Project Management

Statistical PERT

Statistical PERT® is a freely licensed, stochastic estimation technique for use with Microsoft Excel 2010 or later.  Use Statistical PERT to estimate any project uncertainty, like task duration, project completion date, project cost—any uncertainty that has a bell-shaped property.  Project managers use Statistical PERT to choose probabilistic planning estimates that evaluate a wide-range of possible project outcomes, instead of predicting just one, single outcome. 

Statistical PERT aligns key stakeholders.  Everyone can see the likelihood of estimation success—and  failure.  Statistical PERT improves decision-making, too, because project sponsors can make risk/reward decisions by choosing project estimates that fit their risk tolerance and risk appetite.  Project managers can quickly determine how much risk increases by shrinking a project schedule or budget, and they can use this information to negotiate with their sponsor for increased time and resources.

Statistical PERT uses the built-in functions of Microsoft Excel.  There is nothing to buy or install.  All templates are freely licensed using the GNU General Public License.

Using Statistical PERT is easy—just three steps.  First, enter a 3-point estimate (minimum, most likely, maximum) for a project uncertainty, like task duration.  Second, render a subjective opinion about how likely the most likely outcome really is.  Third, choose a planning estimate that best fits the needs of your project.  That’s it!


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