Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between CPM and PERT

CPM vs PERT

Project management is an important part of every business enterprise. Whenever a new product or service is launched; when embarking on a marketing campaign; or when organizing any new projects; project management is needed to make everything organized and successful.

As all projects consume resources such as materials, time, people, and money; starting one would entail an effective project management team and the right techniques to accomplish them, especially those projects that are very complex ones.

A complex project would normally encounter several delays and may surpass the budget allocated for it making a project very costly and which may lead to losses. While many techniques fail in solving these problems, there are two tools which have been proven to be effective. The two most effective and widely used techniques are the Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT) and the Critical Path Method (CPM).

While both serve the same purpose, that is, the fast and effective completion of a project, they are different in many aspects such as the amount of time that they allow for each assignment.

CPM is a technique that is used in projects that have predictable activities and tasks such as in construction projects. It allows project planners to decide which aspect of the project to reduce or increase when a trade-off is needed. It is a deterministic tool and provides an estimate on the cost and the amount of time to spend in order to complete the project. It allows planners to control both the time and cost of the project.

PERT, on the other hand, is used in projects that have unpredictable tasks and activities such as in research and development projects. It utilizes three estimates of the time to complete the project: the most probable, the most promising, and the most unfavorable.
It is a probabilistic tool using several estimates to determine the time completion of the project and to control the activities involved in the project so that it will be completed faster and at a lower cost.

In projects that allow for a longer period of time for completion and which are difficult to estimate like in research, PERT is suitable; while in conventional projects with predictable activities and tasks, CPM is suitable.

Summary:

1.The Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT) is a project management technique or tool which is suitable for projects that have unpredictable activities while the Critical Path Method (CPM) is a project management tool which is suitable for projects that have predictable activities.
2.CPM uses a single estimate for the time that a project can be completed while PERT uses three estimates for the time that it can be completed.
3.CPM is a deterministic project management tool while PERT is a probabilistic project management tool.
4.CPM allows project management planners to determine which aspect of the project to sacrifice when a trade-off is needed in order to complete the project while PERT does not.


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