How Does PERT Work? Explained in Simple Terms

There are various methods and tactics in the large area of project management tools that may help in the planning, scheduling, and coordination of tasks and resources. PERT charts are one of these tools. So, in this blog we will discuss about PERT chart and How does PERT work? 

Make sure to check: The Actual Challenge of Project Management with a Solid Solution!

What Is a PERT Chart?

PERT charts are network diagrams that project managers use to establish project timelines. Hence, they are used in the Program Evaluation Review Technique (PERT) to describe a project timetable, estimate task duration, identify task dependencies, and determine a project’s critical path. 

How to Create a PERT Chart?

Follow the five steps of the process life cycle to produce a PERT chart, which encompasses everything from planning out project scope and identifying activities to managing project completion. 

1. Determine project tasks

The first stage in constructing a good PERT chart is to identify and collect the project information and tasks that are necessary. You can start the project planning stage in the same way that you would start the initial project management phase. This could include:

  • A business plan
  • A strategy for communication
  • A preliminary start meeting
2. Establish task dependencies

A task dependence is a job or milestone that requires the completion of another task before the task at hand can begin. This is known as a logical relationship and is frequently utilized in a work breakdown structure. 

Creating dependencies can assist you in keeping track of your work, ensuring tasks are performed, and establishing clear communication. Timelines and project duration should plan ahead of time for complex initiatives.

3. Link project tasks

After you’ve established task dependencies, you may start working on your PERT chart by connecting project tasks. So, These connections combine arrows representing tasks and nodes representing events or milestones. 

Place parent events within your nodes (shown as numbered circles or squares), and add task arrows to represent the dependencies required to finish your events. 

4. Determine the project timeline

Now, using the critical path method (CPM) and the PERT formula, estimate the overall project time period. The critical route is the longest sequence of tasks that must be fulfilled in order for a project to be finished effectively.

The goal is to discover the longest path that will take the greatest time to finish so that the final project length can be estimated. Time estimates can be calculated using the following criteria:

  • Optimistic time: The shortest amount of time required to complete a task.
  • Pessimistic time: The amount of time required to complete a task. 
  • Most likely time: The most accurate estimate of how long it will take to complete a task.

To compute the estimated length and completion time of a task, use the PERT formula: (O + (4 × M) + P) ÷ 6. This might be expressed in terms of minutes, hours, days, or even weeks. 

5. Measure task progress

The last stage in developing a PERT chart is to manage task progress until the project is complete. This can be accomplished by closing dependencies and resolving issues as they arise until all tasks and project goals are met. 

Remember that as changes occur, a PERT diagram should be update in real time. Hence, this might be combine with a change management approach to assist map and communicate project changes. 

How Does a PERT Chart Work?

It combines nodes and directing arrows. Nodes are numbered boxes or circles. They signify an event or milestone in the project. The arrows represent the tasks or activities that need to complete before proceeding to the next event or milestone.

As a result, a PERT chart shows the project’s tasks and dependencies. This section provides an overview of the project timeline, outlining which tasks must be complete in order to deliver a successful project. Project managers can use this information to create a feasible project plan that fulfills deadlines and remains under budget.

You may also check: What is IIBA Certification? Benefit and Steps to Obtain

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How does the PERT approach work?

The Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT) is an important project management tool. It is for identifying job dependencies and essential routes, as well as to plan resources, estimate work duration, and identify potential dangers. It also aids in the definition and sequencing of activities, the coordination of resources, and the tracking of progress.

2. What is an example of a PERT?

If the optimistic time is 30 minutes, the pessimistic time is 60 minutes, and the most likely time is 45 minutes, the PERT formula is as follows: (30min + (4 × 45min) + 60min) ÷ 6 = 45 minutes.

3. Who invented PERT?

It was designed by American mechanical engineer Henry Gantt between 1910 and 1915, and it is now the most extensively used project management chart.

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Ava Murphy
Ava Murphy

Ava Murphy is a content researcher at She has expertise in Inspirational and professional education content.

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