Project Crashing in Project Management: Definition & Best Practices


2020-09-17 04:50 project manager


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There’s never enough time when managing a project. That’s why we make schedules—to try and control time, just enough to get your deliverable by the deadline. But even the best laid plans tend to go awry, to paraphrase the poem. Project managers don’t have the luxury to quote poems to stakeholders when going off track. Changes in a project are common, but it’s the project manager’s responsibility to make sure that those changes don’t produce a negative impact on the project schedule. This is when the triple constraint usually comes into play; scope, time and budget. If one falls behind, the others have to make up the slack. There are many ways to adjust things on your project to make up for the time you’ve lost. That includes adding extra resources along the way, which is a method called project crashing. What Is Project Crashing? Project crashing is when you shorten the duration of a project by reducing the time of one or more tasks. Crashing is done by increasing the resources to the project, which helps make tasks take less time than what they were planned for. Of course, this also adds to the cost of the overall project. Therefore, the primary objective of project crashing is to shorten the project while also keeping costs at a minimum. Just as the triple constraint says, if you reduce the duration of the project, or its time, then costs will in turn have to increase. It’s a trade off. Crashing project management accounts for the triple constraint, in that to achieve it, you include additional resources (as noted above) or reduce the project requirements or scope. However, such drastic measures cannot be implemented without the sponsor or primary stakeholders agreeing to the changes. A result of project crashing can be a change to the critical path and the emergence of a new, different critical path. Project crash management requires that you return to your project schedule to make sure you’re aware of changes that have occurred there because of the project crashing. Different Interpretations of Project Crashing Project crashing as a term is not etched in stone, and can mean a few different things. It could refer to spending more money to get things done faster. It can also refer to pinpointing the critical path, providing greater resources there, without necessarily thinking about being efficient. Or, you can review the critical path and see if there are any activities that can be shortened by an influx of resources. A related method for truncating your schedule is called fast tracking. This is when you overlap tasks that were originally scheduled to run separately. But, this course of action should not be taken without first analyzing its feasibility and risk. Whichever route you take, it’s always wise to give it thought and analysis. What Prompts Crashing in Project Management? When would a project manager want to increase investment to complete the project earlier? After all, a lot of time and effort went into the project planning and schedule. Obviously, since project crashing requires higher costs, it wouldn’t be used unless there’s an emergency. One reason for using project crashing would be if the project was scheduled unrealistically, and this wasn’t clear until the project has already been executed. This can even happen at the planning stage if the sponsor, customer or stakeholder insist on a due date that isn’t feasible. Another reason is that, during the process of a change control analysis (which shows impact on the time, cost, scope or other project factors), an issue comes up that must be addressed immediately. As issues arise in the course of managing a project that take it off track, the project manager must figure out a way to lock back to the schedule baseline. As noted above, other than project crashing, there is the fast tracking method. Though we’re discussing project crashing, it’s important to touch on when fast tracking is preferable. Sometimes you can use either, but if the project is already over-budget and you don’t have funds, then fast tracking is the likely option. Best Practices When Crashing Your Project Project crashing is usually a last resort, and it’s not without substantial risks. There are some things you need to consider before taking your project down this road. For one, are the tasks you’re looking to crash in the critical path? These tasks are going to impact the delivery of your project. If the tasks aren’t in the critical path, you can probably ignore them. Another thing to consider is the length of the tasks. A short task will be hard to speed up, especially if it doesn’t repeat throughout the project. Long tasks are going to usually have some fat to trim. But regardless of the task, you need to have resources available. If you don’t have access to the right resources, then it makes no sense for project crashing. Having to get new materials or team members is likely going to be too costly to be effective. Related: How to Make a Resource Breakdown Structure (RBS) Another consideration is if it would take too long to ramp up the project crashing; for instance, if the project involves very specific skills and on boarding new team members would be costly and time consuming. While it might seem logical to crash at the end of the project when it is becoming clear you’re not going to hit your target, most experts suggest avoiding that scenario. Project crashing is most effective earlier in the timeline—usually when a project is less than halfway done. Project Crashing Management Stages Once you’ve made the decision to use project crashing, there are some steps you’ll want to follow to get the results you want. 1. Critical Path The first thing to do is analyze the critical path of your project. This will help you determine which tasks can be shortened to bring the project to a close sooner. Therefore, if you haven’t already, calculate your critical path, see which tasks are essential and which are secondary to the project’s success. 2. Identify Tasks Get a list of all the tasks you have, then meet with those who have been assigned to complete them. Ask if they believe any of the tasks they’re responsible for are in the critical path and can be cut down. Then, start looking for ways to tighten up those tasks. 3. What’s the Trade Off? Once you’ve narrowed down the tasks in the critical path that you believe can be shortened, start calculating how much adding more resources will cost. Find the tasks that can be allocated additional resources, and come in sooner with the least amount of strain on your budget. 4. Make Your Choice When you know what you will have to spend (compared to how much time you’ll save) for each of the tasks in your critical path, you must now make a decision and choose the least expensive way forward. Project crashing is not just adding resources to get done faster, but it’s getting the most in return for that extra expense. 5. Create a Budget Like any project, once you’ve decided on your plan, you have to pay for it. Making a project crashing budget is the next step in executing your project crashing plan. You’ll have to update your baseline, schedule and resource plan to align with your new initiative. How Makes Project Crashing Easier Project crashing involves knowing your resources and then reallocating them. If time is working against you, then this process needs to be as efficient as possible. is an award-winning software that tracks your resources, teams and projects to boost productivity. Our resource management software is cloud-based, meaning that the data you see is the most current picture of your project resources possible. You also get visibility into what your team is doing as they’re doing it, including costs. This allows you to make better decisions. Track Resource Costs All your resources can be identified, from teams to supplies, equipment and more. When you add the hourly rates to the project, you can see them across all our software features. Once you team logs their hours, we calculate the actual costs for you. Then, they can be compared to the planned costs, so you know immediately if you’re on target. Use the Gantt to Schedule Resources & Tasks Use our online Gantt chart tool to schedule your resources. Assignments can be made while in this view. A popup window will also tell you how many hours your team member is working, and if they have too many or too few tasks assigned to them. The Gantt will also filter the critical path, estimate planned costs for your resources and set a baseline. You can even track progress on the Gantt, or by using our real-time dashboard. Balance Your Team’s Workload for Efficient Project Crashing To make sure your project crashing management plan isn’t overloading some of your team while others are under-allocated, use the workload page. On the color-coded chart, you can easily see who has too many tasks, balance the workload or assign them to the project crashing. gives you the tools to control your resources and quickly move them around to execute your project crashing management. You can plan it on our Gantt chart, track progress on the dashboard and even report to stakeholders with reports that can be filtered to show them the data they ask for. See why tens of thousands of teams at organizations as varied as the Bank of America and NASA are using our software. Take this free 30-day trial now.   3 Best Project Management Charts for Project Planning Best Resource Management Software of 2020 How to Calculate Resource Utilization for a Project Top Project Management Conferences of 2019
管理项目从来没有足够的时间。 这就是我们制定时间表的原因,它试图控制时间,正好足以在截止日期之前交付您的产品。 但是,即使最好的计划也往往会出错,以解释这首诗。 当项目经理偏离轨道时,他无权向利益相关者引用诗歌。 项目中的更改很常见,但项目经理有责任确保这些更改不会对项目进度产生负面影响 这是三重约束通常起作用的时候。 范围,时间和预算。 如果一个人落后,其他人必须弥补这一懈怠。 有很多方法可以调整项目中的内容,以弥补您的损失。 这包括沿途添加额外的资源,这是一种称为项目崩溃的方法。 什么是项目崩溃? 项目崩溃是指通过减少一个或多个任务的时间来缩短项目的工期。 崩溃是通过增加项目资源来完成的,这有助于使任务花费的时间少于计划的时间。 当然,这也增加了整个项目的成本。 因此,项目崩溃的主要目的是在缩短项目的同时将成本保持在最低水平。 就像三重约束所说的那样,如果您减少项目的工期或时间,那么成本必然会增加。 这是一个权衡。 崩溃的项目管理是三重约束的原因,要实现这一目标,您需要包含更多资源(如上所述)或减少项目要求或范围。 但是,如果没有发起人或主要利益相关者同意所做的更改,就无法实施如此严厉的措施。 项目崩溃的结果可能是更改了关键路径并出现了新的不同关键路径。 项目崩溃管理要求您返回项目进度表,以确保您知道由于项目崩溃而在那里发生的更改。 项目崩溃的不同解读 作为一个术语,项目崩溃并不是刻板的,它可能意味着一些不同的东西。 这可能是指花更多的钱来更快地完成工作。 它也可以指指出关键路径,在那里提供更多资源,而不必考虑效率。 或者,您可以查看关键路径,并查看是否有任何活动可以通过大量涌入而缩短。 缩短时间表的一种相关方法称为快速跟踪。 这是当您重叠最初计划单独运行的任务时。 但是,如果不先分析其可行性和风险,就不应采取此行动方针。 无论采取哪种路线,都应该对其进行思考和分析,这是明智的选择。 什么导致项目管理崩溃? 项目经理什么时候想增加投资以更早完成项目? 毕竟,很多时间和精力都花在了项目计划和进度上。 显然,由于项目崩溃需要更高的成本,因此除非有紧急情况,否则它不会被使用。 使用项目崩溃的原因之一是,如果该项目的计划安排不切实际,并且直到该项目已经执行后,才能弄清楚。 如果发起人,客户或利益相关者坚持不可行的截止日期,甚至可能在计划阶段发生。 另一个原因是,在变更控制分析过程中(它显示了对时间,成本,范围或其他项目因素的影响),出现了一个必须立即解决的问题。 当项目管理过程中出现问题,使项目偏离轨道时,项目经理必须想出一种方法来锁定进度基准。 如上所述,除了项目崩溃以外,还有快速跟踪方法。 尽管我们正在讨论项目崩溃的问题,但最好还是选择快速跟踪。 有时您可以使用其中任何一种,但是如果项目已经超预算并且没有资金,那么快速跟踪是可能的选择。 项目崩溃时的最佳实践 项目崩溃通常是不得已的做法,而且并非没有重大风险。 在进行此项目之前,需要考虑一些事项。 首先,您要在关键路径上崩溃的任务吗? 这些任务将影响项目的交付。 如果任务不在关键路径中,则可以忽略它们。 要考虑的另一件事是任务的长度。 简短的任务将很难加快速度,尤其是在整个项目中都没有重复的时候。 漫长的任务通常会减少一些脂肪。 但是无论执行什么任务,都需要有可用的资源。 如果您无权访问正确的资源,那么项目崩溃就毫无意义。 必须获得新材料或团队成员,成本太高而无法发挥作用。 相关:如何制定资源分解结构(RBS) 另一个需要考虑的问题是,是否需要太长时间才能加速项目崩溃? 例如,如果该项目涉及非常特定的技能,并且在新团队中任职将是昂贵且费时的。 尽管很显然,在项目结束时崩溃将很可能使您无法达到目标,但大多数专家建议避免这种情况。 项目崩溃在时间轴的最前面是最有效的-通常是在项目未完成一半的情况下。 项目崩溃管理阶段 决定使用项目当机后,您将需要执行一些步骤来获得想要的结果。 1.关键路径 首先要做的是分析项目的关键路径。 这将帮助您确定可以缩短哪些任务以更快地完成项目。 因此,如果还没有,请计算您的关键路径,看看哪些任务是必不可少的,哪些是项目成功的第二要务。 2.确定任务 获取所有任务的清单,然后与被指派完成任务的人员会面。 询问他们是否认为自己负责的任何任务都处于关键路径上并且可以减少。 然后,开始寻找加强这些任务的方法。 3.有什么取舍? 在您认为可以缩短的关键路径上缩小任务范围后,请开始计算增加更多资源的成本。 找到可以分配额外资源的任务,并以最小的预算负担尽快完成任务。 4.做出选择 当您知道关键路径中的每项任务要花费多少(与节省多少时间相比)时,您现在必须做出决定并选择成本最低的方法。 项目崩溃不仅增加了资源以更快地完成工作,而且还从中获得了最大的回报,那就是额外的费用。 5.制定预算 与任何项目一样,一旦决定了方案,就必须付费。 制定项目崩溃预算是执行项目崩溃计划的下一步。 您必须更新基准,时间表和资源计划,以与新计划保持一致。 ProjectManager.com如何使项目崩溃更容易 项目崩溃涉及了解您的资源,然后重新分配它们。 如果时间对您不利,那么此过程需要尽可能高效。 ProjectManager.com是屡获殊荣的软件,可跟踪您的资源,团队和项目以提高生产力。 我们的资源管理软件基于云,这意味着您看到的数据是项目资源的最新信息。 您还可以了解团队的工作状况,包括成本。 这使您可以做出更好的决定。 跟踪资源成本 可以确定您所有的资源,从团队到物资,设备等等。 当您将小时费率添加到项目中时,您可以在我们所有的软件功能中看到它们。 一旦您的团队记录了他们的时间,我们就会为您计算实际费用。 然后,可以将它们与计划费用进行比较,因此您可以立即知道是否达到目标。 使用甘特计划资源和任务 使用我们的在线甘特图工具来计划您的资源。 可以在此视图中进行分配。 弹出窗口还将告诉您团队成员工作了几个小时,以及分配给他们的任务太多还是太少。 甘特图还将过滤关键路径,估算您资源的计划成本并设置基准。 您甚至可以在甘特州或使用我们的实时仪表板跟踪进度。 平衡团队的工作量,以有效地解决项目崩溃 为确保您的项目崩溃管理计划不会使某些团队过载而其他团队分配不足,请使用工作负载页面。 在带有颜色标记的图表上,您可以轻松查看谁的任务太多,平衡工作量或将其分配给崩溃的项目。 ProjectManager.com为您提供了控制资源并快速移动资源以执行项目崩溃管理的工具。 您可以在甘特图上计划它,在仪表板上跟踪进度,甚至可以向利益相关者报告可以过滤的报告,以向他们显示他们所需要的数据。 了解为什么像美国银行和NASA这样的组织中成千上万的团队正在使用我们的软件。 立即免费试用30天。 3个用于项目规划的最佳项目管理图 2020年最佳资源管理软件 如何计算项目的资源利用率 2019年项目管理高层会议