Project Management Institute

Estimating the tradeoff between resource allocation and probability of on-time completion in project management

Both PERT (Project Evaluation and Review Technique) and CPM (Critical Path Method) are established ways of setting a projects completion time and determining which activities need special attention in order for the project to finish on time. However, while PERT takes a probabilistic approach to projects and views variances as random, CPM uses a deterministic approach, and views variances as under the control of the project manager. This article proposed a method that draws on both approaches, and offers a specific algorithm (based on the work of Golenko-Ginzburg) that will enable project managers to evaluate the likely effects of resource allocation, and to clearly establish the improved chances of on-time project completion based on each level of resource allocation. Among benefits of using this method are that it utilizes existing project management data, and reduces the amount of data that must be estimated.
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