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(PS-3401) Crashing the Schedule Without Losing Track of Reality

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Level: Basic
TCM Section(s):
9.2. Progress and Performance Measurement
7.4. Resource Planning
Venue: 2020 AACE International Conference & Expo

Abstract: Projects often run late, either due to work variances or predictions of the impact of future risk events. In both cases, in order to meet commitments, the schedule must be crashed in an attempt to accelerate remaining work to recover from delays.

Traditionally, project acceleration is an arduous trial-and-error process, with the team accepting the first version of a modified plan that meets the target dates. Often, this crashing process causes significant collateral damage to the schedule in terms of unrealistic expectations of concurrent work, significant reductions in float, and overworked team members.

This paper reviews commonly utilized methods for crashing schedules, their strengths and weaknesses, and outlines best practices for project acceleration. Emerging methods in schedule optimization can take into account feasible work schedules and sensible activity durations to ensure an accelerated plan does not lose track of reality.