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How to speed up a project

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Martin Huis in 't...
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Dear All,

I am working in MS Project 2016 with some plannings, mainly product development project plannings with a lot of engineering tasks which I have all scheduled from a starting date onwards and then resulting in an end date.

Now the question I need to answer is how can we speed up a project?
Is there for example a type of resource which is the bottle neck?
What would the effect be if we would use additional external resources?

Questions like that.

What is now a smart way to play around in your planning and investigate these kind of questions?

Many thanks in advance!



Martin Huis in 't...
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Thank you all for responding!!

I have played around a bid in the meantime and what I have done so far is to create a report with graphs that are equal to the Resource Graph in the view section. So a horizontal time line and on the vertical axis the peak (and max.) units.

This way I got a better impression and in one single view of the actual unit assignment of all (seven) work resources over the duration time of the project. And I can see which one governs the end date and what the difference is with the next in line to govern this and how big the difference is.  

To answer the questions of Tom, yes to both.

Logic relationships are in place where needed and levelling is done on a week to week basis.  


Mike Testro
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Hi Martin

The first question you have to ask is "What are they doing on site?" Does it bear any resemblence to your programme.

Reconcile the two before doing anything else.

Best regards

Mike Testro

Tom Boyle
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Have you used logic relationships to prepare your schedule?

Have you loaded and leveled resources in addition to the logic?

These are starting points to identify the critical (and near-critical) paths that are controlling your overall schedule duration.  That should be the immediate focus of your schedule acceleration efforts, since by definition shortening tasks that are not on the critical path doesn't help.

Consider both "Crashing" and "Fast-tracking" activities.  "Crashing" typically means adding resources to complete the work faster.  Assuming your original schedule was based on the most efficient approach to the work, crashing can imply a loss of efficiency and corresponding increased cost for the shorter schedule.  For example, supplemental (i.e. external) resources are typically more expensive than internal resources. Fast-tracking means overlapping some activities that would normally be done sequentially.  This typically increases technical risks and the potential for rework - potentially increasing overall cost and duration.


Good luck, tom

Rafael Davila
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Do a what-if-analysis to simulate different scenarios and analyze what is the impact it has. Just create as many duplicates of your schedule you want saving them under a different file name.  Input the assumptions on each schedule and compare the outcomes.

You can try:

  • adding resources such as instead of one engineer/crew assign two to same activity.
  • alternatively split the activity into chuncks that can work at same time or with some overlap.
  • adding shifts such as a crew working during the day and another crew working at night on same activity
  • increasing the overlap of activities.
  • increasing the work hours.
  • changing the whole crew includding equipment to a higer production crew.
  • any other optiont that might occur to you.