Understanding Schedule Compression For Projects
Schedule compression for projects is used to shorten or accelerate the schedule duration without reducing the project scope in order to meet schedule constraints, imposed dates, or other schedule objectives.
A helpful technique is the negative float analysis. The critical path is the one with the least float. Due to violating a constraint or imposed date, the total float can become negative.
This is a technique used to shorten the schedule duration for the least incremental cost by adding resources. Examples of crashing include approving overtime, bringing in additional resources, or paying to expedite delivery to activities on the critical path.
Crashing works only for activities on the critical path where additional resources will shorten the activity’s duration. Crashing does not always produce a viable alternative and may result in increased risk and/or cost.
A schedule compression technique in which activities or phases are normally done in a sequence is performed in parallel for at least a portion of their duration. An example is constructing the foundation for a building before completing all of the architectural drawings.
Fast-tracking may result in rework and increased risk. Fast-tracking only works when activities can be overlapped to shorten the project duration on the critical path. Using leads in case of schedule acceleration usually increases coordination efforts between the activities concerned and increases quality risks. It may also increase project costs as well.
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