PERT diagram

How to create a PERT chart in Excel?

Most of these types of graphs can be made in computer programs, including Microsoft Excel, the quintessential tool in any job that requires data analysis. To design a PERT graph in this program, we just have to follow these instructions:

  1. Before you start designing any graph, be it a statistical graph or a bar graph or one histogramit is advisable to organize our data in a table.

It should be noted that the estimated time required to complete a task is calculated using the formula End Date – Start Date + 1. This is done by selecting the cells corresponding to each term.

the columns Dependence instead, it refers to the relationship between activities, so that when we represent our PERT graph, we can have a guide.

  1. Similarly, when making a PERT chart, you are trying to track the production stages of a project and, therefore, a good practice is to define the dates using a table.

PERT chart dates

  1. Nodes can be formed by squares, circles or any other geometric figure. However, the first two are the most used. To draw one of these shapes we go to the tab Insert and then to the section Illustrations. There, we select the option in the upper right corner.

Insert illustrations into Excel

  1. A menu with several illustrative figures will appear. We choose one and click on the spreadsheet. Using the command CTRL+C Yes Ctrl+V we can copy and paste as many nodes as needed to draw our PERT graph, taking into account the number of tasks and an additional node indicating the end of the project.

Insert shapes and illustrations into Excel

  1. We can organize them according to the dates we have established in our table. Some tasks require two or more to be completed in advance to begin their development. Also, these two tasks can finish in different time periods, so we order them as follows:

Create PERT chart in Excel

So the first node, which is the one that takes the longest to complete, is on the mainline, while the second one is located further down because it takes the least amount of time and is equally needed to start the third activity.

  1. To list them, we select one and in the tab Formatlet's move on to the tool Text box. This way, we can write any text on them. This process is repeated for each node.

Text box for PERT chart

  1. To draw the connectors, we repeat the third step and select one of the arrow types. To connect nodes that are at different heights, it is recommended to use the arrow indicated in the picture. For nodes that are at the same level we can use the simple one.

PERT graphics connectors

By drawing an arrow, we can join it with the connection points of the nodes, so that if we have to place them in other positions they remain connected.

PERT diagram nodes and connectors

  1. To customize them, let's go to the tool outline of the shapein the tab Format, where we can choose the color and thickness. In the case of dotted connectors, we use the option dashes.

Customize nodes and connectors

  1. Now we just have to label each of the connectors with the name of the activity and its duration.

PERT chart example

In the case of the dotted line connector, the required activity has been finished, but at the same time requires another one to be finished, thus establishing a period of inactivity between the next and the finished process. For this reason no label is defined and consequently there is also no uptime delay.

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