PERT Chart: An Overview In 5 Important Points


PERT is an acronym of Project (or Program) Evaluation and review technique. It is a project management and planning tool that analysis the activities involved in completing a project, the minimum time that would be required, the maximum time in case of uncertainties, the sequence of the activities to be carried out and the estimated time by which the project will be completed. A real-life PERT chart example is the U.S. Navy for a nuclear submarine project introduced in the 1950s manually. With the years passing, it has been computerized, which enables PERT charts to be created quickly.  

  1. What is a PERT Chart?
  2. Difference between pert and Gantt chart 
  3. What Should a PERT Chart Template Include?
  4. What Are the 4 Steps to Create a PERT Chart?
  5. PERT chart advantages and disadvantages

1. What is a PERT Chart?

A PERT Chart provides a graphical depiction of a project’s timeline. It analyzes the project by breaking down each task.  This helps the project manager to get a fair idea of the time required and the resources needed for completing the project. 

A PERT Chart uses nodes of circle or rectangle shapes for representing project milestones. They are connected by lines with arrows directing the flow of tasks required to be completed. This forms a sequence for completing the project. 

2. Difference between pert and Gantt chart 

PERT Chart and Gantt chart are quite similar in that they offer a graphical view of the project and corresponding elements. However, they are different.

Gantt charts are represented in the form of bar graphs on a timeline. They use horizontal bars for representing the task and phases of a project for representing the estimated time duration.

On the other hand, a PERT chart is drawn by a free flow diagram. It uses rectangular boxes or circles for representing milestones or events by connecting through arrows. This aids in knowing the time required for completing the task.

In the Gantt chart, there is no concept of the dependencies of a task. Each bar is individual, and hence it becomes difficult for the project manager to how one task could impact another. This shortcoming is not in the PERT diagram. PERT chart diagram uses directional arrows to support dependencies and to form a sequence for completing a task. 

3. What Should a PERT Chart Template Include?

The following three elements should be prominently be included in a PERT Chart:

  1. Nodes
  2. Directional (or concurrent) Arrows
  3. Divergent  arrows
  4. Nodes- The numbered nodes appear in rectangular or square boxes or circles. These nodes denote an event or milestone in a project or task.
  5. Directional (or concurrent) Arrows- These arrows depict the direction for the task or activity before moving onto the next phase of the project. These arrows are used by the project manager for completing the tasks/ activities in a sequence. 
  6. Divergent arrows- These arrows can be worked upon simultaneously without following any particular sequence because there are no dependencies.

4. What Are the 4 Steps to Create a PERT Chart?

Here are the steps for how to make a pert chart:

  1. Identification of  the project’s task
  2. It is the responsibility of the project manager to recognize all the phases, activities, tasks and milestones required for the successful completion of a project.
  3. Identifying the dependencies
  4. If there are any dependencies, then it will be essential for directional arrows to depict a sequence to be followed for completing each task and the project consequentially. 
  5. Draw the chart
  6. The numbered nodes should be plotted for completing the task and activity between them with the help of arrows. 
  7. Establish timelines for all the activities
  8. This is the last and conclusive step that will help to know the estimated time required.

5. PERT chart advantages and disadvantages

  • Advantages of PERT chart:
  1. PERT chart tool analysis the elements and makes dependencies amongst them. 
  2. It aids in providing the planned path and also creates provision for contingencies.
  3. This data can be well organized and presented for decision-making purposes, strategic positioning and what-if-analyses.
  4. An accurate time adherence will be provided, considering each task or activity.
  5. The duration of the project is also drastically reduced because of a better understanding of the dependencies.
  6. The project manager will be able to allocate resources for any stage of the process.
  • Disadvantages of PERT chart:
  1. It is not suitable for small-scale projects.
  2. In the case of the pert network diagram, there can be numerous pages that could be difficult to print.
  3. There could be difficulty in the case of numerous activities and single dependency.           
  4. This method’s success depends on the manager’s ability and experience. Also, any error in the judgment or error in input data can cause grave mistakes and have incorrect results. 


Thus a PERT technique helps greatly in management analysis of the project by providing detailed planning of the least time taken and the maximum time in case of any contingency. PERT method is proved to be a superior data analysis and project management tool for better management of resources.

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