Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT) is a scheduling method originally designed to plan a manufacturing project by employing a network of interrelated activities, coordinating optimum cost and time criteria. PERT emphasizes the relationship between the time each activity takes, the costs associated with each phase, and the resulting time and cost for the anticipated completion of the entire project.
PERT is an integrated project management system. These systems were designed to manage the complexities of major manufacturing projects, the extensive data necessary for such industrial efforts, and the time deadlines created by defense industry projects. Most of these management systems developed following World War II, and each has its advantages.
PERT was first developed in 1958 by the U.S. Navy Special Projects Office on the Polaris missile system. Existing integrated planning on such a large scale was deemed inadequate, so the Navy pulled in the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation and the management consulting firm of Booz, Allen, and Hamilton. Traditional techniques such as line of balance, Gantt charts, and other systems were eliminated, and PERT evolved as a means to deal with the varied time periods it takes to finish the critical activities of an overall project.
The line of balance (LOB) management control technique collected, measured, and analyzed data to show the progress, status, and timing of production projects. It was introduced at Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company in 1941 and fully utilized during World War II in the defense industry. Even older is the Gantt chart, developed during World War I by Harvey Gantt, a pioneer in the field of scientific management. It is a visual management system, on which future time is plotted horizontally and work to be completed is indicated in a vertical line. The critical path method (CPM) evolved parallel to PERT. CPM is a mathematically ordered network of