applications PERT in project planning

The Program (or Project) Evaluation and Review Technique, commonly abbreviated PERT, is a model for project management designed to analyze and represent the tasks involved in completing a given project. It is commonly used in conjunction with the critical path method or CPM.

PERT is a method to analyze 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.

PERT was developed primarily to simplify the planning and scheduling of large and complex projects. It was developed for the U.S. Navy Special Projects Office in 1957 to support the U.S. Navy's Polaris nuclear submarine project. It was able to incorporate uncertainty by making it possible to schedule a project while not knowing precisely the details and durations of all the activities. It is more of an event-oriented technique rather than start- and completion-oriented, and is used more in projects where time, rather than cost, is the major factor. It is applied to very large-scale, one-time, complex, non-routine infrastructure and Research and Development projects. An example of this was for the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble which applied PERT from 1965 until the opening of the 1968 Games.

This project model was the first of its kind, a revival for scientific management, founded by Frederick Taylor (Taylorism) and later refined by Henry Ford (Fordism). DuPont corporation's critical path method was invented at roughly the same time as PERT.



  • A PERT chart is a tool that facilitates decision making. The first draft of a PERT chart will number its events sequentially in 10s (10, 20, 30, etc.) to allow the later insertion of additional events.
  • Two consecutive events in a PERT chart are linked by activities, which are conventionally represented as arrows (see the diagram above).
  • 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.

PERT is valuable to manage where multiple tasks are occurring simultaneously to reduce redundancy

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