How to Draw a Pert Chart

Written by l.p. klages
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How to Draw a Pert Chart
PERT charts show the steps necessary to take a project to completion. (building it image by Vanessa van Rensburg from

A Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT) is a graph of a project from start to finish. Whether your project is building a new school or expanding a business, PERT charts can show you which part of the project comes first, which comes last and every step in between. The chart helps a project manager identify unrealistic timetables and helps to identify tasks that may hold up the overall project.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Make a list of all the sub-projects that are required to complete the full project.

  2. 2

    Put the sub-projects in order by dependency. For example, two sub-projects in laying a new road are flattening the pavement and painting lines on the pavement. You can't paint lines until the pavement is flat, so the flattening sub-project comes before the painting sub-project on the list.

  3. 3

    Number your sorted list, starting with assigning the lowest number to the first sub-project and the highest number to the last sub-project.

  4. 4

    Draw a graph of each sub-project, with earlier sub-projects on the left and later sub-projects moving right. Sub-projects that can be done at the same time should be vertically aligned.

  5. 5

    Draw arrows from prerequisite sub-projects to the sub-projects that depend on them. When you're done, you'll have a complete PERT chart.

Tips and warnings

  • When you number your list, you don't have to start with "1." It's a good idea to number by 10s in case you need to add new sub-projects between existing sub-projects.

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