I’ve been working on Version 3 of Statistical PERT Normal Edition for several weeks now. The big change with Version 3 are the new visualization features that make it easier to see and understand the statistical probabilities associated with each estimate you make.
The visualization features include:
- Sparklines, which show the implied, bell-shaped curve based upon your inputs
- Tri-colored bar charts, which show the left-side, right-side and middle area of a bell-curve.
The Sparklines features will make it easy to immediate see whether an estimate has a lot of uncertainty or not, based upon the shape of the bell-curve. While you could imply this by looking at the “Most Likely Confidence” selection, this visualization feature makes it easy to scan multiple rows to find those rows that have the most uncertainty.
Sparklines also show whether the 3-point estimate is perfectly symmetrical, or skewed either to the left or right. This visualization of the 3-point estimate wasn’t possible in the current, Version 2 of SPERT.
The tri-color bar charts will be very helpful to see how much risk there is that a planning estimate may be exceeded. This can be a powerful tool for project managers who must convey risk to project sponsor unwilling to provide sufficient resources to their project teams.
Aside from these major enhancements, I’m making minor tweaks and changes to further refine the SPERT spreadsheet.
Version 3 will be officially released very shortly after my new Pluralsight course on estimating is published — probably in late January, 2019. Meanwhile, if you want to download a pre-release of Version 3, it’s available for downloading right now. Just be aware that I haven’t yet done extensive testing with pre-release versions of Statistical PERT.
Statistical PERT Beta Edition (new Version 2) will also receive the same visualization updates as the SPERT Normal Edition is getting. SPERT Beta Edition Version 2 will be released in the first half of 2019.