PERT Simulations- How New Excel Functions Enable Transparency.

We have been using complex statistical methods to answer questions likewhat the probability of is completing a project in a given timeframe?  



We employed the critical path method, incorporating weighted average task durations and the standard deviation of each task, utilizing the mathematical formulas presented in our Project Management course materials.

The average project duration is the sum of all the average activity times along the critical path. 

Knowing the average project duration and the variances of activities along the critical path allowed us to calculate the probability of completing a project using standard statistical tables. 

If you are not well-versed in statistical concepts, the methods outlined in textbooks for project management may appear overly abstract and complex. In many situations, considering the possibility of alternative critical paths becomes crucial. This can lead to additional abstractions, making it challenging to comprehend.

The new Excel Functions make complex formulas more readable and efficient—a completely transparent and easy solution is achieved. The visualisation tools help us provide validation enabling us to look at the solution at a systems level.

Estimating PERT

    Drawing Frequency Chart





   





Whereas individual Tasks depending upon their 'm' values may be skewed, the estimated Project Durations is represented by normal (symmetrical) distributions  

You can download the Excel file by clicking here. The problem has been solved using both methods. You can attest firsthand to how it renders the old method seem outdated and unnecessary. The fans of the first principal method would prefer graduating to new Excel functions that allow a transparent and versatile method.   

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