In some instances, the relationship between activities cannot be changed due to hard or soft logic. The relationships must remain as scheduled. Now consider the same construction company that is promised a bonus if they can complete the work by the end of month seven. Now there's incentive to complete the work, but there's also the fixed relationship between activities.

To apply duration compression, the performing organization can rely on two different methods. These methods can be used independently or together, and are applied to activities or to the entire project based on need, risk, and cost. The methods are as follows:

• Crashing This approach adds more resources to activities on the critical path to complete the project earlier. When crashing a project, costs are added as the labor expenses increase. Crashing doesn't always work. Consider activities that have a fixed duration and won't finish faster with additional resources. The project manager must also consider the expenses in relation to the gains of completing on time. For example, a construction company may have been promised a bonus to complete the work by a preset date, but the cost incurred to hit the targeted date is more than what the bonus offers.

• Fast tracking This method changes the relationship of activities. With fast tracking, activities that would normally be done in sequence are allowed to be done in parallel or with some overlap. Fast tracking can be accomplished by changing the relation of activities from FS to SS or by adding lead time to downstream activities. For example, a construction company could change the relationship between painting the rooms and installing the carpet by adding lead time to the carpet installation task. Before the change, all of the rooms had to be painted before the carpet installers could begin. With the added lead time, the carpet can be installed hours after a room is painted. However, fast tracking can increase risk and may cause rework in the project. Can't you just imagine those workers getting fresh paint on the new carpet?

EXAM TIP It's easy to remember the difference between these two actions. Crashing and cost both begin with C—we're adding resources, and too many people will "crash" into each other. Fast tracking is about speeding things up. However, haste makes waste, which can be risky.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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