I have a WBS (Work Breakdown structure) which has milestones, outlined tasks (speaking in MS Project terms) and work packages. I want to design a PERT (Program Evaluation Review Technique) chart based on that WBS.

Should I add milestones and outline tasks to PERT chart?

2 Answers 2


Early versions of PERT diagrams had "PERT Events" that were all milestones or gates with task information embedded in the arrows. This has changed over the years but most PERT charts I have seen "in the wild" continue to show milestones.

Outline tasks or phases are rarely shown on PERT charts or other network diagrams, in my experience since they generally interfere with reading the diagram without providing useful information.

I could not find much academic/formal guides for this kind of diagramming. Lots of information on building PERT estimates but my Google-fu is coming up short on the diagramming. Considering how old PERT diagrams and methods are, I find that surprising.

  • yeah, absolutely, googling did not give me any interesting results on this either. But your statement about outline tasks seems correct - I tried "FlyingLogic" diagramming software (which is not dedicated on PM in any way, but have extension domain for this) and it follows your approach (fixed effort or fixed duration tasks and milestones). On the other hand there is also "WBS Schedule Pro", which has more PM functionality and it allows to define task type on the nodes.
    – dimethyl
    Feb 21, 2017 at 3:03

Your network diagram should show all leaf level WBS elements in the sequence as indicated in your work logic. So milestones would be included. You may not show the phase necessarily but if you established milestone phase starts and finishes, then your network diagram will exhibit those, too.

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