Sunday 1 September 2019

Schedule Optimization

Once we've attempted resource smoothing and still needed to leverage resource leveling which in most cases will elongate a project delivery date, we must agree with the sponsor and management on the appropriate course of action, should it be deemed that a delay in project delivery is unacceptable then the options are as follows

Crashing: is used to add resources to a project to meet an accelerated or constrained delivery date. When crashing a project schedule it is important to not only focus on the critical path, but ensure that as the original critical path is shrunk that no new critical paths do not emerge and if they do to focus on them. Forcing employees to work overtime is also considered crashing.

Crashing may seem attractive initially but it increases the required budget costs and has an adverse affect on moral if personnel are required to work overtime. bringing more personnel  onto a project also has adverse effects, these newbies often come with a learning curve and use up the time of your seasoned personnel slowing productivity initially before the newbs are ramped up.

the decision to crash and how much to crash a project should be made very carefully. 

Fast Tracking:If a project cannot be elongated and suffers from a resource constraint once it has been smoothed and leveled and adding resources is not an option then a PM can attempt to fast track some activities that is to look at sections of the critical path where alternative paths have slack, and leverage that slack to take critical path activities and try to start them in parallel with the resources from the alternative path that has slack.

this can't always be accomplished because it is depended on the types of resources available and critical path tasks that could potetially run in parallel at least partially.

Scope Reduction: if crashing and fast tracking a project are not an option then the PM can discuss with the sponsor about reducing the scope of work, by removing non-critical activities from the critical path the project delivery date can be hastened. it is very important to remove non critical activities as not to degrade the performance or quality of the end product.

by removing activities we in turn will be reducing deliverables or potentially even dropping some, any reduction of scope must then be captured in all appropriate project documentation.

  • WBS
  • Scope Statement 
  • Requirements documentation
  • Project Charter
There can come a project that cannot be crashed, fast tracked and the sponsor with  management will not agree to a scope reduction, this is an over-constrained project. This is where softskills come into play it is the PM's job to demonstrate to the sponsor and management that the project is high risk; it needs to be established which two of the three constraints are the most important to understand which one can be manipulated to give the project a chance of success.