Improving New Product Planning with GERT Simulation

by Carl Bellas, A. Samli



The article presents Graphical Evaluation and Review Technique Simulation (GERTS) as a tool for product management. GERTS is a relatively new and effective simulation technique for planning and controlling projects, especially those projects, which can only be described accurately by a generalized activity network. The complicated collection of activities involved in introducing a new product is such a project. Simulation was selected as the best approach in this case, yet the construction of an entire program for just one product appeared unwarranted. GERTS was able to simulate the complex model, using only network data as input. The network structure of GERTS made the transition from Program Evaluation and Review Technique and Critical Path Method, with which the user was familiar, relatively easy. The necessity of establishing a horizon date as well as a probability distribution for project cost makes this technique invaluable. GERTS capabilities and limits have yet to be fully explored, but its potential for becoming a valuable tool for management planning, especially in the new product area, is great.

California Management Review

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