At one company, a project to produce a new valve is underway. The Gantt chart for this project has been created and supported. The date for the first finished product to come off the production line also has been firmly set.
The department's chief executive receives word from corporate headquarters that a competitor expects to have the same product on the market six months ahead of ours. We are ordered to cut six months from our two-year schedule.
As project manager, you and your team proceed to examine the Gantt chart to determine the amount of time that can be taken out of the schedule by using overtime and outsourcing. As a group, you form a conclusion on what can be done and on the additional costs that will be attributed to the acceleration.
In addition, you also examine the project's tasks and determine whether any can be compressed by using more detailed planning and parallel teams, and whether the deliveries of materials can be shortened with premium payments.
You and your team also concentrate on the critical path tasks and consider only noncritical path tasks when a shortened critical path task has made one of the noncritical tasks critical. You and the team also must consider any other task where D is greater than the slack.
After all this is completed with the appropriate risk analysis, your project team knows what can and cannot be done. In fact, six months may have been cut out of the original project timeline, but at great expense. Upper management now will have to decide whether this plan is cost effective.