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2 Major Schedule Compression Methods For Projects: (+Examples)


In my previous articles, I have talked about what you need to know about the work breakdown structure for projects. In this article, I want to talk about schedule compression methods for projects. Follow me as we will look at this together in this article.


Schedule Compression Methods can be referred to as shortening of the project schedule without affecting the project scope.


Setbacks or revised deadlines can cause production problems, in which there is little time to do a lot of work. When these issues occur, product quality is often sacrificed.

Schedule Compression alleviates the pressure of completing too many activities in a short time without negatively affecting the project scope.

Compression may be achieved in one of two ways: Fastracking and crashing.





Typical example…

A carpenter and his subcontractor are building and then installing cabinets in a new housing development. The realty company has a higher demand than expected and asks the carpenter to move up his finish date by three weeks.


In order to meet his deadline, the carpenter decides to change the order of assignments for the remaining company work. He tells the subcontractor to work on the installation of the whole cabinet as he finishes building the cabinets.



This changes the Precedence. Instead of building all the cabinets and then installing them, the installation is able to start before the building of the cabinets is complete as in the original schedule.



Due to the increase in production, the carpenter finishes the work a week ahead of the schedule rather than three weeks behind.


#1 Fast-Tracking

Fast-tracking is the process of compressing the project duration by performing some activities concurrently that were originally scheduled sequentially.


Typically, fast-tracking involves identifying FS relationships that could be done in parallel, either as Finish to Finish, Start to finish, or Start to start relationships, or by simply adding some leads to FS activities.


Some fast-tracking may entail looking very creativity at the network diagram to see if some discretionary dependencies could be done completely independently. usually, no added costs are incurred from fast-tracking; however it can result in increased risk and rework.


Typical example…

Sponsors are pressuring Carol to bring a new product to market quickly. Carol decides to fast-track some activities a lead leadership between the development of the new product and the writing of the associated user manual.


The total duration of the two activities is shortened because writing the manual can start before the product development is complete. Consequently, the project duration is shortened.


#2 Crashing

Crashing is a schedule compression method that analyses cost and schedule trade Offa to determine how to obtain the great schedule compression for the least incremental cost. crashing typical involves allocating more resources to activities on the critical path in an effort to shorten the duration, thereby increasing project costs.



To crash a schedule, analyse:

  • Duration estimates under normal conditions
  • The cost associated with the normal conditions
  • Duration estimates under the crash condition.
  • The cost associated with the crash condition.


The formula for calculating crash coats per week is (crash coat – normal coat) / ( normal time – crash time ).


As project manager for the company website project, you are asked to compress the schedule for the design deliverable.


There are eleven activities, five of which are on the critical path. Using the formula (crash coat – manual cost) / ( normal time- crash time ), you calculate the crash coats per week for each of the five activities to determine which activities will provide the greatest duration reduction for the least incremental cost. Your calculations are :


While you have not yet analysed the effect of crashing the activities, you can determine from your calculations that:

  • Activity D has a net gain of three weeks at a cost of just $500 per week.
  • Activity C reduces the schedule by two weeks at a cost of only $1,500 per week.
  • Activity E is another possible candidate with a three-week reduction at a cost of $2,000 per week.
  • Activity B , which has a crash coat of $4,500 per week and a reduction of only one week, is the worst candidate for crashing.
  • The order in which the activities should be crashed is D,C,E,A, and B.
  • The total number of weeks by which the project could be shortened if all of the activities on the critical path are crashed is 11 (45-34).
  • The total additional cost if all activities on the critical path are crashed is $23,000 ($71,000-$48,000).

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