PERT == Program Evaluation and Review Technique
Can a wiki be used to capture the typical project planning? Any interest out there in discussion?
The following represents some half formed thoughts...
  • The page name is the activity name
  • Estimates exist as page attributes...
    • Optimistic=1w
    • Nominal=2w
    • Pessimistic=4w
    • computed Expected=(O + 4N + P)/6

A page must only talk about it's required inputs (dependencies) i.e. it's predecessors. It must not talk about it's successors in any direct fashion.

Predecessors & Successors can be listed/summarized using QueryPlugin functionality.

Partial PERT diagrams can be shown in-wiki based on queries and transforming results into GraphVizPlugin syntax for display (imap=true is great here)...

An set of TAG's to indicate that a page is to be considered part of the PERT scope... PROJECT tags are probably a very good idea here too...

  • PERT-ITEM <- (ACTIVITY, ARTIFACT, MILESTONE)

A WikiForm for the initial creation of pages (ease initial data entry).

Plugins needed:

  • PertData - Sets arbitrary attributes to be used by the pert (resource, progress, risk, value, etc). Just prettied up sanity check syntax around [{SET attrib=value}] directives.
  • PertEstimates - Takes in estimate data and computes the Expected, may use a heuristic to "pad" a single point estimate to the required 3 point estimate) saves values much as PertData would (just a syntax sugar/helper).
  • PertSummary - Output a table summarizing the relevant data for a single PERT-ITEM
  • PertDiagram - Query the linked PERT-ITEMs generate GraphViz syntax and create a abbreviated pert graph.

Very important that the PERT data in-wiki not be viewed as a replacement for traditional project management tools (MS-Project etc). So...

  • PertExport - Query all PERT-ITEM + PROJECT tagged pages, generate a TAB/CSV plaintext list suitable for copy+paste into MS-Project. Must generate the predecessor "task numbers" for all items to preserve linkages between 'tasks'. This could be useful to 'dump' to MS-Project for 'analysis' or 'better' charting. Also preserves the work investment should use of the wiki fall into disfavor for project management purposes...

Discusion...#

Thoughts anyone? I have need to develop a schedule for a 10 internal + 3 external project that is likely to be 8-12mo long... I hate the MS-Project mindset... I'm looking for an alternative means... Wiki As PERT seems doable... Anyone have any other ideas? Or interest in playing with this concept? --JohnV

--JDuprez Absolutely. Indeed this is a first-class application of a general concept of Wiki as Database (funny coincidence that I started editing this page yesterday :o). In particular, the plugins you mention would be quite specific to this usage, whereas PertSummary for example, could be a simplme configuration of a generic request/aggregate plugin.

However, your wording suggests your aim is to document/edit "only" the evaluation and review part of a project, whereas I deem that such a Wiki-based tool could be used throughout the life of the project, including activity reports, Activity-Based Costing (ABC), Calendar management,...

To make it clear, I deem that the JspWiki engine would need a bunch of additions (probably plugins, a a few UI components too) to support this idea, but these additions could be made generic to enable other usages of a Wiki as Database.

N.B.: I suggest you rename this page, I feel PERT is not a ubiquitous term and people might not take the endeavour to dig this page even though they are interested in "project Evaluation and Review Technique. Plus, if you agree to take it to the level of the whole project lifecycle, Wiki as Project Tracking would be a better name.


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« This page (revision-2) was last changed on 04-Apr-2007 10:18 by JeromeDuprez