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Project Management: Fast-tracking, when is it required?

by | Mar 28, 2022 | Blog | 0 comments

Have you ever been in a situation where your project was behind schedule and had to fast-track it? Or maybe you’re not sure what that even means. This blog post will discuss what fast-tracking is when necessary and how to do it effectively. We’ll also share some tips on avoiding common pitfalls associated with this process. So whether you’re a seasoned project manager or just starting, read on for everything you need to know about fast-tracking your next project.

What is fast-tracking?

Fast-tracking in project management is a method wherein a pre-planned sequence of project tasks is condensed and completed concurrently. Fast-tracking a project can indicate several things, including that the project is at risk of not finishing on time. Even so, the goal of fast-tracking is to complete a project sooner than originally planned.

What is a project?

A project is a group of activities that must all be completed to meet the goal. Any short-term activity with a clear start and end is considered a project by the Project Management Institute (PMI). Depending on its complexity, it may be overseen by one project manager or an entire team of project managers. The three key elements are:

Project Goals

The project goal refers to achieving the desired outcome at a specific end date, employing a particular amount of resources. The purpose of a project can be something simple, such as assembling a piece of furniture, or something more complex, such as building a house. However, the goal should always be clear and concise so that everyone working on the project knows what they’re aiming for.

Project Objectives

The project’s objectives are what you want to accomplish by the conclusion of your project. This might cover items and assets and more intangible goals like increasing productivity or morale. Project objectives should be doable, time-bound, and have measurable goals that you can track throughout your project.

Project Scope

Project scope is a detailed outline of all aspects of a project, including all related activities, resources, timelines, deliverables, and the project’s boundaries.

Project scope is critical because it defines everything related to the project, including all activities, resources, timelines, deliverables, and the project’s boundaries. Without a clear and concise scope, it can be difficult for team members to know what they’re working on and how they’re contributing to the project’s success.

What is a Project Team?

The project team comprises a project manager, a business analyst, and a software engineer. The project manager is responsible for ensuring that the project is completed on time and within budget. The business analyst is responsible for documenting the system’s requirements, and the software engineer is responsible for designing, coding, and testing the system.

What is a project schedule?

The actual project schedule lists project tasks and how long each will take. Generally, it also includes the resources required to complete the job, which enables the resource costs to be calculated. In the field of project management, a project schedule is considered a fundamental; planning, control, and communication tool.

What is timeline training in project management?

Timeline training in project management is a process by which project managers instruct team members about the new, accelerated schedule and how to best utilize the resources that have been allocated. This includes training on the new timeline itself and any changes to the project’s original budget or scope.

What is project management?

Project management aims to plan and manage a project to complete its listed goals and deliverables. It involves identifying and managing risks, careful resource management, smart budgeting, and clear communication across multiple project teams and stakeholders.

What is the project management institute(PMI)?

PMI is a not-for-profit professional membership organization dedicated to the project management field. The association’s mission is to offer templates, networks, and best practices to professionals interested in project management.

When is it required to fast-track a project?

When a project falls behind schedule or must be completed sooner than initially scheduled, project management fast-tracking is necessary. The two techniques used to shorten the project duration while maintaining the scope are fast-tracking and crashing.

What are the risks in fast-tracking a project?

The risks in fast-tracking a project schedule are that the project may not be completed on time or within budget and that the quality of the final product may be reduced. Additionally, if the project schedule is rushed, unforeseen problems may arise that require additional time and resources to resolve. Some examples include:

Critical Path Activities

Critical path tasks and activities are vital to a project’s success because they are the longest sequence of tasks that must be finished on time for the entire project to be complete. Delays in critical path tasks will delay the rest of the project. Don’t attempt to fast-track your project if you don’t feel comfortable or you aren’t knowledgeable of how to compute the critical path.

Rework

Rework in the project management context means repairing or modifying something that has already been completed. For example, it can refer to correcting errors, making changes to the final product, or fixing problems that arose during the implementation of the project. Rework can be expensive and time-consuming, so it’s essential to avoid it.

Project fast-tracking does not guarantee an increase in cost. However, project fast-tracking leads to an increase in the risk that reworks will be required. It is critical to note that reworking can undermine fast-tracking if it increases the project duration.

Crashing

Project crash is a technique used to shorten the duration of a project by reducing the time spent on one or more activities, project crashing. Project crashing is accomplished by increasing the resources available to the project, allowing tasks to be completed in less time than anticipated. But, of course, this also raises overall project costs.

Budget Over-runs

A few different types of budget over-runs can occur during the fast-tracking process. The most common type is when the project’s original budget is not enough to complete the project on time. This can be due to several factors, such as an increase in the project’s scope or unexpected delays.

A typical budget overrun is when the project’s original budget is insufficient to cover the new, accelerated schedule costs. Again, this can be due to increased labor costs, the need for more expensive materials, or a combination of both. There are a few best practices that should be considered when deciding to fast-track a project schedule:

  1. It’s essential to evaluate whether or not fast-tracking is possible.
  2. The team working on the project should be consulted to see if they feel comfortable with the new timeline.
  3. Any potential risks associated with the new accelerated schedule should be evaluated, and a plan put in place to mitigate those risks.

The project team should be trained on the new timeline.

What is schedule compression?

Schedule compression reduces the length of a project schedule by shortening the time of one or more tasks. This can be done by increasing the project’s resources, which helps make tasks take less time than what they were planned for. However, this compression also adds to the cost of the overall project. There are a variety of schedule compression techniques that can be used to fast-track a project schedule. Some of these techniques include:

Program Evaluation and Review (PERT)

PERT is a type of technique used to calculate the project duration.

Critical Path Method (CPM)

CPM is a technique that identifies the critical parts of the project and ensures they are completed first.

Critical Path Analysis

Critical path analysis is a technique used to identify the sequence of critical tasks to the completion of the project. This helps to ensure that those tasks are completed on time to finish the project on schedule.

Resource leveling

Resource leveling is a technique used to ensure that all the resources in a project are used equitably. This helps to avoid the need for overtime work, which can add to the project’s cost. It also helps to ensure that all project tasks can be completed on time.

Critical chain management

Critical chain management is a technique that helps identify the sequence of tasks essential to the completion of the project. This helps to ensure that those tasks are completed on time to finish the project on schedule. It also helps to identify potential risks associated with the project and puts a plan to mitigate those risks in place.

How can project management software assist in fast-tracking a project?

Project management software can assist with fast-tracking a project by helping to create a fast-tracking schedule that is achievable and accurate. Also, project management software can help identify critical path activities and potential risks.

While fast-tracking can be an effective way to speed up a project, it is not without risk. Therefore, project managers should use caution when implementing this method and monitor the project closely for potential problems. By understanding the cost and schedule tradeoff risks associated with fast-tracking, project managers can make more informed decisions about whether or not to use this approach.

Are you interested in learning more about Scheduling your projects and business activities?

We would be happy to show you how software can optimize your business. Visit us at: timewellscheduled.com.

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