Schedule Development

Schedule Compression

Schedule compression is a technique used in project management to shorten an already developed schedule. This might be done to meet an updated delivery date, a new opportunity, or a schedule delay. It’s done without changing the scope of the program.

Schedule Compression Goals

The goal of schedule compression is to shorten a project schedule without causing any impact to the overall goals and objectives of the project scope.

Why do Schedule Compression

There is a variety of reasons a Progam Manager might want to utilize a schedule compression but the main one is usually to get back on schedule. Below are a few reasons:

  • The initial schedule proved to be unrealistic
  • Make up for a Delay in resources
  • Reduce risk
  • Change in the delivery schedule
  • Take advantage of an opportunity
  • Make up for a mistake

Schedule Compression Techniques

There are two techniques that are commonly used in schedule compression. These are:

  • Crashing
  • 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

Fast Tracking is the process of executing activities or phases that were originally scheduled sequentially 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.

Differences Between Crashing and Fast Tracking

Crashing Fast Tracking
Added Resources Re-Planning
Extra Cost No Extra Cost
No significant increase in risks Increase in Risk


  • Make sure you weigh the pros and cons before crashing any schedule. There is always risks involved that need to be understood.

AcqLinks and References:

Updated: 6/15/2021

Rank: G2.5

Leave a Reply