Using Fast-tracking & Crash techniques to Speed up Projects amid a Pandemic

Fast-tracking and crashing procedures assist in proper scheduling of activities, thus ensuring ventures run and end according to the set scheme.

Time is a crucial element in any investment and COVID-19 has made it a limited resource. If you don’t use time wisely now, you will find that delays and missed appointments are a common occurrence.

Unexpected adjustments like this pandemic are bound to arise within project schemes. Fast-tracking and crashing come in handy when you need to carry out scheme changes, especially when you need to compress the schemed time.

Venture managers have the mandate to collect inputs, start, manage, and conclude ventures. The quality of management can determine the outcome of an enterprise. Proper management of time and other resources is critical in ensuring that a project venture is successful.

Sometimes a project administrator has to deal with more than one project. Such situations may prompt an expert to adopt program compression methods to increase the chances of finishing in time.

An Exploratory Introduction to Project program Compression methods 

Project program compression methods are time management tools that assist administrators in reducing the overall project completion time. Scheme compression should happen without affecting the scope of the venture.

Time is a resource that can make or break a venture. Compressing a scheme ensures you utilize time the best way possible and conclude tasks successfully. With such procedures, you can successfully end a project before its original deadline.

Such rescheduling processes assist project managers when various factors arise and affect the current progress of the venture. Such factors may include:

  •  Unrealistic time limits and schemes for crucial project tasks. 

When formulating a scheme, the project administrators may have set unrealistic or unattainable time limits. During the actual execution of project activities, managers may decide to compress the project program to ensure the venture ends on time.

  • Changes in customer expectations.

Most projects operate intending to design or formulate a project or service for specific clients or consumers. Such customers may require you to provide the service or product before the deadline, as mentioned earlier. When this happens, then scheme compressions procedures must come into play.

  •  Deviations in the initial scheme.

Spontaneous events tend to happen when you least expect it. For example, when risks occur, they may affect the progress of a venture. After applying the corrective measures, there may be a need to compress the current scheme.

Two separate project program compression methods exist within project management. They include fast-tracking and crashing procedures.

Compressing project programs helps managers apply these two procedures in their administrative work and their day to day activities.

  •  Presence of unexpected risks. 

In any type of project, there is a probability of unusual and undetermined risks to occur. Such risks can be a result of machine failure, power surge, or absenteeism of a team member.

These risks can cause a project to fall behind the scheme forcing a project manager to execute fast-tracking and crashing options.

 Fast-tracking Method within Project Time Management. 

Within fast-tracking, all sequential project tasks change and run simultaneously. In the original program, the activities would have run one after the other. However, in quick tracking, all the critical tasks run concurrently.

Such a method does not require you to incur any additional costs. All you have to do is reorganize tasks to ensure they run concurrently rather than sequentially. However, it is essential to note that quick tracking may end up costing you additional time.

The first step in any fast-tracking process is identifying and analyzing the project’s critical scheme. A Critical scheme is a plan of how the essential steps project will occur and when they will happen.

Once you do this, identify processes that can happen either fully or partially alongside other tasks. It is also important to monitor activities that relate closely to the critical process. If they change the priority to significant, you can easily adjust your scheme to fast-track them.

You should always fast-track activities by up to a third. In simple terms, you can initiate a sequential process when the initial one is about two-thirds complete. In such a situation, you will be running activities concurrently with minimal issues or interruptions.

Fast-tracking is often the primary option for project managers when it comes to scheme compression. However, it also comes with a probability of reorganizing and overlapping tasks.

Fast-tracking can lead to reorganizing and redoing of tasks. Reorganizing tasks puts you at the risk of rearranging the whole project. In the end, it may disrupt the overall scheme leading to delays.

Redoing of tasks may arise if the quick tracking leads to a substandard result or product within the project. Such a process often leads to additional delays that affect the project completion scheme.

Good project managers should be able to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of fast-tracking. After this, they can make informed decisions on whether or not to use this procedure.

An example of fast-tracking:

Picture this; you are building a house for your clients—midway the project, you realize that your construction process is behind the scheme. As a project manager, you may decide to run activities such as electrical wiring, plumbing, and carpentry finishing concurrently.

By applying fast-tracking and crashing procedures, you can ensure you finish your construction ahead or on the scheme.

 Crashing Method within Project Time Management. 

Crashing is a final strategy that comes into play when fast-tracking is not efficient in recovering time within the project scheme. It aims at minimizing a project scheme as much as possible.

Since project administrators strive for timely completion of projects, this procedure is a necessary evil.

It requires additional resources such as capital, time, and labor. In the end, you may incur extra expenses and delays due to crashing. Project administrators should identify the most cost-effective crash option and implement it as soon as possible.

 Crashing procedures aim to analyze, identify, and rank project tasks in terms of associated crash costs and the time that the crashing saves. Once this happens, you should select functions that offer a high timesaving potential while still having an associated low cost.

Critical processes within a venture should receive priority when ranking the tasks. Such processes can make or break the project; hence PMs should consider crashing essential tasks then following with the other auxiliary tasks.

Crashing processes only makes sense when you apply the additional resources to ensure that project activities end before the schemed deadline. Project managers should always weigh the costs and potential benefits of crashing project tasks to make appropriate decisions.

Finally, always monitor project tasks that have the possibility of becoming critical processes. Doing so ensures that you can easily carry out crashing if the need arises.

An Example of Crashing: Picture this; you are undertaking a manufacturing project to create a product for a specific client. When you are nearing the end of the project, the client decides to move up the expected date of completion suddenly.

Due to this, you may decide to apply additional resources to ensure all critical tasks end before the newly set deadline.

 When Is It Ideal to Carry out Fast-tracking and Crashing Procedures? 

In most real-life situations, you will find that you may need to speed up a project’s activities to beat deadlines. Fast-tracking and crashing procedures help to bring about adjustments within the project scheme.

Project managers should always consider the sensitivity of tasks to the completion of the project. If a job is critical in a project, then quick tracking or crashing can assist in ensuring the timely completion of projects.

Depending on the situation and resources, you may need to choose between these two methods of scheme compression. If a task is not part of the project’s core, there is probably no need to fast-track or crash it.

Effective time management is a crucial component of any successful project. When you manage time effectively, you may not even need these scheme compression procedures. If you carry out proper planning, scheduling, and execution of activities, your chances of success will be higher.


Fast-tracking and crashing procedures are project scheme adjustment tools. Fast-tracking aims at ensuring that sequential tasks occur at once hence saving on time. On the other hand, crashing involves extra resources to ensure projects end before the allotted time.

Both procedures work towards compressing the scheme and reducing the overall completion time of a project. Scheme compression should always happen without affecting the scope of the venture.

A good project manager should consider each procedure’s advantages and disadvantages before choosing which one to use. Choose a compression tool depending on the urgency, resources, and situation of your project.