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- Compression

Figure I (a) and (i): Altering a preferential precedence relationship.

manager can judge whether the potential benefit is worth the risk.

Altering a preference to improve a schedule is a common planning practice, as functions which are best performed serially are occasionally performed in parallel or overlapped. The risk associated with many of these choices is frequently low. Preparation of detail drawings is often started before a design has been completed, or a test may be run before test procedure release. In other cases, greater risk may be assumed to obtain the desired compression. Making a commitment to a vendor or subcontractor, before drawings and specifications have been completed, can have severe financial consequences if extensive changes become necessary. Yet, this is frequently done on "fast track" projects where completion time is critical.

Although altering Preferential Precedence relationships is a common practice, project managers rarely recognize the extent of the risk being assumed to gain a time reduction. To be effective, make each decision with an awareness of the added risk involved and have a contingency or recovery plan ready for implementation, should the assumed risk become a reality during execution.

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