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Activity (PERT) Chart
By SmartDraw.com

Activity Network and PERT charts are a way of documenting and analyzing the tasks in a project. The term PERT actually stands for “Project Evaluation and Review Technique”, and was developed in the late 50’s to help manage the increasing complexity of industrial projects.

Typical Uses

Activity networks and PERT charts are typically used to document complex projects in a visual manner. Elements like expected time and actual time help viewers make adjustments, and reduce the occurrence or errors during the project. They are also used to establish the critical path of a project.

Best Practices

  • Determine the Tasks – The first step in creating an Activity (PERT) chart is to establish what tasks are involved in the project.
  • Establish Order – Using one of the accepted Activity (PERT) chart objects, layout each task in the order which it will be completed during the project. Some find using a Gantt chart helpful when doing this.
  • Establish the Critical Path – Draw a straight line between the tasks which represent the critical path for the project. Any deviation from the critical path can cause delays or errors in the project.
  • Time – For each task input the expected time, elapsed time (if known) and the lead time. Expected time is the amount of time the task is expected to take. Elapsed time is the amount of time the task actually took. Lead time is used to document the time needed before a task can be started.
  • Review – Once the Activity (PERT) chart has been completed, the final step is to review and analyze the chart.

About SmartDraw.com

SmartDraw.com is the creator of SmartDraw, the world’s most popular business graphics software and the first program that makes it possible for ordinary computer users to create presentation-quality business graphics in minutes. Each year more than two million people install and use SmartDraw and the company counts more than half of the members of the Fortune 500 as loyal customers.

Founded in 1994, SmartDraw.com is privately-held and based in San Diego, CA. In addition to SmartDraw 2008 for general business and home use, the company also offers SmartDraw Healthcare and SmartDraw Legal editions which include graphics and applications unique to their respective fields. For more information on the company or to download a free trial of SmartDraw, please visit www.smartdraw.com.

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