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TOPIC: After Completing Activity Durations / Crashing

After Completing Activity Durations / Crashing 3 years 11 months ago #3030

  • Edward Wada
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Can you please clarify when crashing is done in the overall process? After Estimate Activity Duration is completed would I continue to Develop Schedule or do I evaluate for crashing and/or Fast Tracking opportunities? Why or why not.

Is Crashing/Fast Tracking done before developing the Schedule initially? Please clarify.

Thank you.

After Completing Activity Durations / Crashing 3 years 11 months ago #3035

  • Kevin Reilly
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Hi Edward –

Crashing and Fast Tracking are schedule compression techniques and the PMBOK Guide 4th Edition defines Schedule Compression as shortening the project schedule duration without reducing the project scope in order to meet schedule constraints, imposed dates or other schedule objectives. There is no reason to use a schedule compression technique at the very beginning of a project since you are only creating an initial Schedule Baseline based on the limited information available at that time. Schedule compression techniques such as Crashing and Fast Tracking are only used on a project when variance analysis is conducted during the project (usually using Earned Value Management) and it is determined that the project is behind schedule, and steps need to be taken to bring it back on schedule.


Crashing is a schedule compression technique where cost and schedule tradeoffs are analyzed to determine how to create the greatest amount of schedule compression at the lowest amount of additional cost. Examples of Crashing include approving overtime or adding additional resources to the project. Crashing only works for project activities where additional resources will shorten the project duration. One of the downsides of the Crashing schedule compression technique is that it increases project costs.


Fast Tracking is a schedule compression technique where phases or activities normally performed in sequence are performed in parallel. An example of Fast Tracking is on a software development project where you would normally perform final testing on a module only when it is 100% developed, you choose to test on individual components of the module before it is 100% complete. Fast Tracking only works for project activities where project activities can be overlapped to shorten the project duration. One of the downsides of the Fast Tracking schedule compression technique is that it increases project risk in terms of product quality because it increases the possibility of rework.


Thanks


Kevin

After Completing Activity Durations / Crashing 3 years 11 months ago #3037

  • Edward Wada
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Thank you for your response. I was wondering if you can clarify my question:

After Estimate Activity Duration is completed would I continue to Develop Schedule or do I evaluate for crashing and/or Fast Tracking opportunities? Why or why not.
Since I did not get a direct answer to my above question, do I assume your answer would be “No”. Schedule compression is NOT done after estimate activity duration has been completed but only when variance analysis is conducted?
Please clarify and confirm.
Thank you in advance.

After Completing Activity Durations / Crashing 3 years 11 months ago #3038

  • Khurram Hussain
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Dear Edward:

Good day and thanks for your question.

Let break your questions into multiple part and then address them individually.

“After Estimate Activity Duration is completed would I continue to Develop Schedule or do I evaluate for crashing and/or Fast Tracking opportunities? Why or why not”.

After Estimate Activity Resources and Estimate Activity Durations processes are complete, you would have resource requirements and duration estimates for every project activity. Now you are all set to go and develop your project schedule.

The objective of schedule compression techniques is to compress the overall project schedule if it is slipping the required deadlines. You will not consider schedule compression techniques during the Estimate Activity Resources and Estimate Activity Durations process as you don’t have the project schedule at this stage. All you are focusing on are individual project activities and your best estimate for the resource and duration requirements for them. When you have the resource and duration estimates for your project activities, you should proceed to the Develop Project Schedule process.

During the Develop Project Schedule process you can utilize the schedule compression techniques if your project schedule is not meeting the required milestones deadlines. Let’s assume that you have just finished the resource and durations estimation processes and have just started to develop your project schedule with the information available. If this schedule doesn’t satisfy the project stakeholders, you might need to compress parts of your project schedule to meet your project stakeholders’ requirements. In that case you can apply fast tracking and/or crashing to produce a schedule that fulfills these requirements. The new schedule that you will get after applying these techniques will be more exposed to risks and would normally require more costs. That is the tradeoff of getting a compressed schedule.

“Since I did not get a direct answer to my above question, do I assume your answer would be “No”. Schedule compression is NOT done after estimate activity duration has been completed but only when variance analysis is conducted?”

Schedule compression is a tool and technique of the Develop Schedule process. So schedule compression can be utilized when you are done with Estimate Activity Durations process and in the Develop Schedule process.

What Kevin is trying to say that practically speaking, schedule compression is not a big concern when you are developing your project schedule for the first time. It is only applied if your first schedule doesn’t get approved by the management. If your first proposed schedule is rejected by the management because of the durations, you must apply schedule compression to adjust it to meet their needs and you also have to communicate the risks and costs involved in doing so. Normally, schedule compression is more utilized during the Control Schedule process when a variance is observed. At this stage the schedule baseline is already approved and it’s the project manager’s responsibility bring the project back on track.

Please let me know if this clarifies your questions.

Warm regards,

Khurram
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