Difference Between PERT vs CPM

Difference Between PERT vs CPM

A lot of people believe that nothing in life happens by chance. If you must 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 (PM). To make things easier, experts developed methods for better organization to ensure efficiency and success.

In this piece, we will be taking a look at PERT vs CPM, which are two of the most common practices used in PM. If you know anything about these two procedures, 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 vary from one another.

Definition of PERT

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

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

Other notable factors that influence this method include a focus on time, probabilistic model, high precision estimate, unique nature, and suitability for research and development tasks.

Definition of CPM

CPM (critical path method) is defined as a set of instructions developed with specific directions to run a program from start to finish. It has such an important effect that any minute error in the instruction would definitely affect the output.

The first tier of this procedure is known as planning. This is basically developing a solid blueprint for how it will function whenever it is initiated. The next in line is scheduling, and then there is coordinating right after that. Finally, there is the control tier. There are others, but the main difference between PERT and CPM is that the activity and duration of the former is not fixed unlike that of the latter, which has a fixed time and duration.

With this procedure, it is possible to calculate the earliest and latest time for every single activity. Another notable feature is that it is used to distinguish 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 tasks we have highlighted in the table below. This will help you to have a better understanding of the disparity between these two.

Basis of ComparisonPERTCPM
DefinitionA network planning method that is based on event orientation employed in the management of uncertain activitiesA PM 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
UsePractical planning and control of timeMethodical 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 variances between these two terms. It is obvious that they are effective when it comes to PM, but they are not used to execute the same types of tasks.

When you compare PERT vs CPM, in summary, you will discover that the former is used in executing ventures with time uncertainty, while the latter is best used in instances that have a fixed time and duration.