Project Management Guide
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What is PERT in Project Management?

Program Evaluation Review Technique (PERT) is a project management planning tool used to calculate the amount of time it will take to realistically finish a project. PERT charts are used to plan tasks within a project — making it easier to schedule and coordinate team members.

PERT charts were created in the 1950s to manage the creation of weapons and defense projects for the US Navy. While PERT was being introduced in the Navy, the private sector simultaneously gave rise to a similar method called critical path. PERT is similar to critical path in that they are both used to visualize the timeline and the work that must be done for a project. However with PERT, you create three different time estimates for the project:

  • The shortest possible amount of time each task will take
  • The most probable amount of time
  • The longest amount of time tasks might take if things don't go as planned

PERT is calculated backward from a fixed end date since contractor deadlines typically cannot be moved.

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