How to crash Primavera schedule to meet original target schedule?
Being a Planning Engineer/Project Planner, I guess every one of us had been asked to prepare the crashed Primavera schedule within a very limited time window. For Project Manager, it does not matter how will you further compress the already compressed schedule. For Project Manager, they just want the compressed schedule as per the Project finish date was given to you and that is also in next few minutes sometimes.
There is another very famous question being faced by almost every Project Planner, “what has to do now to finish the project on time as per original Target”
And the management has assumptions that we Planner has a magic stick, we can just use that magic stick and will create a recovery schedule in the minutes which let the team know “how to move forward to finish the project on time”. This problem becomes more nightmare to those planners who are handling multiple projects. Only we planners know the pain of crashing the schedule to meet required project finish date.
Sometime back, one of my users had been asked to submit the detailed activities schedules which must be showing what has to do now to finish the project on time as per original Target. Her manager asked her to submit crashed schedules (6 projects) in a couple of hours. She asked me to help her out. Begin a Primavera P6 SME, I had to do it which I had never done before.
At that time, it was clear to me that we cannot complete that challenging task with the traditional way of scheduling. I requested for some time to find out some sort of shortcut to do it in that limited time window. After an hour of R&D, I developed a trick by which we can crash the schedule to the required project finish dates in 5~10 mins only. And in this way, we have a schedule which shows the activities for how to move forward to finish the project on time. This is just kind of workaround but very handy for last moment firefighting.
1. I simply defined a Global change in activity page with the following condition.
2. Run the Global Change. Once executed, press F9 to schedule the project plan.
Above Global Change will one reduce one day from remaining duration from all critical activities. As you reduced the duration of critical activities on critical path hence it will compress the project finish date.
As Global change had been reduced one day from remaining duration from each critical activity so after scheduling the plan, the based on predecessor/successor logic, now you will have now another set of critical activities which may differ from previous critical activity set. Please understand the previous line carefully)
3. Now again run the same Global Change. In this run, Global change will first identify the new critical activities of the schedule and will reduce one day from each of the current critical activities.
4. Press F9 to schedule the plan. Again you have reduced the one-day from the remaining duration of all critical activities on critical path hence it will again compress the project finish date.5. Repeat step number 2 until to get the desired Project Finish date.
There are some points which you need to keep in mind while using this trick.
1. Please keep saving the global change logs so that you will have audit record of tasks performed.
2. Before committing Global Change, manually check the log, in case if any critical activity has 1 days or less duration otherwise global
change reduce its duration to zero days which will not be the real picture.
3. I will recommend, you must visit schedule activities after the Global change to check durations should not be less than the required.
This is just a trick, not the standard recommended method so please take it as the workaround only and use for last moment firefight only.
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