From my college days I was exposed to PERT and project management in a class. Don’t remember what it was called. It seemed magical to figure out what the CPM was on a project.
Lately I have been telling friends that I have a new goal to replace project management. Why? Because PERT was created by Booz Allen for the Navy’s Polaris program to be an illusion. It worked so well that PERT was viewed by many as more significant than the Polaris missile progam that put 16 nuclear missiles in a submarine.
I’ll be writing more on this to explain the history and what is a better way than PERT and current project management.
A book I will reference is “The Polaris System Development, Bureaucratic and Programmatic Success in Government” written in 1972 by Harvey M. Sapolsky, sponsored by the Department of Navy to study the Polaris program.
Sapolsky had full access to the team and he writes.
“Finally, Polaris had a gimmick, PERT. As Sapolsky wryly observed, PERT was less effective than advertised but more so than rain dancing. As such, it served its purpose.”