Concurrency Is Needed For Project Management Fast-Tracking
Project Management Fast-tracking is a tool for schedule compression when uncompleted jobs in their current existences or in their further subdivided forms are transposed into independent fragments to enable simultaneous executions to accelerate completion. The premise of this method’s practicality is that remaining tasks must contain enough parallelism for exploitation. If the contrary is true, then crashing might be the only other viable option to explore project speedup.
The Triple R Method to Successful Fast-Tracking
How do project managers reshape their unfinished work to encompass enough asynchronous slices to allow for concurrent operations? What should be done to ensure that the original schedule is revised and heeded properly moving forward? How do stakeholders switch over to the remodeled arrangements seamlessly without being hampered by confusions and likely unaccustomed activities resulted from work disintegration? The answers lie in the triple R method – Remake WBS, Revamp Gantt chart, and Realign stakeholders.
Step 1: Remake WBS (Work Breakdown Structure)
When fast-tracking is chosen to be the tool for schedule rescue, the first thing is to redo WBS (Work Breakdown Structure). When WBS was done the first time, tasks were carved out based on common dissecting practice, manageability for outsourcing, interoperability of the pieces, and team member capability, responsibility, and availability. To maximize parallel execution, these criteria might need to be thrown out the window. Uncompleted works must be reorganized into as many independent new pieces suitable for simultaneous undertakings as possible as long as project integrity and dependency are maintained; this is the single most important yardstick for the reconstruction exercise. Although re-cutting unfinished work for maximal simultaneity may result in unorthodox items looking and feeling foreign to team members, thinking outside the box during repartition is absolutely necessary in this re-sculpting step to yield the highest parallelism possible in order to fulfill the desired schedule reduction objective.
Step 2: Revamp Gantt Chart
There is usually an inertia that needs to be shattered to allow fast-tracking to be effective. People are proficient and accustomed to do things in certain ways, and that was probably one of the main reasons why current tasks were split the way they are during the original WBS. Redefined work items may be so alien to some that they might still unconsciously follow the original schedule and assignments. This is why after WBS is redone, the project Gantt chart needs to be remade to map out the re-fractured jobs with recalibrated deliverables, durations, ownerships, budgets, and interdependencies. To guarantee success and minimize possible confusions, the renewed Gantt chart must become the only guide for all members to uphold to proceed forward. Outdated schedule misaligns on deliverables and dates, a fast-tracking version is imperative to dodge execution failure.
Step 3: Realign Stakeholders
It is very difficult for people to switch over to perform unfamiliar works efficiently and error free. To avoid this pitfall, stakeholders have to be brought into alignment with the amended project schedule and its governed new tasks in order to synchronize their efforts and results appropriately. Additionally stakeholders must be crystal clear of their revised commitments in order to properly tailor their actions and deliverables to the compressed plan. Therefore project captains must keep stakeholders in the loop from when fast-tracking was brought into the picture to until project completion. There is no room for mistakes especially when salvaging a schedule; adequate communication is the key to keep the stakeholders in sync with the entire fast-tracking operation.
Although the need for schedule compression is common and fast-tracking has been hailed as one of the two leading mechanisms to tackle schedule recovery, its triumph mainly depends on the proficiencies of its Project Manager in this dare to attain the required result. To heighten the possibility of accomplishing this mission, three exertions, called triple R, are suggested here to enable project practitioners to produce superior results in any schedule reduction endeavor.