Schedule compression is a technique used in project management to shorten an already developed schedule. This might be done to meet an update delivery date, a new opportunity or schedule delay. It’s done without changing the scope of the program. There are two techniques that are commonly used in schedule compression. These are:
- Fast Tracking
Crashing assigns more resources to an activity to decrease the overall time to complete it. The cost benefits of this activity have to be explored in order to make it a useful technique. The trade-off between cost and schedule must be understood to get the best possible schedule compression.
Fast Tracking is the process of executing activities or phases that were originally schedule sequential in parallel. Activities can be overlapped, started earlier than proposed, start activities that require different resources, and maybe combined activities in the schedule. This process does add risk to the schedule and program and must be executed with care.
- Make sure you weight the pro's and con's before crashing any schedule. There is always risks involved that need to be understood.
AcqLinks and References:
-  Defense System Management College "Scheduling Guide for Program Managers" - Oct 2001
- Defense Acquisition Guidebook (DAG) – Chapter 4.5.3, 18.104.22.168.2
- DoD "Integrated Master Plan and Integrated Master Schedule Preparation and User Guide" - 21 Oct 2005
- CDC "Project Scheduling Best Practices/Guide" - 30 Jun 2007
- GAO 12-120G "Schedule Assessment Guide: Best Practices for Project Schedule" - May 2012
- Website: Wikipedia - Critical Chain Project Management