You Want It When?
One of the most difficult tasks of an instructional development team is to complete a project on time. One secret to completing a project on time is to schedule the project so that more than one task can be worked on at a time. This way all team members are contributing so that the project proceeds as fast as possible. One way to help with this process is to use PERT Charts. PERT stands for Project Evaluation and Review Technique. It is a method to graphically represent the interrelationship among project tasks. This graphic representation can be used to facilitate communication, planning, and control. If you have not created a PERT Chart before here is what a simple one looks like for the beginning parts of an instructional development project.
Benefits of PERT
- They show the fastest way to get something to the end product.
let you know what is on the critical path so you can help make sure nothing
gets in the way of those tasks.
- They provide a
of the dependences among tasks.
- When understood
by the team they help team members see the importance of their task being
on time to
Steps for Developing
a PERT Chart
- List all the tasks.
- Arrange the tasks
in sequential order.
- Estimate the time
for each task.
- Draw the chart.
a. Start at the beginning.
b. Add other tasks.
. What comes before this?
. What comes after this?
. What can be done in parallel?
- Assign start
and finish dates to each task.
- Find the critical
path and estimate the
Critical path: Longest path of tasks
that may be done consecutively
Slack time: Extra time available for some
tasks that are
not on the critical
- Make a bar chart
and/or transfer dates to a calendar.
a due date you are forced to meet? Start
the due date and
the PERT chart in reverse. That
is, decide what the last task is and what depends on that task being
the last task
then repeat this procedure to
discover all the dependencies.
These will make up the critical
Watch for our tip on how to turn your PERT Chart into an Action Calendar. Learn more about implementing your project at The
Instructional Developer Workshop on September 26-28 in San Francisco.
Until next time,
Article © 2005 Darryl
L. Sink & Associates, Inc.