## Shortening the project duration

If we wish to shorten the overall duration of a project we would normally consider attempting to rcducc activity durations. In many cases this can he done by applying more resources to the task - working overtime or procuring additional staff, for example. The critical path indicates where we must look to save time -if we are trying to bring forward the end date of the project, there is clearly no point in attempting to shorten non-critical activities. Referring to Figure 6.20 it can be seen that w e could complete the project in week 12 by reducing the duration of activity F by one week (to 9 weeks).

Referring to Figure 6.20. suppose that the duration for activity F is shortened to 8 Exercise 6.5 weeks. Calculate the end date for the project.

What would the end date for the project be if activity F were shortened to 7 weeks? Why?

As we reduce activity times along the critical path we must continually check for any new critical path emerging and redirect our attention where necessary.

There will come a point when we can no longer safely, or cost-effectively, reduce critical activity durations in an attempt to bring forward the project end date. Further sav ings, if needed, must be sought in a consideration of our work methods and by questioning the logical sequencing of activities. Generally, time savings are to be found by increasing the amount of parallelism in the network and the removal of bottlenecks (subject always, of course, to resource and quality constraints).