructed with a variety of attributes, such as earliest and latest start dates for each task, earliest nd latest finish dates for each task, and slack time between tasks. A PERT chart can document an entire project or a key phase of a project. (2010, PERT Chart) On the flipside, the main setback for a PERT chart is that it is more difficult to interpret for big and complex projects as there is a great chance for the team members to get confused. In most cases and especially for large scale projects, The PERT chart is preferred over the Gantt chart because it clearly illustrates task dependencies, a feature which cannot be used for Gantt chart.
On the flip side, the PERT chart can be much more difficult to interpret as it is not exactly a user friendly chart. Depending upon the requirements, project management team will use either the PERT chart or Gantt chart. References: (May, 2007) Margaret Rouse; Program Evaluation Review Technique; Retrieved from http://searchsoftwarequality. techtarget. com/definition/PERT-chart (2009) John Chinneck; Practical Optimization; A Gentle Introduction; Retrieved from http://www. sce. carleton. ca/faculty/chinneck/po/Chapter11. pdf (2010) PERT Chart; Retrieved from http://web2. concordia. ca/Quality/tools/20pertchart. pdf
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