What is PERT in Project Management?
PERT is a project management planning tool used to calculate the amount of time it will take to realistically finish a project. PERT stands for Program Evaluation Review Technique. PERT charts are tools used to plan tasks within a project - making it easier to schedule and coordinate team members accomplishing the work. PERT charts were created in the 1950s to help 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: you estimate the shortest possible amount time each task will take, the most probable amount of time, and 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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