Difference Between PERT and Gantt Chart

Project management is a process of applying the skill, knowledge, tools, and techniques to complete the analyzed project activities to meet the project goals or requirements.


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Project Management tools are the primary source of assistance for individuals or project managers to analyze, prioritize, and organize the tasks or work involved in a complete project.

In the current world, project management tools provide multiple features to complete the project on time. The features are:

  1. Providing real-time dashboards to view the project details.
  2. Create and share project plans or details online.
  3. Manage the tasks of a complete project.
  4. Produce the project reports instantly.
  5. Manage the team and its workload easily.

Out of many project management tools, PERT and Gantt charts are considered to be the best to visually represent and manage the tasks or activities involved in a project.

Key Takeaways

  1. PERT (Program Evaluation and Review Technique) is a project management tool that identifies critical tasks, estimates time, and analyzes task dependencies. At the same time, Gantt charts visually represent project tasks, durations, and progress.
  2. PERT is best suited for projects with uncertain task durations or complex dependencies, while Gantt charts are more appropriate for projects with well-defined tasks and timelines.
  3. Both PERT and Gantt charts are valuable project management tools, but they serve different purposes and are most effective when used together to plan, monitor, and control projects.

PERT vs Gantt Chart

The difference between PERT and Gantt chart is that the Gantt chart provides the exact duration of time required for the completion of each task or activity using a bar chart. In contrast, PERT, with its flow chart, can determine the time duration of a complete project but not for each task.

PERT vs Gantt Chart

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That means to say the Gantt chart provides accurate task duration and is applicable for small projects. PERT chart predicts complete project level duration and can be used for large and complex projects.


Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonPARTGantt
ClarityPERT chart will determine the accurate information of the complete project broken into activities but cannot precisely predict time frames for each activity.Gantt chart precisely determines the time frame required for each task to get completed, but it will be challenging to understand when it comes to large projects.
Project SizePERT chart will be helpful for large and complex projects.Gantt chart will be helpful for small, simple and straightforward projects
InterdependencyPERT chart displays networks of interdependent tasks.Gantt chart cannot display interdependency between the tasks.
RepresentationPERT chart displays project information using a flow chart or network diagram.Gantt chart displays project details using a bar chart.
StructurePERT chart uses boxes and arrows to display tasks or activities and their dependencies.Gantt chart uses bars where length and position explain the tasks’ start date, end date, and duration.


What is PERT?

PERT is nothing but Program Evaluation And Review Technique. One of the best tools used for project management is the PERT chart.

PERT chart is a statistical tool used by project managers to analyze and organize the required number of tasks in a complete project, schedule the completion of each task, and coordinate each task for project completion.

The US Navy first invented the PERT chart in the year of 1958, and it is used along with the critical path method. It was initially invented to plan and schedule complicated projects such as the Polaris submarine nuclear program by the US Navy.

A project manager can easily predict the minimum time required to complete the whole project using the PERT chart. Some of the basic steps which project managers should follow to create a PERT chart are,

  1. Firstly there is a need to analyze, find, and define all the activities or tasks involved in the whole project.
  2. Find and include if there are any dependencies between activities or tasks.
  3. Create arrows and nodes using the information collected through the first two steps.
  4. Identify the time required for each task to get completed.

What is Gantt Chart?

Gantt chart is a viral project management tool that depicts the project schedule by displaying activities against time.

The Gantt chart was invented by Henry Gantt around the years 1910-1915. In this chart, activities or tasks are plotted on the vertical axis and time intervals are plotted on the graph’s horizontal axis.

In the current world, projects of all sizes use the Gantt chart for project planning, which provides detailed information on what activity or task should be done on a specific day.

Gantt chart is straightforward, and in a single glance, we can view much information such as various activities, a timeline of each activity when it begins and when it ends, the duration of each activity, the overlap of each other activities, and start and end date of the whole project.

Gantt chart software is available on both desktop and online versions. Gantt charts can be easily shared and collaborated online such that many people can be added to the project.

Main Differences Between PERT and Gantt Chart

  1. Both PERT and Gantt charts are the best tools for project management; both have their own features and benefits for the project managers to manage a project but holds many differences between them. The main difference between PERT and Gantt is. However, a Gantt chart is a bar chart with the exact prediction of time duration for each task; it can be used only in small projects, whereas a PERT chart determines the complete project duration with its flow diagram and can be used for large and complex projects.
  2. Gantt charts are simple and straightforward, whereas PERT charts are complex network diagrams and are sometimes confusing.
  3. The Gantt chart cannot visualize the interconnected tasks, whereas the PERT chart can display the networks of interconnected tasks.
  4. The Gantt chart can be used to visualise the critical path, whereas the PERT chart displays the project’s critical path to project managers.
  5. Gantt chart uses a bar chart where the length and position of the bar explain the start date, the end date of the activity, and its related duration. PERT chart uses a flow chart or network diagram that uses boxes and arrows to display the tasks and their dependencies.
Difference Between PERT and Gantt Chart
  1. https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/pmwj9-apr2013-weaver-where-misuse-terms-gantt-PERT-commentary.pdf
  2. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/efa0/69779cfeeb1e8a57f1e66359ac72abc0ca6e.pdf
  3. https://journals.aom.org/doi/abs/10.5465/254602
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