Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT)
Definition - What does Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT) mean?
Program evaluation and review technique (PERT) is a technique adopted by organizations to analyze and represent the activity in a project, and to illustrate the flow of events in a project. PERT is a method to evaluate and estimate the time required to complete a task within deadlines.
PERT serves as an management tool to analyze, define and integrate events. PERT also illustrates the activities and interdependencies in a project. The main goal of PERT is to reduce the cost and time needed to complete a project.
Techopedia explains Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT)
PERT was developed in 1950 by the U.S. Navy during the Cold War and is intended for large projects, which are:
- Require a series of sequential tasks
- Performed in parallel with other projects
PERT planning usually involves the following steps:
- Identifying Tasks and Milestones: Every project involves a series of required tasks. These tasks are listed in a table allowing additional information on sequence and timing to be added later.
- Placing the Tasks in a Proper Sequence: The tasks are analyzed and placed in a sequence to get the desired results.
- Network Diagramming: A network diagram is drawn using the activity sequence data showing the sequence of serial and parallel activities.
- Time Estimating: This is the time required to carry out each activity, in three parts:
1. Optimistic timing: The shortest time to complete an activity
2. Most likely timing: The completion time having the highest probability
3. Pessimistic timing: The longest time to complete an activity
- Critical Path Estimating: This determines the total time required to complete a project.
PERT not only determines the time to complete a specific software development activity, but also determines the cost.