There is less than with 45 days left this year; and, of course, there are still projects outstanding. Some of these critical projects are behind schedule. With looming end-of-the-year deadlines, you have to reprioritize your projects and review your schedules. If there are contractual obligations where you have to meet a deadline then you must decide which time and schedule compression techniques you will use to avoid financial penalty. Two schedule compression choices are fast tracking and crashing. There are pros and cons with each. Below are their definitions and examples when to use them.
Fast tracking is a technique that performs tasks in parallel to finish them quicker and save money. There are pros and cons towards selecting this option. The pros are that fast tracking costs less money and the tasks are done together. The cons are that project risks increase and the duties must be overlapping in order to be done in parallel. If you can use the same resources and people to produce two or more of the company’s projects simultaneously then fast tracking would be the preferred option. Next is crashing.
Crashing is a technique that’s normally considered when fast tracking doesn’t accelerate the project fast enough. With crashing, the resources are added to the critical path to speed up the schedule. The pros are that crashing works well when activities are on the critical path and the cost associated with finishing quicker. Usually crashing is chosen only when there is a financial penalty of a milestone or deadline wouldn’t been met. For instance, if you must have this product delivered by November 30th else your company pays a penalty, then you’ll have no choice but to crash your project by placing all of your work on the critical.
Although crashing and fast tracking are to be used under extreme conditions, you can still manage these techniques by developing a milestone list. This milestone list is a way to keep track of your project’s progress. Whenever you resort to use these tactics, risks automatically increase. You’re already behind schedule. You don’t want it to become anymore of a disaster.
First, before creating a milestone list, let’s define what a milestone is. A milestone is any significant task in your project. A milestone list is a list of milestones that defines project milestones, oversees milestones progress and telling the status of the compressed schedule’s story. A milestone list will communicate project progress to the team during crunch time. This list will help you and your team in the remaining 45 days to track your project and deliver any and all good news. Good luck!