Definition of Crashing (In Project Management Terms)

Crashing is a schedule compression technique used to reduce or shorten the project schedule.

The PM can various measures to accomplish this goal. Some of the common methods used are

  • Adding additional resources to the critical path tasks
    This option has various constraints such as the securing of the budget to add the resources, and the availability of the resources.
  • Reduce the project requirements or scope
    This can be done only if the sponsor and major stakeholders agree to reduce the scope

After applying the crashing, the critical path might have changed and result in creating a different critical path. Always revisit the project schedule to ensure the schedule has been crashed.

5 Other Definitions

  1. Crashing is the technique to use when fast tracking has not saved enough time on the schedule. It is a technique in which resources are added to the project for the least cost possible. Cost and schedule tradeoffs are analyzed to determine how to obtain the greatest amount of compression for the least incremental cost.
  2. Crashing refers to a particular variety of project schedule compression which is performed for the purposes of decreasing total period of time (also known as the total project schedule duration). The diminishing of the project duration typically take place after a careful and thorough analysis of all possible project duration minimization alternatives in which any and all methods to attain the maximum schedule duration for the least additional cost.
  3. When we say that an activity will take a certain number of days or weeks, what we really mean is this activity normally takes this many Project Management Triangle days or weeks. We could make it take less time, but to do so would cost more money.  Spending more money to get something done more quickly is called “crashing”. There are various methods of project schedule crashing, and the decision to crash should only take place after you’ve carefully analyzed all of the possible alternatives.The key is to attain maximum decrease in schedule time with minimum cost.
  4. Crashing the schedule means to throw additional resources to the critical path without necessarily getting the highest level of efficiency.
  5. Crashing is another schedule compression technique where you add extra resources to the project to compress the schedule. In crashing, you review the critical path and see which activities can be completed by adding extra resources. You try to find the activities that can be reduced the most by adding the least amount of cost. Once you find those activities, you will apply the crashing technique.

 

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2 Responses

  1. I haven’t heard crashing as a term before, but I’ve heard of the basic technique. It’s used in video game development a lot, where the scope or features may take an extra x months to implement, so the scope or features have to be cut.

  2. Avatar David says:

    This discussion would not be complete if resource elasticity is ignored. Not all tasks have resource elasticity and tasks that do have varying degrees of it. And work remains probabilistic so a task with strong elasticity may still not respond favorably due to many other epistemic and aleatory risk drivers.

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