Advantages and Disadvantages of Shortening Project Schedules

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What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of shortening project schedules? In some situations project manager will have to get the project schedule shortened. One method for accomplishing this is by shortening the durations of the activities in the critical path. This can be done by allocating more resources to perform the activities or by making changes in the scope. Project Crashing and Fast Tracking are two methods useful for shortening the project schedule. Crashing is a technique for schedule compression. It makes a trade-offs between the schedule and cost for obtaining the greatest amount of schedule compression for the least incremental cost. Crashing can be done by bringing in additional resources or working overtime or by paying extra to get the critical path activities delivered more quickly. Consider an example of applying security patches to all systems in the datacenter. Assume the duration was initially set as one month and there is only one resource working on it part time. If there is a decision to expedite the task due to security threats, there is a requirement of schedule compression. The options here will be either assigning the resource to full time or adding more resources to complete the task, or getting the tasks done quickly by engaging resources overtime. These options are part of crashing and help in reducing the activity duration. The project manager may use more resources to complete activities on Critical path. Project manager has to take in to account the slack available in non-critical activities. That helps in making sure the crashing is not impacting other activities in the Critical path of the project. The project manager also has to ensure the cost involved in crashing a project does not exceed the penalty costs. Crashing has to be done from the least expensive to the most expensive tasks. Crashing has to be done only for activities that are critical. Advantages of Crashing:

* Crashing reduces...
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