Crashing is the method of shortening a project’s completion time by adjusting its scope or adding resources.
When a project’s production duration needs to be shortened, the first resort is usually fast-tracking: adjusting project activities so that they’re done in parallel and less time is consumed. This usually doesn’t require additional costs. But if this isn’t possible—or if the schedule still requires more snipping after your initial changes—then it may be good to start crashing.
Crashing’s Not for The Faint of Heart
Crashing will require you to negotiate with stakeholders because it could require you to cut off some features (change of scope) or add budget to speed things up (e.g., adding team members or availing of rushed services). Too, crashing inevitably ends up impacting more dependencies than initially anticipated. So before you take a hammer to your project plans, consider the ramifications carefully.
Why Should You Crash Your Project?
Crashing may be necessary due to multiple circumstances.
Delays can be caused by an unavailable dependency. They can also arise because of inaccurate project estimates. Spotting these early will help you take measures to protect your project’s finish time by crashing your schedule altogether.
Delayed Project Start Day
If your project’s success is highly dependent on timely completion, then a delayed start date heavily compromises your likelihood of success.
For example, if you’re constructing a stage for a wedding, it’s paramount that you finish preparations before the celebration itself. Starting preparations late would need you to either add manpower to your team or refrain from making the design too complex and difficult to mount.
Need To Reduce Budget
Usually, a project’s production cost increases the longer it stays in production. Unprojected project costs including office rent, ultilities, salaries, etc. can sink a project’s overall success.. If your project budget is suddenly cut, then it can become necessary for you to crash your project.
However, given that budget is your main constraint, this will limit your action plan to just adjusting the scope.
When you’re thinking of crashing your project, think about your crash cost per time: the direct cost associated with the changes you want to implement. For example, if you want to pay for a rush fee to process an important document in a shorter amount of time, how much will that be?
Evaluate this against what you stand to gain when you successfully crash your project. Your goal should be to figure out the option with the lowest crash cost per time that garners the most benefits, monetary or otherwise.
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How To Speed Up Your Project Timeline
The triple constraints of a project are scope, time, and cost. To manage one, you’ll usually need to adjust the other two.
An example: You need to mount your launch event sooner than what was originally scheduled to beat a competitor to it.
Option 1: Adjusting Cost
Adjusting costs can mean can mean hiring more people, purchasing more sophisticated equipment, paying for rush and priority fees, and other factors.
Adjusting costs can be a good option if stakeholders are willing and if what you’re planning to purchase is available. However, not all tasks can be made speedier through this option.
When you’re writing code, for example, adding more programmers won’t always make the project faster. On the contrary, having too many hands can make the team more prone to mistakes.
Another instance is if the task is time-dependent. For example, if you’re printing tarpaulins that require six hours to dry, regardless of how many personnel you add to your team, your drying time will still stay the same.
It’s advisable to add resources to critical path activities to ensure that adjusting costs will impact project completion. Following the product launch example from the previous section, assume that activities involving the execution of the program (finding the hosts and performers and rehearsing them) are the critical ones. To crash your preparations through budget adjustments, you can opt to pay hosts and performers overtime fees so they can work longer hours for the days leading up to your event.
Option 2: Adjusting Scope
When cost won’t help you crash your project or if the resources aren’t available, explore removing features or adjusting your team’s scope.
A review of your product’s or service’s main objectives and key success indicators will be necessary for this. Which features are core features, and which ones are nice-to-haves?
For example: If you’re building a food delivery app, you will need to retain menu , location tracking, , and messaging features. If you were to adjust the scope, you can cut something like the color-changing options to your user interface. This won’t affect your app’s purpose but it will lessen your team’s backlog.
Picking up from the product launch example, you may opt to remove some intermission numbers in the program to lessen the number of things your team has to prepare for D-day.
Use the Right Project Management Tools to Prevent Crashing
Managing your team’s projects may sometimes require crashing in time-sensitive situations, but implementing a good project management software will help you organize and optimize team resources and schedule. Five of the best project management software are listed below: they’re fantastic options for project managers, and they can help reduce the need for crashing and save time and resources.
monday.com Work OS is an award-winning no-code work management platform that helps teams manage projects and workflows more efficiently.
Used by 152,000+ customers worldwide, this fully customizable software lets you plan, manage, and track every project in one place. monday.com offers time-saving and easy-to-use features such as automations, time tracking, document sharing, and real-time collaboration. Multiple board views such as Gantt and Kanban help you structure and navigate tasks and projects the way you prefer, and dashboards give a high-level overview of your progress.
In addition, integrations with apps such as Outlook, Microsoft Teams, Gmail, and Excel, allow you to easily continue working with your favorite tools from within the platform. monday.com also offers dedicated solutions, such as monday dev and monday sales CRM, designed to answer the needs of specific industries.
Wrike is the most powerful work management platform on the market, enabling teams to plan projects and collaborate in real time. Our award-winning software is trusted by 20,000+ companies across the globe, including Sony, Estée Lauder, and Siemens.
Wrike’s customizable features include Gantt charts, request forms, dashboards, cross-tagging, time tracking, and proofing. Integrate with 400+ apps from the likes of Microsoft, Google, and Salesforce. Automate repetitive tasks and achieve 50% faster planning. Work from anywhere with 100% access to your files via our mobile and desktop apps.
Whether you’re a small startup or an established brand, Wrike has the solution for you. Paid plans start at $9.80/user/month. Join our community of 2.3 million — start your free two-week trial today.
Smartsheet is a leading work execution platform that has real-time work management features, collaboration and automation tools. Users are presented with a familiar and easy-to-use spreadsheet-like interface. However, it has enterprise-grade capabilities that even Fortune 500 companies like Cisco, Bayer, HP, and PayPal are confident to adopt in their business. Strong project management features enable teams to utilize different views of real-time data, and switch easily from Gantt, card, grid and calendar views. Smartsheet has automatic update requests, and can be used for waterfall and agile projects, product launch, sprint planning, and more. The resource management feature provides users the visibility who is busy, and who is not, in real-time. They can also attach files, share sheets, get notified, view the activity log, export, email, and print.
#1 rated with 20 years of real-world use, Workzone offers a suite of carefully chosen features, making it easy for everyone to use. Looking for lasting process change? Difficulty adopting a tool before? Get unlimited support from experienced trainers who will help you create systems & manage projects successfully for years to come. Starting at $200/month for a team of 5. Access the features you need (without the fluff), including collaboration, creative review, resource management, & reporting.
5 Zoho Projects
Zoho Projects is an online project management application that helps its users to plan projects, collaborate with employees and clients, keep track of time, manage documents, and generate charts and reports. Users work on a central platform where they can keep track of progress, discuss ideas, communicate easily and stay updated. It is cloud-based and highly accessible, where user data is kept safe with stringent security systems. The software is also scalable depending on the number of projects, with the option to add more features. Zoho Projects is a cloud-based project management tool that helps you plan your work, track it efficiently, and collaborate with your team wherever they are.
Built with small businesses in mind, Basecamp combines all the tools teams need in one place: message boards, schedules, to-do list, group chat, document and file storage and Kanban boards. Everyone knows what’s happening and where to find “that thing,” AND save money by paying for fewer tools.
7 Cerri Project
Cerri Project is a comprehensive PPM solution integrating project portfolio management and strategic planning features to drive value for your business.
Strategic execution of project portfolios, business initiatives and objectives.
Global capacity planning and visibility.
Streamlined workflows with process-driven project management.
GanttPRO is a project management tool based on Gantt charts. It is used by 800K+ CEOs, team leaders, project, and other managers from different spheres: software development, construction, marketing, retail, manufacture, event industry, and many others. GanttPRO offers a nice interface and short learning curve what allows teams to start working on their projects literally in 15 minutes.
9 Resource Guru
Resource Guru is the fast, flexible way to schedule teams and keep projects on track. Get full visibility of who’s available and who’s overworked, so people and projects succeed in harmony. Assign work, balance workloads, and edit schedules in seconds. Keep your team up-to-date with personal dashboards and daily schedule emails. Analyze utilization rates, clients, and projects for more accurate forecasts and budgets. Trusted by companies including NASA and L’Oreal. Try it free for 30 days!
ClickUp is one of the highest-rated project management tools today. Use Docs, Reminders, Goals, Calendars, Chat, scheduling, assigned comments, custom views, & more with this all-in-one project management tool.
Used by 800,000+ teams in companies like Airbnb, Google, and Uber, it brings all of your projects into a single app! Built for teams of all sizes and industries, Our fully customizable & proprietary features make it a must-have for anyone wanting to keep project management in one place.
Project crashing is compressing your project’s schedule to finish it earlier than your initial target. To manage this, you’ll need to adjust your project’s budget or scope. Evaluate the best method for project crashing based on your stakeholders’ preferences, resources available, the nature of your project, and your most important success factors.