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Question 1

Answer:
PERT, or the Program Evaluation Review Technique, is a tool that helps project managers
estimate how long it will take employees to complete the steps in a project. PERT charts allow
the tasks in a particular project to be analyzed, with particular attention to the time required to
complete each task, and the minimum time required to finish the entire project.
Major difficulties of PERT and ways to overcome it are as under:
Pert does not take into account the possibility of unforeseen events and this can lead to some
major errors in the final results if anything goes wrong.
Besides this, unless the project is repetitive, there usually exists a lack of historical
information on which to base the cost estimates of most optimistic, most pessimistic, and most
likely times. Problems can also involve poor predictions for overhead costs, other indirect costs,
material and labor escalation factors, and crash costs. It is also possible that each major
functional division of the organization has its own method for estimating costs. Engineering, for
example, may use historical data, whereas manufacturing operations may prefer learning curve.
The Way to overcome this problem
is that all organizations havethe same method for predicting costs and performance. Or else
some other method can be adopted for eg analogous estimating (based on previous experience
and projects).
In PERT the Problem of using CPM is that it focuses primarily on the time aspect of activities,
neglecting other concerns, such as quality and cost control. Focusing too much attention on the
critical path can cause managers not to notice possible production improvements in other
activities.
Thus companies should focus on all the aspects rather then just working on the most important
ones. In addition to this, there exists a distinct contrast in PERT systems between the
planners and the doers.
This human element must be accounted for in order to determine where the obligation
actually lies. In most organizations PERT planning is performed by the program office and
functional management. Yet once the network is constructed, the planners and managers
become observers and rely on the doers to accomplish the job within time and cost limitations.

Management must convince the doers that they have an obligation toward the successful
completion of the established PERT/CPM plans
Lastly Merge bias problem occurs whenever two or more paths converge in a network and the
uncertainty about their durations is such that any of them might turn out to be critical.
So in order to overcome this and properly process uncertainty in project network, Monte Carlo
simulation can be used.