Project Management question

Past efforts to introduce new models had resulted in
frustrating failures. Bret Ricks, president of Yankee Chair, was
determined that it would not happen again with the newest model. He had
no confidence in his current management team, so he hired Jan Dymore, a
local consultant, to organize and manage this project. He assigned a
Yankee Chair manager, Tom Gort, to work with Dymore to start developing
some talent for project management within the company. Dymore decided to
set up a PERT network and guided Gort through the process of listing
activities, assigning precedence, and estimating completion times. She
also explained the critical path concept to Gort, who by this time had a
reasonable grasp of the project direction. At the first review session
with Mr. Ricks, the PERT approach was accepted enthusiastically, but
toward the end of the review Dymore made some critical remarks about the
product design and was subsequently released from the project.

Ricks then asked Gort if he could carry on the PERT approach by
himself. Gort jumped at the chance, but later in his office he began to
question whether or not he really could use the PERT network
effectively. Dymore had made a guess at what the critical path would be
and how long the project would take, but she had also told Gort that
several other calculations had to be made in order to calculate the
exact time estimates for each activity and the variances of those
activity times. Gort really did not understand the mathematics involved
and certainly did not want to look bad in Ricks’ eyes, so he decided to
take Dymore’s guess at the critical path and get the best possible
estimates of those activity times. By concentrating his attention on the
critical path activities and ignoring the variance issues, he figured
he could bring the project in on time.

Questions: Will Gort’s approach work? How much more of a gamble is
Gort taking than any project manager normally takes? What should Gort
watch out for?