Difference Between PERT vs CPM

Difference Between PERT vs CPM

A lot of people believe that nothing in life happens by chance. If you want to be successful in life, you should know what you want, develop a plan on how to get it, and go ahead to execute that plan. This applies to a single individual or a group of individuals. In the world of business, the process of setting up a plan to achieve a goal and pursuing it successfully is referred to as project management. To make things easier, experts developed different techniques for managing projects to ensure efficiency and success.

In this article, we will be taking a look at PERT vs CPM, which are two of the most common techniques used in project management. If you know anything about these two techniques, you will understand that they are somewhat similar and are both used quite commonly in the business world. But what many do not know is how they differ from one another.

Definition of PERT

PERT is a network planning method that is based on event orientation employed in the management of uncertain activities. PERT, which is actually an acronym for Project Management and Review Technique, is more of a statistical technique that is used to determine how much time it should take for a project to be completed. The peculiar thing about this method of project management is that it is used when the project manager is not certain about the events of the project.

There are different stages of this technique. They include planning, scheduling, organizing, coordinating, and controlling of the events in a task, which are all dependent on timing. Because the team is not aware of the time, they represent it as a variable, but they also control the uncertainties that may arise so that the time allocated to it is not affected.

Other notable factors that influence this technique include a focus on time, the probabilistic model, high-precision estimates, a unique nature, and suitability for research and development projects.

Definition of CPM

CPM is an acronym for the Critical Path Method, which is a project management technique algorithm used in running the events of a program from the beginning to the end. It involves stages such as planning, scheduling, coordinating, and controlling activities of a specific task. There are others, but the main difference between PERT and CPM is that the activity and duration of the former are not fixed, unlike that of the latter, which has a fixed time and duration.

With this technique, it is possible to calculate the earliest and latest time for every single activity in a project. Another notable feature of this technique is that it is used to differentiate the critical and non-critical activities in a task. This will help in prioritizing the critical ones to avoid queue generation in the process and save time. This prioritization will also prevent the possibility of an activity being delayed, which can cause the whole process to suffer.

Main Differences Between PERT vs CPM

There are other features of both projects we would like to highlight in the table below. This will help you to have a better understanding of the difference between PERT and CPM.

Basis of ComparisonPERTCPM
DefinitionA network planning method that is based on event orientation employed in the management of uncertain activitiesA project management technique algorithm used in running the events of a program from the beginning to the end
Meaning of acronymProject Management and Review TechniqueCritical Path Method
UseTechnical planning and control of timeTechnical method for controlling cost and time
OrientationBased on eventsBased on activities
Crashing conceptNot applicableApplicable

Difference Between PERT and CPM: Conclusion

So far, we have highlighted the main differences between these two terms. It is obvious that they are effective when it comes to project management, but they are not used to execute the same types of project.

When you compare PERT vs CPM, in summary, you will discover that the former is used in executing projects that require research and have time uncertainty, while the latter is best used for projects that do not require research and have no time uncertainty.