W9.1_Murtadha_schedule compression methods

  1. Problem Definition.

In a previous project I have worked on, company had assigned me as a project engineer for an Front End Engineering Design + Detail Design project of a certain compressor to be used in a flare gas recovery system. Although, the project wasn’t considered a high value it was though considered a high profile project because it was the first of its type for my client.

For this weeks blog I will analyze the schedule compression methods used to help minimize the effects of the schedule overrun.

  1. Identify the Feasible Alternative.

The Following techniques are widely used for schedule compression:

1) Crashing

2) Fast tracking

3) Split Long activities

4) Review constraint and lag assumptions

5) Review Duration Estimates

6) Reduce Scope


  1. Development of the Outcome for Alternative

Out of the above techniques the first two were used. Both techniques provide the same outcome which is to help the project manager to shorten the duration of the project. It is a matter of in what scenario you would use each technique.

  1. Selection of the Acceptable Criteria.

The acceptable criteria are any possible compression in the schedule that would result in shortening the duration of the project.

  1. Analysis and Comparison of the Alternative.

Crashing: this technique implies involvement of additional resources, hence it affects project’s costs. It is based upon an assumption that the project can be accomplished faster when more of workforce and equipment will be engaged into completing its critical tasks

Fast Tracking: This method stands for rearrangement of tasks in the project plan so some of these tasks, which were initially planned to be in sequence, should be executed in parallel. This can be achieved by overlapping of certain project phases and activities.

We have to keep in mind that crashing a schedule increases the cost of the project whereas fast tracking increases the risk.

In my case a combination of both were implemented where we had additional resources flown in to the vendors offices to speed up certain activities and to start other activities so that they can be done simultaneously.

3D modeling of the entire plant is an activity that had huge potential in shortening the overall  duration. As previously explained additional resources were brought in and each additional resource was given a different section to model. this resulted in crashing the duration of the modeling from 6 weeks to 3.5 weeks.

In addition to that, activities related to certain deliverable such as heat and mass balance and material selection reports were fast tracked so that all the deliverable’s that depend on these documents could get started and instead of waiting for these deliverable’s to get produced one after the other they were done simultaneously by having the related engineer to work closely with each other and share all information available. These activities were selected to be  fast tracked, due to their high importance and dependence of the rest of the deliverable’s on them.

  1. Selection of the Preferred Alternative.

After looking at the analysis above, a combination of the two or more techniques depending on the scenario you are working with would give you an optimized schedule compression.

  1. Performance Monitoring and the Post Evaluation of Result.

Due to the nature of the changeability in the schedule and how the critical path could change with the slip of a certain activity, it is recommended that  an analysis is carried out at certain intervals throughout the duration of the project.

  1. References

One thought on “W9.1_Murtadha_schedule compression methods

  1. How about a “before” and “after” picture of the schedule? What RISKS were encountered in FAST TRACKING? Can you provide a couple of examples?

    And what was the COST IMPACT of CRASHING……..

    Again, the case study is a valid one but there is absolutely NO quantitative analysis to back up what are PROBABLY true statements but without something to back up or support your statements, this simply is not graduate level work……..

    THIS is what a 5 star scheduling posting looks like…… http://simatupangaace2014.wordpress.com/2014/01/02/w19_ssg_update-progress-on-cpm-scheduling/

    Show me your original and rebaselined (crashed/fast tracked schedule)……

    Dr. PDG, Jakarta, Indonesia

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