Characteristics of PERT or CPM

PERT (Program Evaluation Review Technique) and CPM ( Critical Path Method) are one of the modern network tools of project management. An entire project can be broken down to distinct and well-defined jobs or tasks or activities. 

Figure.1. Network Diagram Representing Event and Activity

An event constitutes the beginning or the end of such an activity. A network is defined as the flow diagram that constitutes activities and events, that are controlled logically and sequentially. In the network diagram, an activity is represented by arrows and an event is represented using circles.

Network Types in Project Management

The networks can either be PERT or CPM. Here, PERT is event-oriented and CPM is activity oriented. Both these network types are techniques of project management that involve graphical and diagrammatic representation, that is used by project management to aid in planning, scheduling and controlling the operations of the project.

Characteristics of CPM/PERT Projects

The important characteristics of CPM/PERT projects are:
  1. The project that is planned by the network technique must have recognizable jobs or operations. These are called as activities.
  2. These activities that comprises the project must be well defined with proper commencement and completion. The start and the end of the job or operation or activity is called as an event.
  3. The events that occur must have a definite pattern. These events are performed in a technological sequence.
The basic elements of a project network are :
  • Event
  • Activity

Example of Project Network 

Job Description: Laying of Foundation
The well defined operations that come under this job is:
  1. Excavation of foundation
  2. Laying side boards
  3. Concreting Foundation
The mentioned three operations are to be performed in an sequential manner as shown in figure-2 below.

Figure.2. Well-defined operations in Laying of Foundation
Figure.2. Well-defined operations in Laying of Foundation

The activities like excavation of foundation. fix side boards are represented using arrows, while the beginning and the end of the activities are represented using circles called as bides. The events of this project are: 1) project started, 2) foundation excavated, 3) Side boards fixed, 4) Foundation Concreted.

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