Follow these steps to create a PERT chart.
1. Identify Activities: Determine all the activities required to complete the project. Break it into small, manageable tasks with specific actions or deliverables.
2. Determine Dependencies: Consider the flow and order of the tasks. Identify activities the team needs to finish before others can start and establish the relationships between them.
3. Create the PERT Chart: Construct the PERT chart using nodes to represent activities and arrows to represent the sequence of tasks. Each node should have an activity name and corresponding time estimates.
Tasks on similar stages of production but remain on separate branches or paths are known as parallel tasks. They run independently of each other, but they can also occur simultaneously.
4. Assign Time Estimates: Assign time estimates showing the expected duration for completing each activity. There are usually three estimates: optimistic (O), most likely (M) and pessimistic (P).
Project managers can use the PERT formula to identify task duration based on different time estimates.
Here’s the formula:
(O + (4 × M) + P) / 6
Let’s say, the optimistic time is 20 minutes, the pessimistic time is 50 minutes and the most likely time is 35 minutes. Using the PERT formula, we can determine the completion time is around 35 minutes.
5. Define the Critical Path: Calculate the total time for each path by adding the activity duration. The critical path is the path with the longest duration.
6. Track Progress: Mark completed activities and adjusted time estimates as the project progresses.