Get Intimate with PERT

2 minute read    Updated:    Harwinder Singh

What is PERT - a weighted average duration estimation technique Project Estimation and PERT (Part 1): Most PMP study guides and training programs offer very similar and limited information on Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT). The information is usually sufficient to pass the PMP exam, but isn’t detailed enough to get a good understanding of the topic, nor does it offer much practical value on real projects.

I have received numerous requests from people asking me to explain this topic in more depth. So I’ve spent past several weeks researching this topic. I won’t say that I’m an expert now, but I hope to share the knowledge and learn something from you in the process. As usual, I’ll try to present a detailed yet simplified explanation.

Before I go further, let me warn you that some of these articles may be far-far beyond the scope of the PMP exam. These articles are meant for those inquisitive souls, who not just want to pass the exam, but also learn something useful and practical along the way.

This post is simply a cover page for the upcoming articles. Over the course of next several articles, I’ll be covering the topics listed below. Please review the list and let me know if you have additional questions or topics that you would like me to cover.

Important points to be covered about PERT

  • What is 3-point estimation? What are its benefits?
  • What is PERT?
  • What is the difference between PERT and CPM? How do they fit together in project schedule and cost estimation?
  • What are the underlying assumptions in PERT?
  • What are the benefits of PERT?
  • What are the limitations of PERT?
  • What is Monte Carlo Simulation?
  • How does Monte Carlo Simulation compare with PERT?
  • How to perform Monte Carlo Simulation using Microsoft Excel.
  • What is Standard Deviation, Variance and Range?
  • What is a Beta Distribution? How does it differ from Normal and Triangular distribution?
  • How to calculate the probability of completing a project in a given duration.

I’m quite excited about the upcoming posts, and don’t plan to keep you waiting too long. Stay tuned.

8-part series on Project Estimation and PERT

  1. Get Intimate with PERT (you are here)
  2. Three Point Estimate - The Power of Three in Project Estimation
  3. What is PERT?
  4. The Magical PERT Formula
  5. Probability and Statistics in Project Management
  6. PERT and CPM get Cozy
  7. PMP Quiz Contest - Activity Duration Estimates
  8. Standard Deviation and Project Duration Estimates

Image credit: Flickr / leonardlow

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