A Simplified Approach: Teaching PERT with Ease and without Drawing Networks

Zhaobo Wang


Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT) has been widely used in all industries and taught in Project Management courses for more than 50 years. Hall, N.G. (2015, p. 945) points out: “The practice of Project Management has expanded exponentially in the last 15 years,” but this rapid development has not been matched “by a corresponding increase either in research activities, or in the training of academic researchers in project management. The mismatch is creating significant opportunities for academic research management…” This paper provides two tips for teaching PERT for the Project Management or Operations-Management courses: 1) the proposed simplified formulas which can be used in classrooms effectively since they do not require division or truncation when calculating the expected duration and variance. The formulas not only simplifies the calculations, but also generates more accurate results (demonstrated through simulations) than the traditional approach of using truncated estimations; and 2) An approach to finding critical and non-critical activities without drawing a network chart so that a relatively large project can be efficiently demonstrated in a classroom setting.  The paper demonstrates that by using only a table and avoiding the graphical presentation of a complicated network diagram, instructors can show relatively larger projects on blackboards and students, particularly those who prefer logic table calculations to drawing graphical networks, can better understand and master the PERT technique.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11114/jets.v4i1.1073


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Journal of Education and Training Studies  ISSN 2324-805X (Print)   ISSN 2324-8068 (Online)

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