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ALISON: Diploma in Project Management

Comments about Project management toolset - PERT diagrams (network diagrams)

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- Module: Project management toolset
- Topic: PERT diagrams (network diagrams)

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  • Eskalehu Abeje wubu Ethiopia A commonly used tool within Critical Path Analysis is PERT (Program/Programme/Project Evaluation and Review Technique) which is a specialised method for identifying related and interdependent activities and events, especially where a big project may contain hundreds or thousands of connected elements. PERT is not normally relevant in simple projects, but any project of considerable size and complexity, particularly when timings and interdependency issues are crucial, can benefit from the detailed analysis enabled by PERT methods. PERT analysis commonly feeds into Critical Path Analysis and to other broader project management systems, such as those mentioned here. Critical Path Analysis flow diagrams are very good for showing interdependent factors whose timings overlap or coincide. They also enable a plan to be scheduled according to a timescale. Critical Path Analysis flow diagrams also enable costings and budgeting, although not quite as easily as Gantt charts (below), and they also help planners to identify causal elements, although not quite so easily as fishbone diagrams (below). This is how to create a Critical Path Analysis. As an example, the project is a simple one - making a fried breakfast. First note down all the issues (resources and activities in a rough order), again for example: Assemble crockery and utensils, assemble ingredients, prepare equipment, make toast, fry sausages and eggs, grill bacon and tomatoes, lay table, warm plates, serve. Note that some of these activities must happen in parallel - and crucially they are interdependent. That is to say, if you tried to make a fried breakfast by doing one task at a time, and one after the other, things would go wrong. Certain tasks must be started before others, and certain tasks must be completed in order for others to begin. The plates need to be warming while other activities are going on. The toast needs to be toasting while the sausages are frying, and at the same time the bacon and sausages are under the grill. The eggs need to be fried last. A Critical Path Analysis is a diagrammatical representation of what needs done and when. Timescales and costs can be applied to each activity and resource. Here's the Critical Path Analysis for making a fried breakfast: This Critical Path Analysis example below shows just a few activities over a few minutes. Normal business projects would see the analysis extending several times wider than this example, and the time line would be based on weeks or months. It is possible to use MS Excel or a similar spreadsheet to create a Critical Path Analysis, which allows financial totals and time totals to be planned and tracked. Various specialised project management software enable the same thing. Beware however of spending weeks on the intricacies of computer modelling, when in the early stages especially, a carefully hand drawn diagram - which requires no computer training at all - can put 90% of the thinking and structure in place. (See the details about the most incredible planning and communications tool ever invented, and available for just a tiny fraction of the price of all the alternatives.)
    2014-10-28 11:10:57

  • Aggrey Kegome Kenya Some activities must be completed before others start. What if they run into each other in the event of unforeseen situation?
    2014-10-28 11:10:27

  • Siviwe Valtyn South Africa Both tools are useful depending on the complexity of your project. i.e - the PERT is more useful when you have a lot activity dependency. Whereas the GANTT chart is best for a project will minimal inter-dependencies because of it's straight forward easy to read graphical representation.
    2014-10-28 10:10:40

  • Nothando Gumpo United Kingdom Great tool, which clearly defines the whole project and the relationships within the tasks.
    2014-10-22 23:10:09

  • Daniel Ebie OGULU Nigeria This was enlightning.
    2014-10-21 13:10:41

  • Ralph Webster South Africa PERT diagrams or critical path networks use a graphical form to show relationships between activities and time frames. It is driven by software usually . It used to be done manually . Extremely useful to define the nodes, activities and network events and the timelines on the project. It provides the bones of the project.
    2014-10-19 05:10:18

  • Yohannis Zewdu Ethiopia is there any deference between GANTT ?
    2014-10-16 12:10:14

  • Tafara Gondobwe Mozambique i have experimented on other softwares on PERT and it makes project management very profissional
    2014-10-16 11:10:48

  • Sunday Sayepe Nigeria In the PERT diagrams, how do you overcome the challenge of relating the activities with the expected time of delivering the project?
    2014-10-15 10:10:39

  • Owan Manyo Ayuk Walters Cameroon OK. Good
    2014-10-10 20:10:41

  • Owan Manyo Ayuk Walters Cameroon Greqt
    2014-10-10 19:10:07

  • Sonia Murna Ezra Nigeria Nice presentation. Is it possible to indicate these lines with different colours? it will make for easier understanding. Thank you.
    2014-10-08 13:10:44

  • Segedin Dragan United Arab Emirates In PERT diagram you can find more usefully information than in Gant chart, can we than wort without this calendar visualization of project?
    2014-09-28 06:09:45

    • Serah Mwinzila Kenya Thia calender visualization(Ghant Chat) is very useful,if you want to keep track if the Project is on the right speed.
      2014-09-29 13:09:11
  • tshering lhamo Bhutan should we use the both or any one of them?
    2014-09-24 10:09:08

  • Rosah Chandisarewa South Africa I can now distinguish the difference between the two thank you for your contributions.
    2014-09-12 13:09:18

  • ANNETTE ROBINSON United States of America So on GANTT charts you can't have extra time included on the chart but on a PERT Chart yo can? Can the PERT chart begin in the initial stage of planning?
    2014-09-08 20:09:33

  • Lukong Terence Cameroon i need indepth lessons with vivid examples to better understand the notion of PERT or network diagrams as the case may be ...
    2014-08-21 10:08:06

    • George Fragos Greece PERT breaks down the project into events and activities, and lays down their proper sequence, relationships, and duration in the form of a network. Lines connecting the events are called paths, and the longest path resulting from connecting all events is called the critical path. The length (duration) of the critical path is the duration of the project, and any delay occurring along it delays the whole project. PERT is a scheduling tool, and does not help in finding the best or the shortest way to complete a project.
      2014-08-30 14:08:51
    • Yai Deng Yai South Sudan Not now.
      2014-08-24 11:08:38
  • Je Rouse United Kingdom is the PERT method better than GANNT or does which one you use depend on the type of project that you are delivering?
    2014-08-07 14:08:34

    • Robert Robert Nigeria PERT chart is a technique for scheduling a project based on individual tasks or activities whereas Gantt Chart is a bar chart that represents the tasks and activities of the project schedule.
      2014-09-11 10:09:28
    • Yai Deng Yai South Sudan Both depend on each other.
      2014-08-24 11:08:35
    • Glen Holmes Ireland It isn't really a case of which one is better. In a lot of projects you would tend to use both. Gannt charts are great to see how much or what parts of the project are complete, on the other hand Pert diagrams are great to actively see the next stages of a project. Particularly when one part of a project cannot go ahead on till another is completed. Hope that helped.
      2014-08-15 20:08:29
  • WAYNE MUNSON United Kingdom This looks very static does the PERT have the ability to adapt.
    2014-08-03 08:08:34

    • Robert Robert Nigeria PERT is a conventional tool that help one in caring out activities in a project. As a project manager one need to have some skills as well.
      2014-09-11 10:09:42
    • Yai Deng Yai South Sudan No.
      2014-08-24 11:08:19
  • Idris Adetomiwa Qatar what is the difference between an activity and a task
    2014-07-30 10:07:02

    • Yai Deng Yai South Sudan Activity is like a projcet to do and the task is like role to play when implementing the project.
      2014-08-24 11:08:48
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