Project fast tracking vs crashing are two project management schedule compression techniques to speed up a project. Fast tracking is when tasks that were originally planned to happen in sequence now happen i parallel. Crashing involves adding more resources to the tasks to get the work done quicker.
While fast tracking and crashing can be useful techniques, project managers should use them with caution as they can have negative consequences if not used correctly. When project managers are looking to compress project schedules, they should carefully assess project constraints and objectives before deciding to fast track or crash project activities.
Fast tracking is a project management technique where project managers coordinate overlapping tasks so that multiple tasks are being performed at the same time. This overlapped work allows for tasks to be completed sooner than if they were performed sequentially. Fast tracking is most effective when there is some slack in the project schedule, that is, when there is time available between tasks to overlap work.
Crashing is a project management technique where project managers reduce the amount of time spent on individual tasks in order to get the project back on schedule. While project managers can reduce time spent on project tasks through both fast tracking and crashing, these techniques tend to have negative consequences if not used correctly. For example, while project managers may be able to shorten project duration by reducing task work hours or increasing resources, doing so has a high risk of project quality issues and missed project objectives.
|Replan Activities in Parallel vs Sequence||Add Resources to Project|
|No extra Costs for Project||Extra Cost for the Resources|
|Increase Risks||No significant increase in risks|
Project Fast Tracking
Project fast tracking is a management technique employed in order to speed up the completion of a project. This is achieved by rearranging the sequence of tasks or activities, so that the overall project can be completed sooner.
There are many advantages to using fast tracking. Firstly, it can help to save time and money. By completing the project sooner, you can avoid paying for the project to run for longer than necessary. Additionally, fast tracking can help to improve communication and coordination among team members, as tasks are completed in a more timely manner. This can lead to a more productive and efficient team.
Risks of Fast Tracking a Project
There are risks associated with the technique, when fast tracking, the project manager may not have enough time to properly assess all risks and develop a mitigation plan. This can lead to unexpected problems and delays. In addition, adding resources to a project can increase costs and lead to communication problems. There is also the risk that the team will not be able to meet the expectations of the Project Sponsor or Project Stakeholders.
However, there are also some disadvantages. One potential downside is that by attempting to speed up the completion of a project, you risk sacrificing quality. For example, if tasks are completed in a shorter time frame than usual, there is less chance for adequate testing or error checking.
One of the risks associated with using schedule fast tracking is rushing, which can result in mistakes being made or poor quality work being completed. To avoid this, it is important for the project manager to thoroughly plan out the work to be done before deciding how much can be compressed into a shorter time frame.
Overall, fast tracking is a useful tool for speeding up the completion of a project. It can save time and money, while also improving communication and coordination among team members. However, it is important to keep in mind the advantages and disadvantages of project fast tracking. By doing so, you can use this management technique effectively, while avoiding potential pitfalls.
Fast Tracking Example
Example or Scenario to Choose Fast Tracking: A small software company needs a single web page developed. The Project Manager opts for schedule fast tracking and decides to add resources to complete the project in half the time as originally planned. With Project Fast Tracking, the project manager was able to deliver the web page in half the time and on budget.
Advantages of Project Fast Tracking
Choosing Fast Tracking has multiple benefits:
- Project manager is able to reduce project duration
- Improve on-time delivery
- Increase productivity and decrease labor costs.
- It is also a great way to show leadership that they are committed to meeting deadlines.
Schedule crashing is a technique used in project management whereby activities are compressed into a shorter time frame. It can be used to speed up the completion of a project, or to meet a specific deadline.
What is crashing in project management
Project schedule crashing works by reducing the amount of slack time in a critical path. Slack time is available on a task that does not have any predecessor tasks, and therefore cannot finish earlier than its successor task. If there is reduced or no slack time between tasks, then it is more likely that the critical path will be shortened.
To use crashing as a technique, follow these steps:
- Identify the critical path of your project.
- When you identify which tasks make up the critical path, give those tasks a rank number from one to five, with one being a task that is the most important and five being the least important.
- For each task, identify any predecessor or successor tasks. If there are no predecessor or successor tasks to a task, then it is on the critical path and will be considered for crashing.
- Eliminate tasks from your project according to their rank number; the lowest number tasks should be eliminated first.
- After the tasks are removed, re-calculate your project completion time and determine if you were able to shorten the critical path with this method. If not, eliminate more tasks or go back to step four and remove additional low rank tasks until the critical path is shortened enough.
The most common example of schedule crashing is a project that must be finished by a certain date, and activities are compressed to meet this deadline.
Another example would be when a project manager has more work than they can handle within their original schedule, and they need to find a way to get the work done more quickly. In this case, this technique may involve adding staff or working overtime.
If you are considering using crashing in your project, it is important to weigh the risks and benefits carefully. Make sure that you have a good understanding of what needs to be done and how much time is available to do it. If you are not confident in your ability to complete the project on time, it may be best to avoid schedule crashing.
Project managers often use schedule crashing when they need to meet a specific deadline. For example, if a company has a product that needs to be released by a certain date, the project manager will use crashing method to meet that deadline.
Risks of using crashing
There are several risks associated with using the technique. The most obvious risk is that the project may not be completed in time, or may not be completed at all. Schedule crashing can also lead to rushed work, which may result in mistakes being made. Additionally, crashing can be expensive, as it often requires overtime work and/or the purchase of additional resources.
Despite the risks involved with the technique, it is often used in the interest of time and high priority projects.
Crashing also has the potential to interfere with resource allocation. If, for instance, your goal is to complete the project in a shorter time frame, you may need to allocate more resources to the project. This can be difficult to do if resources are already in high demand.
Another risk of the technique is that the project may not be completed on time or may not be completed at all. This can be especially dangerous if the project is high priority and there are no backup plans in place.
Rushing work can also be expensive, as it often requires overtime work and/or the purchase of additional resources. In some cases, schedule crashing may not be feasible due to the cost of the additional resources that would be needed.
Advantages of Project Crashing
The benefits of using crashing include:
- Shorter time to completion
- Reduced costs
- Increased benefits
- Reduced risk of project failure
- Benefits to future projects
Advantages and Disadvantages of Crashing and Fast tracking
Both have their pros and cons, which is why it can be difficult to decide which approach to take. Let’s take a closer look at each option. When you opt for project fast tracking, you’re essentially trying to compress the time it takes to complete a project into as short of a timeframe as possible. While managers employ crashing as a project management method to cut down on the amount of time spent on particular activities in order to get the project back on track.
Fast Tracking FAQs
What is crashing and fast tracking in project management?
Fast tracking is a project management technique where project managers coordinate overlapping tasks so that multiple tasks are being performed at the same time. Crashing is a project management technique where project managers reduce the amount of time spent on individual tasks in order to get the project back on schedule
Why is fast tracking risky?
When fast tracking, you may not have enough time to properly assess all risks and develop a mitigation plan. This can lead to unexpected problems and delays
Can you fast track the critical path?
Yes you can expedite a project that has been prioritized to be in critical path.
Does project crashing increase risk?
The probability of a project crashing is not significantly increased, but the effort is time-consuming. These methods should be utilized with care because you are working with critical processes. Any misstep may have a detrimental influence on your project.