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February 3, 2023

PERT Estimation: The Key to Successful Project Planning and Management

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PERT (Program Evaluation and Review Technique) is an effective tool for planning and controlling projects of any size, from small to large.

PERT management takes into account the uncertainty of project activities. It accounts for risks by estimating a range of possible durations for each task in the project using three measures: optimistic time (the fastest it could be completed), most likely time (the time most likely needed to complete the task), and pessimistic time (the slowest it could be completed).

What is PERT Project Management

PERT (Program Evaluation and Review Technique) is a powerful tool for project management that is designed to help project managers estimate the duration of a project and plan and coordinate its schedule. 

PERT is a statistical tool that is used to forecast the time needed to complete a project by analyzing the various tasks that make up the project and the dependencies between those tasks.

Advantages of Using PERT Management

One of the key benefits of using PERT project management is that it allows for the incorporation of uncertainty in project duration estimates. PERT management accounts for the possibility that a task may take longer than expected, which can help mitigate the risk of schedule overruns. This is important because it allows project managers to better plan for unexpected delays and allocate resources more effectively.

Another important aspect of PERT management is that it enables the identification of critical paths in a project. 

These are the sequences of tasks that have the greatest impact on the overall duration of the project, and identifying them can help project managers to prioritize tasks and allocate resources more effectively. Identifying these critical paths helps leaders focus teams on the most important tasks and ensure they are completed on time.

PERT management also facilitates communication and coordination among team members by providing a clear representation of the project schedule. Clear and accessible information ensures members are all on the same page.

PERT can be used in conjunction with other project management methods, such as Gantt charts, to provide a comprehensive view of a project's schedule and progress. Combining PERT estimations with Gantt charts provides teams with a complete picture of the project and allows them to identify potential issues early on.

PERT Three-Point Estimation

One of the most powerful features of PERT management is PERT's three-point estimation. This technique is used to estimate the duration of a task or activity within a project. The technique is based on the PERT method, and it involves creating three estimates for each task: 

  1. An optimistic estimate - the shortest amount of time it is believed the task will take.
  2. A most likely estimate - the most probable amount of time the task will take.
  3. A pessimistic estimate - the longest amount of time it is believed the task will take. 

The three estimates are then used to calculate a weighted average estimate for the task, using the following formula: (Optimistic + 4 x Most Likely + Pessimistic) / 6, where the calculated estimate is considered the most accurate estimate for the task.

PERT three-point estimation allows project managers to take into account the uncertainty inherent in project estimates and to plan and manage projects more effectively by having a better understanding of the potential duration of tasks.

PERT Estimation in DevStride

pert project management
Project Time Estimation

We built PERT three-point estimation directly into Devstride project management software so engineers, project managers, and leaders can seamlessly integrate PERT into their project management workflows. 

Our powerful PERT estimation feature provides organizations with more accurate and risk-adjusted estimates for forecasting task durations and identifying critical paths. Plus, the three-point estimation feature auto-calculates ranges for you, so you can quickly and easily estimate work items and track progress in one place. 

Four Signs You Need PERT Management Now

The integration of PERT three-point estimation into Devstride project management software is a significant advancement in project management, making it easier than ever for organizations to take control of their projects and achieve desired outcomes. If you are challenged with any of the following, you need to start using PERT today.

  1. Projects or tasks take longer than expected. PERT incorporates uncertainty in project duration estimates. PERT accounts for the possibility that a task may take longer than expected, which can help mitigate the risk of schedule overruns.
  1. Parts of a project get completed on time but not all. PERT enables the identification of critical paths in a project. These are the sequences of tasks that have the greatest impact on the overall timeline for completion, and identifying them can help managers prioritize tasks and allocate resources more effectively.
  2. Team members are often surprised by tasks or schedules. PERT facilitates communication and coordination among team members by providing a clear representation of the project forecast.
  1. Team members lack visibility into roadmaps, schedules, or dependencies. PERT can be used in conjunction with other project management methods, such as Gantt charts, to provide a comprehensive view of a project's schedule and progress over time. Higher levels of visibility help teams perform at their best.

If you need access to other tools that can help you plan and control projects, then schedule an introductory call with us today. Don’t wait until it’s too late. We’ll show you exactly how DevStride can help your teams identify potential problems before they become major issues.

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