Project managers use various techniques to help them in controlling project activities such as planning. PERT also known as the critical path method is one such technique used by managers to analyze projects. This tool uses a well-defined procedure to analyze projects beginning with identification of specific activities and ending with updates of PERT charts. This technique has various benefits. To begin with, this technique is useful for controlling and scheduling large projects (Vallabhanen, 2015). Secondly, it uses a straightforward method that is not mathematically complex.
As such, this method provides the expected period within which to complete a project by outlining the start and expected end dates for project activities. Thirdly, PERT uses procedures such as slack time and critical path to pinpoint project activities that require a closer watch. The technique also points out people responsible for specific activities and applicable in a variety of projects. Furthermore, PERT also help project managers to improve on resource requirements and scheduling of activities.
On the other hand, PERT has various disadvantages. To begin with, the project activities must be clearly defined, stable and independent in order for the project to be successful. This means that failure to define the exact requirements of project activities would lead to project failure. Secondly, in cases where unreasonable time schedules cannot be made, PERT becomes un-useful in project management (Rasel, 2013). Additionally, time estimates for project activities is usually subjective and can sometimes be over or under estimated by project managers. Thirdly, this technique can sometimes be costly especially if projects are too wide or complex. As discussed above, PERT technique advantages are more than the limitations. This means that it is good statistical tool that can be used by managers to analyze projects.
Rasel. (2013). Advantages and disadvantages of PERT.
Vallabhanen, S.A. (2015).Wiley CIAexcel Exam Review 2015, Part 3: Internal Audit Knowledge Elements. Hoboken: John Willey & Sons.