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3 Techniques for Breaking Constraints

The Basic Constraints

Resource and time constraints are a standard, altogether expected element of any project—but that doesn’t mean that anyone should accept the impact of them. This post by Marian Haus, PMP, shares three techniques to use against these constraints. They include resource leveling, schedule crashing, and fast-tracking.

The first technique is applied to a project’s schedule plan if you need to use every resource. It’s a matter of recognizing task priority and constraints, and creating a schedule that suites those restraints and priorities.

The next technique involves “schedule crashing”, which is explained in this example:

As an example, let's take a software project aimed at creating a new system, and migrating functionality and data from an older system. You could reduce task time by allocating more programmers to develop in parallel the functionality of the new system. Similarly, to shorten the data-migration time, you could replace a regular computing machine with a more powerful one.

Be aware that crashing the schedule will generally increase costs. And sometimes, there will be tasks that will have the same duration, no matter how efficiently they can be performed (e.g., monitoring the stability and reliability of a component for a fixed time). 

Fast Track (But Carefully)

The final technique is fast-tracking, which involves overlapping execution of certain tasks in order to decrease the amount of time the overall project will take to be completed. This is risky in that you’re pushing your resources harder, but if done correctly the strain will be much less than having the project come in late.

Read the full blog post here: http://blogs.pmi.org/blog/voices_on_project_management/2014/04/3-techniques-for-breaking-cons.html

About Matthew Kabik

Matthew Kabik is the former Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success. He worked at Computer Aid, Inc. from 2008 to 2014 in the Harrisburg offices, where he was a copywriter, swordsman, social media consultant, and trainer before moving into editorial.

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