High quality Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) and PERT charts are the foundation of every project. PERT Chart EXPERT, a bolt-on tool for Microsoft Project from Critical Tools, will save dozen of hours in any planning process. (I’ve already evaluated WBS Chart Pro, from the same company, previously.)

PERT stands for Program Evaluation and Review Technique. Invented by the US Department of Defense, a PERT chart is a project management tool used to schedule, organize and coordinate tasks within a project. It displays the dependency relationships between tasks and, with this utility, can be created in seconds.

Plans defined in the program can be maintained and managed separately, transferred directly to Microsoft Project or transferred to any program that can read the “MPX” file format. Likewise, Project data can flow into PERT Chart EXPERT.

PERT Chart EXPERT Diagrams Project Dependencies

The tool contains a Critical Path Scheduling engine that calculates critical and non-critical tasks as you work.

PERTs become complex very quickly, so the key to usage is to plan and manage small chunks of work. This brings up another great feature of the tool, called Trace Tasks. After selecting a task, you can trace forward or backward, showing just the tasks with dependency relationships. You wont see hundreds of other tasks that are unrelated. PERT charts can be any size and contain any number of tasks.

PERT Chart EXPERT works with all Windows-compatible printers and plotters and can be saved in most picture formats for other team members that dont have Project. The learning curve of this tool is measured in minutes.

How many project plans include all the work to meet stakeholder expectations How many team resources are working on tasks that fall outside of a stated deliverable How easy is it for project managers to iterate and collaborate to develop comprehensive and timely WBS and PERT charts

To help drive bottom-line value, I recommend this tool.