Pert – Technique for Project Planning: Definition, Origin, Advantages, Elements and MORE

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Pert – Technique for Project PlanningIt is basically a technique which allows directing the programming of any project. Likewise, it consists of a graphic representation of a network of activities that, when placed in a chain, allow achieving the objectives established in a project.

For this reason, in this article we dedicate ourselves to explain in depth: what is Pert, what is it for, we will mention some advantages of the Pert diagram, its elements, we will develop how to develop the diagram, and we will end with Pert vs CPM

What is Pert?

As we mentioned at the beginning of this report, the PERT, or PERT diagram, is one that allows us to establish relationships through the dependencies of the tasks of a project. It is worth highlighting one aspect in particular, and that is that, through this diagram, it is possible to calculate the time that a project is going to consume.

The graphic representation of this diagram is made up of a set of nodes connected by arrows. Likewise, the arrows represent the tasks of the project and the nodes the moments of the project.

Now the Program Evaluation and Review Technique or the Program Evaluation and Review Technique method, was developed in the Office of Special Projects of the North American Navy in collaboration with Booz, Allen and Hamilton.

Likewise, it is up to us to highlight an important aspect about this particular method. And it is that, it creates a dependency map between the tasks or assignments of a project. Additionally, these dependencies can be used to identify optimized workflows.

The PERT technique or method is well known and is applied to know the optimal work routes in the world of project management and direction.

For instance: If to carry out assignment C, the deliverable of assignment A is necessary, PERT will notify that assignment A must be completed, before starting activity C. However, the situation becomes difficult when the realization of only one activity affects numerous assignments.

To conclude this point of the article, we must clarify that the acronym of the PERT Diagram means: Program Review and Evaluation Technique. And, added to this, it can be applied throughout the project or only in certain critical phases of the assignment schedule.

What is it for?

Once the explanation of the meaning of this method is completed, we continue to develop what it is for. It is essential to emphasize this particular aspect, since it is usual that users do not give it the importance it deserves.

As we mentioned in the previous point, the acronym of the PERT Diagram has a meaning. The same is: Program Review and Evaluation Technique. Likewise, this diagram can be applied in certain critical phases of a task program or in an entire project.

However, the Program Review and Evaluation Technique is usually used together with CPM techniques -Critical Path Method- to detect bottleneck that can jeopardize the project as a whole. With both techniques you can know the critical path of the projects.

This method has been used by companies since the middle of the last century. It should be noted that its functionalities are multiple and diverse, the most outstanding being the one that helps to know what the end of a project is.

Now, this concept is closely linked to the project’s end date. In other words, for it to be carried out within the deadline, the first thing to develop is the critical path. For this reason, it is essential to identify the critical path during the planning stage.

On the other hand, it is important to mention that, to identify the critical path during the planning stage, a particular technique must be used. It is known as CPM, that is, Critical Path Method, which is quite similar to the PERT method.

Advantages of the Pert Diagram

Before listing the advantages of this type of diagram, let’s learn a bit about its history. The Program Review and Evaluation Technique, as its name implies is a technique that is applied to projects important in our contemporary history.

Well, the United States Navy began to use this technique in 1958. This, to carry out the planning of the Polaris project. This project was based on a submarine-based ballistic missile, which was built with nuclear weapons during the Cold War.

A frequent comment is due to the logic of this particular method, the completion date of construction was advanced two years. Which was an advantage as it was a war context. The Apollo program, for example, was also programmed using this method.

However, currently, the Program Review and Evaluation Technique is used or used in both government projects and projects related to industry. Furthermore, certain governments, such as the United States, require private companies to work based on the logic of this method.

Advantage

  • Calculate optimized work routes.
  • Also, it allows to identify bottlenecks or critical nodes in the work path.
  • Organize activities.
  • It takes into consideration each assignment individually and its relationship with the other companies.
  • It is not based solely on the estimated duration of assignments or tasks.
  • Take into account dependencies between tasks.
  • Carry out more realistic and effective planning.
  • Provides tools for monitoring the status of the program.
  • At the same time, help meet the stipulated deadlines and predetermined budgets.
  • Improves early and effective decision making.
  • And finally, it has better integration and presentation of data to project stakeholders.

In conclusion, this particular program is a method used for planning sophisticated projects and somewhat more complex than other types of diagrams. It also has some similarities with the CPM Diagram. Although, it focuses more on the relationship between tasks than on implementation times.

Disadvantages of the Diagram

  • You do not have enough data when creating the Pert diagram online. When the first planning is carried out, there is not complete information about it.
  • It does not encourage flexible planning. It is usually quite difficult to re-plan if PERT techniques are applied in project management.
  • However, there are currently applications that go beyond this limit to adapt both methods to the modern world.
  • The only parameter is the time factor. The PERT network would crash if it fails:
  1. Any data on activity durations.
  2. Changes in the stipulated dates.
  3. Changes in deadlines.
  4. Or, any kind of variation in resource management.
  • For this reason, it is essential to use applications that take these disadvantages into account and allow flexible planning. Like, for example: Sinnaps.
  • It takes a huge effort to carry out a PERT network of an average project yourself. Therefore, various and multiple links must be taken into account.
  • It is not an agile method. For all that has been mentioned above, this technique is predictive but it is not agile.

Elements

Now, this diagram is basically a project planning technique that is included within the network diagrams. Likewise, it is important to note that it is a fairly sophisticated method when representing the assignments of a project.

  • Chores: This element is sometimes referred to as activities or stages. They are represented by an arrow. This is assigned to each of the tasks a code and duration.
  • It should be noted that the length of the date is independent of the duration of the assignment.
  • Stages: represents the start and end of an activity. Each of the tasks has a start and end stage.
  • Also, each end stage represents the start of the next task.
  • The stages are generally numbered and are represented by a circle. Although, in some cases they can be represented by other ways.
  • Dummy tasks: this type of assignment is represented by a dotted arrow which indicates the limitations of the task chains between certain stages.

Main functions of the PERT Chart

  1. This method works through a network of provenance relationships of the elements that make up the assignments, with respect to the order in which they must be performed.
  2. Seeks to meet previously stipulated or specific delivery dates.
  3. One of its fundamental characteristics is the duration of the assignments or activities.
  4. Also, it can be represented in a Gantt chart, just like the Sinnaps application does.

How to Make a Pert Diagram?

The easiest way to create this diagram online is through a project management application. Likewise, you can start designing networks and networks of activities and dependencies on a sheet of paper, but clearly, this takes time, effort and money.

It starts with a free Sinnaps account and includes activities. It gives you a relationship with just one click. Then, the application automatically places the activity at the earliest date after the activity it depends on ends. The time is already optimized.

Now, the activities they depend on must be clicked as many times as needed. Moreover, to carry out or carry out projects where tasks depend on various activities at the same time, Sinnaps would be the perfect tool. Because in a short time you will find the perfect space in planning.

Pert vs. CPM

Now, to end this article, we explain the difference between PERT and CPM. The Critical Path Method -CPM- or critical path method was developed in the United States by the DuPont Company in conjunction with the UNIVAC Division of Remington Rand.

Likewise, it should be noted that the method Critical Path Method -CPM-, or critical path method, it is quite similar to the PERT method. However, the duration of the tasks is considered to be a deterministic rather than random variable like the Critical Path Method -CPM-.

Of course, the essence of CPM is to identify the sequence of assignments whose total uptime is the longest: the so-called critical path. On the other hand, it is up to us to mention some advantages of this type of method in particular. Attentive!

  1. They identify the interfaces between the assignments.
  2. Supports conducting progress assessments.
  3. Detect problems and eventual causes of delays early.
  4. They require the detailed definition of the assignments to be made.

See you soon!

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