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Crashing Your Schedule Is Not Your Only Choice when Facing Delays!

Crashing Your Schedule Is Not Your Only Choice when Facing Delays!
By Kiron D. Bondale

When our projects begin to experience schedule delays, a very common reaction from our customers may be to ask the team to work longer hours or to leverage their influence to provide additional resources to work on critical path tasks such that the project can get back on track.

Of course, nothing comes for free – such additional labor hours usually will result in increased costs which in turn increases the likelihood of going over budget. If the existing team is asked to work longer hours for a sustained period of time, this is likely to impact team morale and deliverable quality. If new team members are added, while they are coming up-to-speed, the overall productivity of the team is likely to suffer as existing high performers may be engaged in onboarding the newcomers.

So before looking at crashing your schedule, here are a few ideas. Read the Complete Article

How to Compress Project Schedules

How to Compress Project Schedules
By Michael D. Taylor

There are times when the project schedule duration must be shortened (compressed) either to meet market opportunity dates, to meet the desires of key stakeholders, or when the project completion date slips. In these cases the project manager must find ways to reduce the amount of time it will take to complete all remaining activities, especially those on the critical path.

Three such schedule compression techniques can be employed under these conditions, all of which are to be applied to the critical path activities. These are: 1) optimizing activity lead-lag times, 2) fast-tracking, and 3) crashing. It must be pointed out that if the critical path is compressed enough, other paths may become the actual critical path, and must then be compressed.

How to Optimize Activity Lead-lag Times

Optimizing lead-lag times along the critical path is one of the best ways to reduce the project’s duration. Read the Complete Article

Project Scheduling And Resource Leveling – Part 2

Project Scheduling And Resource Leveling – Part 2 (#2 in the series Project Scheduling And Resource Leveling
By Jorge Dominguez

  • Assign resources

    Resources (typically human) are assigned to tasks, deliverables and milestones that need to be executed. At the beginning of the project, when named resources are not known yet, roles are assigned that can later be replaced with names (i.e.: the role of Analyst is assigned to a task during project scheduling and is later replaced with John Doe when he is the analyst assigned to the task)

  • Level resources

    Helps in utilizing resources consistently throughout the project. Ensures resources are not over allocated. Helps the PM avoid delays caused by bad allocations. Helps the PM identify and take advantage of unused times by analyzing task dependencies. MSP can automatically level resources based on resource calendar, task types, dependencies, and constraints, however, I have yet to find a PM that has felt comfortable with the way MSP does it.

Read the Complete Article