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PM/U2 Topic 10 Crashing of Activities

The initial project plan you construct seldom will be delivered without making modifications to the project’s triple constraint, which are schedule, cost, and scope. Crashing a project is an advanced project management technique which means to add the appropriate amount of skilled project resources to critical path task(s), which is commonly used to compress the project schedule. The project schedule compression technique consists of:

  • Fast Tracking
  • Crashing a project

Crashing your project will directly impact two out of three of your project triple constraints, which are schedule and cost. Crashing your project will accelerate your project delivery schedule and increase your project budget; however, it will have no effect to your project scope. Typically, when project sponsors want you to crash your project, it means they are not concerned about the project costs. Either they have unrestricted budgets or they just want you to get the project done as fast as possible.

Consequently, since crashing your project will increase your project cost, you must identify all critical path tasks that have the potential to compress your project schedule. If you are unable to add resources to critical path tasks resulting in shortening your project schedule, do not attempt to implement project crashing. Do not select non-critical path tasks to crash because adding additional resources to non-critical path tasks will have no effect to your project schedule.

Crashing is a schedule compression technique used to reduce or shorten the project schedule.

The PM can various measures to accomplish this goal. Some of the common methods used are

  • Adding additional resources to the critical path tasks: This option has various constraints such as the securing of the budget to add the resources, and the availability of the resources.
  • Reduce the project requirements or scope: This can be done only if the sponsor and major stakeholders agree to reduce the scope

After applying the crashing, the critical path might have changed and result in creating a different critical path. Always revisit the project schedule to ensure the schedule has been crashed.

Crashing of Activities in Activities

  • Crashing is the technique to use when fast tracking has not saved enough time on the schedule. It is a technique in which resources are added to the project for the least cost possible. Cost and schedule tradeoffs are analyzed to determine how to obtain the greatest amount of compression for the least incremental cost.
  • Crashing refers to a particular variety of project schedule compression which is performed for the purposes of decreasing total period of time (also known as the total project schedule duration). The diminishing of the project duration typically take place after a careful and thorough analysis of all possible project duration minimization alternatives in which any and all methods to attain the maximum schedule duration for the least additional cost.
  • When we say that an activity will take a certain number of days or weeks, what we really mean is this activity normally takes this many Project Management Triangle days or weeks. We could make it take less time, but to do so would cost more money. Spending more money to get something done more quickly is called “crashing”. There are various methods of project schedule crashing, and the decision to crash should only take place after you’ve carefully analyzed all of the possible alternatives. The key is to attain maximum decrease in schedule time with minimum cost.
  • Crashing the schedule means to throw additional resources to the critical path without necessarily getting the highest level of efficiency.
  • Crashing is another schedule compression technique where you add extra resources to the project to compress the schedule. In crashing, you review the critical path and see which activities can be completed by adding extra resources. You try to find the activities that can be reduced the most by adding the least amount of cost. Once you find those activities, you will apply the crashing technique.

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