The Program (or Project) Evaluation and Review Technique, commonly abbreviated P ERT, is a model for project management designed

to analyze and represent the tas ks involved in completing a given project. It is commonly used in conjunction wi th the critical path method or CPM. This project model was the first of its kind, a revival for scientific managemen t, founded by Frederick Taylor (Taylorism) and later refined by Henry Ford (Ford ism). DuPont corporation's critical path method was invented at roughly the same time as PERT PERT is a method to analyze the involved tasks in completing a given project, es pecially 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 an d complex projects. It was developed by Bill Pocock[citation needed] of Booz All en Hamilton and Gordon Perhson[citation needed] of the U.S. Navy Special Project s Office in 1957 to support the U.S. Navy's Polaris nuclear submarine project. I tIt was able to incorporate uncertainty by making it possible to schedule a proj ect 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-ori ented, and is used more in projects where time, rather than cost, is the major f actor. It is applied to very large-scale, one-time, complex, non-routine infrast ructure and Research and Development projects. An example of this was for the 19 68 Winter Olympics in Grenoble which applied PERT from 1965 until the opening of the 1968 Games.[1] Advantages â ¢ PERT chart explicitly defines and makes visible dependencies (precedence relatio nships) between the WBS elements â ¢ PERT facilitates identification of the critical path and makes this visible â ¢ PERT facilitates identification of early start, late start, and slack for each a ctivity, â ¢ PERT provides for potentially reduced project duration due to better understandi ng of dependencies leading to improved overlapping of activities and tasks where feasible. â ¢ The large amount of project data can be organized & presented in diagram for use in decision making. [edit] Disadvantages â ¢ There can be potentially hundreds or thousands of activities and individual depe ndency relationships â ¢ The network charts tend to be large and unwieldy requiring several pages to prin t and requiring special size paper â ¢ The lack of a timeframe on most PERT/CPM charts makes it harder to show status a lthough colours can help (e.g., specific colour for completed nodes) â ¢ When the PERT/CPM charts become unwieldy, they are no longer used to manage the project useful management tool for planning, coordinating, and controlling large, comple x projects such as formulation of a master (COMPREHENSIVE) budget , construction of buildings, installation of computers, and scheduling of the closing of books . The development and initial application of PERT dates to the construction of t he Polaris submarine by the U.S. Navy in the late 1950s. The PERT technique invo lves the diagrammatical representation of the sequence of activities comprising a project by means of a network consisting of arrows and circles (nodes), as sho wn in Figure 1. Arrows represent tasks" or "activities," which are distinct segm ents of the project requiring time and resources. Nodes (circles) symbolize "eve nts," or milestone points in the project representing the completion of one or m ore activities and/or the initiation of one or more subsequent activities. An ev ent is a point in time and does not consume any time in itself as does an activi ty. An important aspect of PERT is the Critical Path Method (CPM) . A path is a

sequence of connected activities. In Figure 1, 2-3-4-6 is an example of a path. The critical path for a project is the path that takes the greatest amount of ti me. This is the minimum amount of time needed for the completion of the project. Thus, activities along this path must be shortened in order to speed up the pro ject. To compute this, calculate the time (ET) and the latest time (LT) for each event. The earliest time is the time an event will occur if all preceding activities ar e started as early as possible. Thus, for event 4 in Figure 2, the earliest time is 19.3 (i.e., 13 + 6.3). The latest time is the time an event can occur withou t delaying the project beyond the deadline. The earliest time for the entire pro ject is 49.5. Working backward from event 6 (finish) it is seen that the latest time for event 4 is 35.5. The slack for an event is the difference between the l atest time and earliest time. For event 4 the slack is 35.5 - 19.3 = 16.2. This is the amount of time event 4 can be delayed without delaying the entire project beyond its due date. Finally, the critical path the network is the path leading to the terminal event so that all events on the path have zero path. Figure 2 s hows the earliest and latest times for each event.