# Question 2) Management Professional Certification

Posted on

You are the project manager for a large IT consulting firm. You are calculating activity durations for a development project using weighted average durations.

Which technique are you using?

A. CPM
B. PERT
C. critical chain method
D. Monte Carlo

B. PERT

Tutorial:
You are using PERT. With PERT (Program Evaluation and Review Technique), task durations are calculated using a weighted average. The optimistic, most likely, and pessimistic duration estimates are weighted and used to determine the activity duration estimates. The formula for calculating a PERT estimate is: (Pessimistic + 4 x Most Likely + Optimistic) / 6.

You are not using CPM. CPM (Critical Path Method) estimates activity duration using an analysis of the network diagram. The sequence of activities is analyzed to determine which path has the least amount of float. Then, forward and backward passes are used to determine early dates and late dates for each activity.

You are not using critical chain method. Critical Chain Method helps to accommodate limited resources by using duration buffers.

You are not using Monte Carlo simulation. Monte Carlo simulation estimates activity duration using a complex, usually computer-based, simulation. The simulation uses the network diagram but does not use the PERT formula. This type of estimating simulates many different scenarios in a project and determines the probable results. A Monte Carlo simulation would be useful to determine the probability of a project completing on time or on budget, the probability of a task being on the critical path, or the overall risk of a project.

Note that PMI has removed all references to PERT in the 3rd edition of PMBOK because PERT is rarely used today.

Reference:
1. A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge – PMBOK Guide 3rd Edition – Project Time Management – 6.5.2 Schedule Development: Tools and Techniques

2. Max Wideman Comparative Glossary of Project Management Terms v3.1 – Program Evaluation and Review Technique (“PERT”) – http://maxwideman.com/pmglossary/PMG_P08.htm

3. NetMBA Business Knowledge Center, Operations, PERT – http://www.netmba.com/operations/project/pert/

These questions are derived from the Self Test Software practice test for the Project Management Institute’s exam #PMP3ED: Project Management Professional, Third Edition.