Project Management For Dummies, 6th Edition
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Suppose your initial schedule has you finishing your project in three months, but your client wants the results in two months. Consider the following options for reducing the length of your critical paths:
  • Recheck the original duration estimates.
    • Be sure you’ve clearly described the activity’s work.
    • If you used past performance as a guide for developing the durations, recheck to be sure all characteristics of your current situation are the same as those of the past performance.
    • Ask other experts to review and validate your estimates.
    • Ask the people who’ll actually be doing the work on these activities to review and validate your estimates.
  • Consider using more-experienced personnel. Sometimes more-experienced personnel can get work done in less time. Of course, using more-experienced people may cost you more money. Further, you’re not the only one in your organization who needs those more-experienced personnel; they may not always be available to help with your project!
  • Consider different strategies for performing the activities. As an example, if you estimate a task you’re planning to do internally to take three weeks, see whether you can find an external contractor who can perform it in two weeks.
  • Consider fast tracking — performing tasks that are normally done sequentially at the same time. Although fast tracking can shorten the overall time to perform the tasks, it also increases the risk of having to redo portions of your work, so be ready to do so.

As you reduce the lengths of critical paths, monitor paths that aren’t initially critical to ensure that they haven’t become critical. If one or more paths have become critical, use these same approaches to reduce their lengths.

About This Article

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About the book authors:

Stanley E. Portny, PMP, is an internationally recognized expert in project management and project leadership. During the past 30 years, he has provided training and consultation to more than 150 public and private organizations. He is a Project Management Institute–certified project management professional. Jonathan Portny is the son of Stan Portny and a certified project management professional with strong technical and management background. He has extensive experience leading interdisciplinary and cross-geographical technical projects, programs, and personnel.

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