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Advantages and Disadvantages of Shortening Project Schedules

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What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of shortening project schedules? In some situations project manager will have to get the project schedule shortened. One method for accomplishing this is by shortening the durations of the activities in the critical path. This can be done by allocating more resources to perform the activities or by making changes in the scope. Project Crashing and Fast Tracking are two methods useful for shortening the project schedule. Crashing is a technique for schedule compression.

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It makes a trade-offs between the schedule and cost for obtaining the greatest amount of schedule compression for the least incremental cost. Crashing can be done by bringing in additional resources or working overtime or by paying extra to get the critical path activities delivered more quickly. Consider an example of applying security patches to all systems in the datacenter. Assume the duration was initially set as one month and there is only one resource working on it part time.

If there is a decision to expedite the task due to security threats, there is a requirement of schedule compression.

The options here will be either assigning the resource to full time or adding more resources to complete the task, or getting the tasks done quickly by engaging resources overtime. These options are part of crashing and help in reducing the activity duration. The project manager may use more resources to complete activities on Critical path. Project manager has to take in to account the slack available in non-critical activities. That helps in making sure the crashing is not impacting other activities in the Critical path of the project.

The project manager also has to ensure the cost involved in crashing a project does not exceed the penalty costs. Crashing has to be done from the least expensive to the most expensive tasks. Crashing has to be done only for activities that are critical. Advantages of Crashing: * Crashing reduces the time taken to complete activities * Crashing may get the project back on track or back on schedule * Crashing could help in avoid the penalty due to delayed delivery * Crashing can help mitigating the risk for a delayed task Disadvantages of Crashing: The new allocated resource may be less experienced with the process and hence less productive. * The primary resource may have to spend time to bring the additional resources up to speed * If the team members are not flexible, it can cause conflicts within team members * Team members might feel the productivity is being challenged and may not support crashing. * Crashing could spoil the rapport between the project manager and team members * Use of additional resource may not always give better results.

Fast tracking is a method of carrying out project activities in parallel instead of doing in a sequence. For example, if the project involves building a Server and carrying out App installing, application team may want to carry out App installation without completing Storage and OS tunings, hardening tasks by the system administrator. In that case, Application installation and Storage configuration, OS security hardening and tunings will happen in parallel saving a few days.

The advantage of this method is that it reduces the total duration of the project. However, there is a risk in doing that. For example, in the above example, if the Application is supposed to be performing better in the storage Luns, which was not in place while App was getting installed, a complete rework is required to uninstall and reinstall the Application with the revised pre-requisites. This delays the project.

Hence, fast tracking is usually applied to routine tasks where the chances of risk are relatively less. Project manager has to get the risk analysis done before deciding the fast tracking approach. Advantages of Fast tracking: * Ability to meet short deadlines * Faster project execution * It may get the project back on track or back on schedule Disadvantages of Fast tracking: * Increased risk * It may require re-work * Not suitable for all the project tasks * Project cost increases in the case of re-work

Cite this Advantages and Disadvantages of Shortening Project Schedules

Advantages and Disadvantages of Shortening Project Schedules. (2016, Nov 13). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-shortening-project-schedules/

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