Use Gantt Charts and Avoid Disaster

Failing to use Gantt charts for its project ultimately caused a building company’s failure and, as a consequence, it’s ill-timed downfall. It had suffered huge charges in penalties then ultimately was forced to shut down its building which had gone on nearly fifteen months behind schedule.

A Gantt chart is a sort of bar chart that shows a project timetable from the commencement to the conclusion. Some Gantt diagrams also show dependencies between tasks to ensure communication between parties working on interdependent elements. As a result, better management is recommended via the use of these all-important charts. You can find realistic instances of how businesses to this day are plummeting into bankruptcy, to some extent as a result of not leveraging such important systems as those provided by Gantt Charts.

Penalty Charges

The agreement neglected to indicate a timetable for a project detailing the different operations required for the development of the condominium. Some changes were imposed by the buyer that had been a huge variation from the initial plan. Without the project plan, a modified strategy couldn’t be generated revealing as to how the changes would impact the prompt conclusion the job. This ended up causing a postponement in handing over well over a year from the agreed upon date, leading to preventable charges.

The company was required to show the following in order to contest imposition of penalty charges:

  1. The hand over date as agreed to in the initial contract as per the original specification could have easily been met.
  2. The customer’s proposals for additional tasks to be undertaken midway through the construction process, entailed requirement of additional man hours to be put in, which resulted in the end date getting extended.

There were a few spreadsheets used to capture the tasks underway. As changes occurred a new spreadsheet was set up. There was a gap in this method in that the impact of the changes on the original plan and on the completion date were not captured.

How Would Gantt Charts Have Helped

A Gantt Chart would have acted as a baseline plan for monitoring the progress, had it been created at the contract stage. The extra tasks required to be done by the company could have been added and the duration of the existing tasks could have been changed as and when the customer asked for changes in the specifications: the slippage in the handover date could have been clearly shown by this. The customer could have been then asked to agree to a revised end date and sign the amendment to the contract.

Without project management tools to document its position, the firm could not document the reason for the delays were not its performance. However not having these tools in place for complex projects is itself a performance issue.

During the supervision of time-constrained projects for customers, it is necessary to employ metrics such as Gantt charts and other appropriate tools to keep on top of how the project is progressing, measure the impact of any changes to the project, and keep all parties informed about how changes will affect the project.

March 7, 2012. Project Scheduling. Leave a comment.

Project Management Software Online

When owning a project it really is almost absolutely essential to make sure you have appropriate Project Management Software set up to track your tasks, costs and resources. Information must be easily available to make sure appropriate action calls and particular situations may be reported to any or all your clients. In utilizing the right web Gantt tools, nowhere is always that more obvious than in your method of constructing and analyzing the critical path on your project network diagram or flow chart.

When contemplating the use of automated software tools to integrate into your organizations’ system, make sure the application supply the flexibility and the detail you’re looking for. Working from the number of software tools available may become completely frustrating, so ensure tests are conducted on a number of different applications for the greatest fit. Automated tools is adequate for small projects or one person teams, but large projects they are able to get in the way. I find it requires as much human interaction to offer the detail needed from your automated software tool, compared to the tool by itself can offer.

Although software programs are more and more sophisticated and interactive, according to project management software still it requires a great deal of our input. The easiest method to explain this is actually the approach taken up create the project network diagram or project flow chart. Once you have selected your Project Management Program, enter in the activities as well as their durations in to the selected tool. The following steps require human interaction, and therefore the involvement of the team in “Brainstorming” sessions. Request input from each of your associates, jot down their input, and place ideas on a board. Ask your team to recognize all activities that have no predecessors, for each and every major Work Breakdown Structure you will see a corresponding group of activities that must be incorporated into nodes already connected from the previous step. After the information, that’s the identified tasks, activities and duration are accepted from the team, it is time to input the network diagram or flow chart in to the software tool. If an activity does not have a logical successor activity, it ought to be coupled to the end activity. Remember, fully connected means that every activity has one or more predecessor and something successor activity.

This planning session normally takes some time and involvement, because the first draft seldom offers you the accepted project completion date. The very first output of the network diagram will require rework, if it doesn’t then you’re very fortunate. The application tool you employ, should quickly and easily find the activities around the critical path, and give you enough detail to suit your needs along with your team to start making educated judgment calls on task duration. To compress the project schedule, look for opportunities to change overall relationships with perhaps some lag time introduced. Use caution not to get carried away with schedule compression since it will aggravate the resource-scheduling problem. At each iteration, use the automated tool to check if the critical path has gone to live in a new sequence of activities. Now you’ve established a project schedule that meets the requested project completion date. The last step would be to schedule the time in order to complete the work in line with the revised schedule.

While this kind of approach can make sure that the device development process continues to be followed, it will little to make sure that the expansion team clearly understands what specifically the necessary product quality is and that the quality requirements have not been compromised as the project moves through analysis, design, development, and implementation. Further, traditional quality planning does not make sure the quality assurance process; rather it makes sure that the process has occurred.

The standard agreement supplies a simple vehicle for specifying the quality requirements to get a project. Previously I’ve noticed that a job in System X, which in this instance represents quality attributes of data, function, usability and Job impact are mandatory for the majority of Stakeholders. Based on this assumption, the project manager as well as the team possess a clear knowledge of what facets of the device has to be reviewed throughout the development process.

The quality plan must include quality assurance processes that review each system deliverable from the perspective with the mandatory quality attributes first. The device analysis deliverables, for example flow diagrams, data models, job specifications and human-computer interfaces, are assessed for conformity, usability and job impact. The standard agreement offers the framework for ensuring that the required quality is controlled through every one of the system development processes.

No matter the Project management software Program utilized by your organization or becoming considered, it should take as much input from you as well as your team to guarantee the accuracy and the legitimacy of project timeframes. Tools of the nature are invaluable for quick project snapshots, expect you’ll spend quality time along with your software tool to make certain successful project delivery.

February 23, 2012. Project Scheduling. Leave a comment.

How to Set a Copywriting Project Schedule

Copywriting Project ScheduleSo you’ve landed your first big gig being a copywriter. You’ve closed the client on the deal, set up a deadline, taken your up-front payment, and gotten the go ahead to do the work. Let’s suppose there is a week to accomplish the assignment, and also you know it’s simple enough that you could finish it in one day. Assuming you are not that busy now, can it be best if you procrastinate until Day 6 to start out on your project?

I wish I possibly could say “yes” for this, however that we now have many risks to procrastinating on any deadline-driven copy assignment. Many things can go astray, and a little slack in the schedule to handle the setbacks can be your only savior when things get ugly.

To begin with, you’re trivializing your value if you do not have time for you to let assignments marinate in your mind for any duration. At first, examine your client’s product around the first day, so you get acquainted with the options and advantages of that which you are selling. Once you comprehend the product and the target audience, then you can certainly let your creativity out. Within the next couple days, you’ll find your muse and end up with inspiration for headlines and major points for your copy.

Another reason to start a job early is your client might possibly not have given you all the information you need to do a good job. Most copywriters learn this the hard way, there is however an extremely high chance your client may not have sent you his testimonials, his prior research, or perhaps a copy of the product itself! How embarrassed would you be to need to call your client the night just prior to the the assignment being due and say you never got the product you were supposedly taking care of all week long? This is one other good reason to not ever lie and say you’re further in an assignment than you really are. Regardless of what the client could have slipped on, if you do not comprehend it because you’ve been procrastinating, it’s all your fault, and not his at all.

When you use a 7 day period, and you believe the assignment is only going to take you 1 day, set up your project timeline to look like this:

  • Day 1: Undergo entire product and be sure you’ve got everything you need in the client. If it takes multiple day, take the first couple of days to achieve this.
  • Days 2-3: Allow the features of values from the product marinate in your mind, and jot down inspirations that can come up.
  • Day 4: Start setting up the copy.
  • Day 5: Finish the copy.

Definitely leave a two day buffer in the event something goes completely wrong. Observe that this example is just for a project you can finish in a day if you were really strapped. If this type of was an assignment that will take you five full times of working, you should ask for additional time to complete it.

Keep in mind that procrastination may cause you a large number of troubles within the field of copywriting, so make the effort when performing your craft and set yourself an attainable schedule.

February 22, 2012. Project Scheduling. Leave a comment.

Why Project Management Is Difficult

Project Management made huge a leap forward fifty years ago using the Critical Path Method (CPM) and Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT). Since that time, information technology has helped to trace projects and supply amazing numbers of details and views. But, projects have settled back to a dismal record of being late, over budget and much less delivered when compared to the original scope. And sometimes they’re even canceled. A report through the Standish Group, a project management research organization concluded, “There is not any reliable way to measure project status until it’s past too far!”


The project plan has morphed into a project schedule. It used to be that we worked the project plan. Now we work to meet the project schedule. The important words here are “meet the project schedule” Project managers are aware that task durations are estimates. We have an optimistic time, the time most likely and a pessimistic time. We don’t really know how long a task will take.

Then a craziest thing happens. The task duration estimate is created the project management software. At that time, the estimate becomes a duration. The software uses that duration to make a diary for the duties. Each task receives a start date and end date. The start and end dates become “milestones.”

And just how will we work with milestones? We work to fulfill them. We view the finish date as a target. Our effort is to get the job created by that date. Subconsciously, it would be okay to get the task done early, but that’s secondary for you to get it done simply in time.

This crazy thing contributes to counter-productive behavior. If the task is planned to be done by the conclusion date, if you don’t point in setting it up done early. No one expects it or why not be prepared to do the next task. In fact, completing it prematurely . makes it appear that individuals do not know how to estimate. Our credibility reaches stake!

We’ve three choices:

  1. Complete the job and transform it in on the end date.
  2. Take our time and then we finish it around the end date.
  3. Do other items until we’ve just enough time and energy to be prompt about it.

What’s going on?

  • We estimated the job durations.
  • We turned the estimates into firm start and end commitments.
  • We take our time and then we do not get anything done early.

For this reason, Project management software is indeed difficult. If tasks rarely get completed early, and some tasks take longer than scheduled, there is a very high probability how the project will probably be late.

Missing dedication is normally taken personally. The conventional solution is to boost the following estimate of that kind of task. This little additional safety should make a huge difference. But that just moves the finish date and pushes the next task’s start date. Perhaps it just wants a extra. Or simply a little more than that. We refer to this as process “experience.”

To give you an extreme example of where experience takes you, a Fortune 500 company features a task that takes 8 hours and it has been done every day for many years, yet it really is planned at 108 days. This is brought on by estimate creep and shows up in a large number of tasks. With 107 days of safety, they still battle to get it done on time. So much with this solution. The corporation is sophisticated and careful. And usual for many organizations. No one paid any attention to the planned duration until a senior manager asked how this part could take such a long time.

Why don’t we get back to the Project Management software! How does the application turn estimates into fixed dates? Because it is exactly what it absolutely was designed to do. Are we bound to fixed dates? Possibly the move to make is ignore them. As crazy as this sounds, it is the right direction for the solution.

It’s possible in Microsoft Project to blank out your dates over the Gantt chart. The beginning and Finish dates can be hidden.

Think about how tasks will probably be worked if there aren’t any dates! Scary isn’t it?

February 21, 2012. Project Scheduling. Leave a comment.

Detail Your Project Planning With Organization and Scheduling

Let’s begin today’s discussion of how you can propagate project success using a quick review of the Phases of the Project Management Lifecycle; that are:

  1. Concept and Feasibility
  2. Organization and Scheduling
  3. Execution
  4. Review/Audit

We have been discovering how you can manage an excellent Concept and Feasibility phase, so that we can manage our project by doing our essential homework, around the original work that management had already accomplished about the time, cost and objectives of one’s project.

After a successful presentation of our own Concept and Feasibility findings, we’ve got agreement with your Project Customer to maneuver to the detailed project planning, that is, Organization and Project Scheduling.

Our goal is to attain buy-in on all the tasks essential to complete the Execution Phase with the project also to get another agreement in the Project Customer to some +/- 10 percent of time and price from the objectives.

Here is the Project Manager’s to-do list for Organization and Scheduling:

  • Identifying Tasks on the Project Schedule
  • Project Schedule Work Breakdown Structure
  • Project Schedule Critical Path Analysis
  • Project Management Plan Update
  • Time and Cost Tracking
  • Agreement with Project Customer to complete

Identifying Tasks on the Project Schedule

To identify and schedule every one of the tasks for your project’s execution phase you should assemble they and merely question them what its going to take to achieve their objectives. For each task, in addition, you need to estimate your time and value, as well as where to get the serious amounts of expense is from the person doing the task.  At this time we’re looking for a +/- 10% estimate to limit padding.

Project Schedule Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)

A Work Breakdown Structure will be the report on every one of the identified tasks which are required to complete the project. They are now divided and listed into summary and sub-level tasking, kind of like a to-do set of the duties.

Project Schedule Critical Path Analysis (CPA)

A crucial Path Analysis can be a some time and logic exercise. Logic diagramming is a common tool for a Critical Path Analysis To not be mistaken with setting milestones, a vital Path Analysis will state the Project Manager exactly how long the project will require depending on the actual estimates provided by they.

The critical path will also show the relation of each task to others and the way a project timeline could be shortened by overlapping tasks. There are lots of software tools you can use for your WBS and CPA. These software tools can provide Gantt charts along with other reports for the Project Customer. The combination with the WBS and CPA becomes your working Project Schedule.

Project Management Plan Update

The Project Definition Document you commenced in Phase One and now is updated and used as the official Project management software Plan. Make sure you call a conference of stakeholders for a status presentation (it is possible to update the one for Phase One – Concept and Feasibility), because it’s far better to have any last minute opinions and possible changes reviewed and accepted because of your Project Customer ahead of the Execution begins.

Time and Cost Tracking

Once you are spending some major time and expense in Organization and Scheduling. Make sure you keep track of and report your costs inside your Project Management Plan.

Agreement with Project Customer to Complete

Before we can proceed to the next phase, the same as at the end of Concept and Feasibility, we want a partnership with our Project Customer to start Execution. Try to get that agreement to within 10% of times and price from the objectives, which means you will have some wiggle room and therefore are not constantly reporting variance. Also, don’t forget a status meeting to ask every one of the stakeholders for the party. It’s best to get any last second changes before the Execution begins.

February 20, 2012. Project Scheduling. Leave a comment.

The Schedule & The Project Plan

A project schedule is not the just like the project plan. Repeat after me, the schedule is not the project plan. As the name suggests, the project plan is an accumulation of documents utilized to manage the execution of a project. The schedule includes dates for tasks and milestones in the project plan and is also some the master plan, but is not comprehensive enough that need considering an agenda. The project plan goes more deeply than a timeline and is also the entire blueprint for that project. In line with the PMBOK, the project plan can sometimes include the next:

• Project charter
• Description of project management software approach or strategy
• Scope statement
• Work breakdown structure
• Cost estimates
• Performance measurement baselines
• Major milestones and target dates
• Key or required staff
• Risk management plan
• Subsidiary management plans:
• Scope management
• Schedule management
• Spending budget
• Quality management
• Staffing management
• Communication management
• Risk response
• Procurement management
• Supporting detail
• Outputs using their company planning processes
• Constraints and assumptions
• Technical documentation
• Standards documentation

You should determine the level of detail needed, depending on the sized the project. From your list above you can observe this list is quite extensive and much more encompassing than a set of tasks, assignments and expected dates. I often hear companies and individuals make reference to the schedule because the overall arrange for the project, which can being accurate along with a risk for the projects and organizations. Without capturing and handling the information above, you’re not truly planning for and handling the outcome of your projects.

Planning is fundamental to project success. The opportunity to plan and to derive the most important thing from vast amounts of information and stakeholders is important. We all know the word “if we do not possess a clear intend on where we’re going we won’t know once we get there”, however, if unfortunately we cannot possess a clear understanding alternatively areas in the above list; our projects and teams will flounder.Improperly addressing and continuously managing the items above can provide significant concern from executives among others funding the project,along with those the project is being designed for.

While we may not have all of the answers when we start planning the project,we must understand that planning is iterative that plans usually are not created in a one-time session. The act of creating these guides will require one to consider the required factors and truly analyze the specific situation,making a response to all possible scenarios.

February 17, 2012. Project Scheduling. Leave a comment.

Top Tips for Monitoring and Controlling Your Project

Monitoring and controlling tasks on your project is absolutely crucial in order to ensure your project will remain on budget, on schedule and adheres towards the approved scope.  Project management is much more than just Gantt charts and PERT Charts. I’ve come across many project managers who miss this fact that monitoring their project is one of the most important project management steps; the end result is normally negative and often winds up in what I call a “runaway project.” A runaway project is simply one where the PM hasn’t maintained charge of the scope and contains almost no idea exactly what the status with the project is by using regards to schedule and budget.

Here are the very best strategies for monitoring & controlling your project. Following these straightforward project management steps is going to help you to definitely prevent getting your own “runaway project”.

1. Regularly Evaluate Your Schedule – Here’s your Project Road Map!

In an earlier project management step, you ought to have produced a project schedule. This really is one of many key elements from the planning phase. Many project managers produce a project schedule at the outset of the project and then fail to refer back to it again or update it the project progresses. This can be a bad mistake to create like a schedule is often a tool that will help you and your team progress through the project activities.

The schedule should be continually analyzed by the PM to make certain the actions are advancing as planned as well as in the most effective manner. This permits the project manager to produce minor path changes through the project phases which could head-off potential difficulties. Routine report on your schedule will definitely make sure you usually do not deviate from your plan and obtain side-tracked on activities that aren’t on your own critical path.

With regards to the nature of the project and the timelines, an individual might have to analyze the schedule every day. At the bare minimum (for virtually any project), I suggest you review the schedule weekly.

2. Consistently Research your Project Expenditures

Similar to routinely reviewing the schedule, you must routinely examine the project expenditures and commitments. Because the project manager, you need to make sure you are always familiar with how much cash may be used on the project and how much you’ve left. This really is one of many critical pieces of information you’ll want to know as you will be asked this whenever you want by senior management. To determine if you are actually monitoring costs in addition to required, take into consideration whether you’re likely about the reply to these questions about your project today – unless you know you then likely have to monitor your is more expensive closely.

3. Manage the Scope – Guard Against Scope Creep!

It is easy for projects to eventually migrate out of the original agreed-upon scope. This is usually a gradual process with small changes in some places that every on their own, don’t really get a new cost or project schedule, however, together may add as much as significant alterations in the project. This can be incredibly common, and is a problem known as “scope creep.” Scope creep is a thing that most PM’s need to be constantly aware of since it is easy to fall under and really impact assembling your shed in the negative way.

In realistic terms, scope creep is somewhat unavoidable as there are constant requests from stakeholders to create minor changes towards the original scope – it’s the skillful project manager that will recognize and manage variances since this situation arises. You should always be superior on which your team was originally mandated to do and then simply communicate to project stakeholders that any extra requests for work will be a “change request” requiring more budget, schedule etc. This is actually the absolute best way to use when you sense a request is outside of your currently approved scope. If the change is in fact required, then a appropriate changes will probably be put on the project, though the “nice-to-have’s” often disappear when you highlight the entire influence on the scope and schedule. Each and every change to the project scope may have an relation to the another aspects of the project and can need to be formally identified and passed with the change control process.

The above tips will definitely help you being a project manager to effectively finish your project punctually as well as on budget as well as achieving every one of the stakeholders’ goals. It is very essential to consistently monitor the project when it comes to scope, schedule and budget – monitoring and determining your project is probably the most important project management steps.

February 16, 2012. Project Scheduling. Leave a comment.

Project Management Tools

There are a many tools we can use to handle and track our projects, I find the main one most important in my tool bag is Gantt Charts. This takes into accounts that the project has been initiated, all the Conditions and terms have been met and your resources can be found. The customer will expect an agenda, so their stakeholders are aware of the delivery timeframe, who will need to be involved and also at what stage, so they can co-ordinate their particular resources. For this to happen, all involved in the project will be needing an idea, a schedule outlining the duties, resources and the intended timeframe. The tool with this job is a Gantt Chart, since it provides the overall view of the project from beginning to end. Obviously, more advanced the project and more steps and resources involved, then the project plan can become sizable. Hence unruly, but don’t worry, be patient it’s all regulated worthwhile, using a quick snapshot of tasks at your fingertips is invaluable for reporting and resource management.

A Gantt chart is a simple graphical representation from the work being done and the schedule for completing it. The Gantt chart is made up of variety of rectangular bars, each one representing an action in the project. The size of each bar corresponds for the estimated time it will take to accomplish the activity. These bars are arranged across a horizontal time scale with all the left side of the bar lined up with the schedule start activity. The bars are arranged vertically in the order of scheduled start date. The resulting picture forms a descending stair-step pattern. That’s, after all, in which the detail tasks to do work would occur. The conclusion of the bar would occur at about the project completion date. Which is where testing and documentation for your project would occur.

It really is one of the most convenient, most used, and easy to know depictions of project activities which i have been faced with inside my career. The chart is formatted like a two-dimensional representation of the project schedule with activities shown in the rows and time shown over the horizontal axis. It can be used during planning, for resource scheduling, and for status reporting. The only problem to using Gantt charts is they usually do not contain dependency relationships. Some project management software software tools provide an option to display these dependencies, but the outcome is a graphical report that is so cluttered with lines representing the dependencies that the report is alongside useless.

All contemporary online appointment scheduling packages also produce task lists by resources, resource loading, and other critical planning and tracking information. The project scheduling package could also be used because the grounds for project tracking and reporting. However, this equipment really are a classic illustration of “garbage-in/garbage-out”. When the planning process is flawed, the resultant schedules along with other information created by these power tools are merely false and dangerous. That is why we must be very diligent throughout the planning process, involve every one of the main project resources at this time, obtain their input to make sure a practical depiction from the project delivery and main milestones.

The Gantt chart becomes the essential project modelling tool for everybody on the project. Most desktop based scheduling tools provides this chart, which will provide each team member having a clear picture of these individual work effort. While the overall project Gantt chart provides each team member having a common vision of how a effort of most associates combines inside the project. Also, they are probably the most useful cause for tracking.

In the event you haven’t used Gantt Charts previously, then it’s worthwhile investigating courses concerning how to use and construct them. They’re an excellent tool for all project managers regardless of their experience. This tool is as crucial that you us as a hammer would be to a builder, supplying the project information we want easily, allowing us to manage our resources effectively and track progress. Once again a schedule is only just like the standard time you and the team spend throughout the planning process.

February 15, 2012. Project Scheduling. Leave a comment.

How to Create a Project Schedule

One of the must-have abilities for a project manager is the capability to manage specialized tasks for which you have little or no specialised specialized understanding. For knowledgeable and new professionals as well, issues happen when developing a venture program and you have restricted understanding of the inner tecnicalities of a new program, how to go about developing a chosen program, or plenty of it may take to efficiently deal with all of your customer’s assistance needs. Even in these conditions, is it possible for you to efficiently make a well-defined program that gives control and holds an precise image of when their deliverables can be expected? To that concern I make a definite “Yes!”, and here’s why:

1) The role of project manager comes with its very own support team.

There are a few major inputs to project scheduling that your skilled support team should help you to develop to ensure that you aren’t flying blind through the project life cycle. Here are a few examples:

The Activity List – Your technical staff can guide you to get away each and every business prerequisite straight into connected technique demands and lower-level duties to finish.
Activity-Scope Connection – Your organization analyst(could be one and also the same upon some events)could link each exercise on the checklist returning toauthentic company and range requirements to make sure there aren’t any gaps with your shipping.
Activity Duration and Sequence – Again, your specialized crew helps throughout estimating how much time every activity is going to take to complete,whether that process is actually design, improvement,or even tests.
Resources Required and Availability – Functional managers in a matrixed organization will work with you to determine which developers, architects, testers, etc. will be available to you and when so that you can sort out your project’s plan accordingly.
2) Project planning is an on-going, iterative method.

The actual project plan isn’t a repaired, immutablereport. It will typically alter a little occasionally to allow for the subsequent:

-New job length quotes
-Issues stumbled upon in the course of style,development, or tests
-Scope alterations caused with the customer
-A more complete threat evaluation

Because of this nature with the timetable, there won’t be any anticipations regarding total excellence. With the aid of complex specialists along with other helpaffiliates, you need to use the particular inputs previously mentioned : resource accessibility daily activities, the created set of actions, along with their stays as well as series : to develop a baseline. This specific base line indicates planned begin along withstop dates with regard to project key events and is also used to monitor your current team’s developmenttowards venture completion.

As project manager, it is your task to determine the entire discipline involving participate in, leaving the bulk of the specialized specifics in order to subject theme specialists, to enable you to keep target the big picture and make routine changes wherever essential to allow for factors. Only make likely to handles take holder anticipation by maintaining an even plan regarding conversation so that every person knows the influences which minor routine alterations might have about other dependent ideas.

February 14, 2012. Project Scheduling. Leave a comment.

Crashing a Project Schedule – Typical Approaches

Crashing a project is a means of compressing or shortening the complete time period of a project so that the original deadline can be hit.  Standard techniques for crashing a project are:

  • Focus crashing around the Critical Path

    Crashing a Project Schedule

  • Adding resources to accomplish tasks more rapidly
  • Reorganize tasks
  • Work tasks in parallel
  • Reduce lag times for tasks
  • Lessen the scope of less important tasks
  • Work your team overtime
  • Outsource work of a less critical nature
  • Pay for expedited shipping or accelerated product for various components
  • Provide additional incentives or penalties


  • A lot of these techniques charge a fee (small or large) and create their own problems. A big challenge is balancing shortening the project schedule with keeping costs low.
  • Some tasks cannot go faster with increased resources, yet others are proof against anything further than minor additional resources.
  • There are several tongue-in-cheek metrics say for example a limit from the amount of brains per square foot or rear-ends per sq inch in an area. These came from experience in some very tight spaces, like airplanes and submarines.
  • If additional resources are less experienced, they will often slow the job rather than accelerating it, and resources should be offered by the proper times.
  • If your task has the capacity to complete sooner,another task may not be prepared to start.
  • If the project is further along, it can be not capable of being accelerated.
  • When tasks start without all of the necessary input, there is a greater potential for errors and delays.

Other terms besides crashing are Schedule Compression used when keeping the identical scope, and Fast Tracking for over-lapping the tasks and reducing the scope. Included in Fast Tracking is reassigning less experienced individuals to less urgent tasks, maintaining those most capable working on their area of expertise, and working multiple phases of a project simultaneously.

Crashing a project schedule to the significant degree can often be very difficult. Thus sophisticated techniques have appeared that can calculate the crash cost weekly per task and find out each task’s potential to deal with additional resources, together with a resource elasticity metric for duration sensitivity. You will find linear programming models to ascertain the earliest crash completion use of the project plus a least costly crash schedule. You can find time-cost trade-offs to have an optimal pace for minimum cost. And after that you will find there’s brute force method that takes one task at any given time, reduces it to at least one unit of time to determine the effect for the schedule.

Since accelerating a task usually increases costs, a good thing to make note of is always that direct costs generally increase with crashing, and total indirect costs decrease since the project duration decreases. For many projects, minimum time-to-market may be of extreme importance, decreasing the concern for cost considerations.

As this can be tedious and ineffective, you might be interested in a very different approach. Perhaps we can reduce direct costs, indirect costs and duration.

February 13, 2012. Project Scheduling. Leave a comment.

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