Project Crashing: What it Means and When To Use It

Project crashing in project management is a method used to speed up a project’s timeline by adding additional resources without changing the scope of the project.

Project crashing explained

Reasons to crash the project

You may decide to crash a project for a number of tactical reasons, including:

What is crashing in project management?

Project crashing is also referred to as project time compression and project schedule crashing. This method of project management involves increasing the number of resources to quicken the project’s schedule. A project crash requires an examination of the planned resources to identify areas where more resources can be added to make project steps move more quickly. Calculating the return on investment (ROI) of this technique is crucial in deciding whether it is a wise investment because crashing a project almost always results in an increase in the project’s overall cost.

The critical path method is widely used in project management because it enables the determination of which crucial tasks must be completed and in what order to complete the entire project. You can accelerate the implementation or completion date and shorten the overall timeline by allocating more resources to specific tasks on the critical path. Examine the three crucial aspects of the project’s schedule, scope, and cost to determine whether it makes sense to crash it.

Project failure primarily affects the cost and schedule, with very little, if any, impact on the scope. Since the goal of this technique is to shorten the timeline for delivering the deliverables, if you decide to crash the project, you have ultimately decided that the cost is less significant than the schedule. You can shorten the overall schedule as you analyze the critical path and decide which tasks can be finished more quickly with more resources. This project management method does not include adding more resources to non-critical path tasks because they typically have no impact on the schedule.

Project crashing step-by-step

If you decide that stopping the project is the best course of action, follow these instructions to get the most out of this management strategy.

1. Look at the critical path

The critical path method, which identifies the tasks that have a direct bearing on the project’s outcome and timeline, may have been used in your project planning. Determine which of the tasks on your critical path can be shortened if more resources become available by looking at them. After that, you can make a list of those tasks and proceed to the following phase.

2. Assess the benefits and drawbacks for each step

You must weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each critical path step as you review your list to decide whether adding more resources would shorten any of them. You could, for instance, estimate the cost of adding resources and the benefits and time savings that would result from doing so for the project schedule. Make sure to account for the time required for training and knowledge transfer as one of the time reduction factors if you decide that adding another team member will enable you to complete some project tasks more quickly.

3. Determine the most cost-effective option

You can choose the option that will be the most cost-effective for your project as you weigh the advantages and disadvantages, as well as the cost of adding more resources. You might be able to skip this step if cost is not a major consideration, but most organizations will want to see the different options available and how you chose which method to use to speed up the project timeline. You can achieve the highest level of efficiency by selecting the project crash option that is most cost-effective.

Fast-tracking is an alternative to project crashing that enables you to finish some tasks concurrently that were initially intended to be finished separately. Fast-tracking a project doesn’t always work, especially if it has steps that need to be finished before moving on to the next. Examine any tasks that might overlap in your favor before deciding whether to crash your project; doing so may be less expensive than crashing.

4. Outline the budget and updated project timeline

You can outline your project and update your project timeline for the project sponsor once you’ve chosen the methods you’ll use to crash it. The sponsor could be a customer or your employer, but before you can start, they must first approve your budget and updated schedule. Include all expenses and time savings related to increasing the number of resources.

5. Move forward with the new timeline

You can start adding resources and accelerating the tasks involved in project completion once the increased budget and revised project timeline have been approved. This step might entail hiring new employees, allocating resources to your project, or providing training for those working on the project.


What is project crashing example?

Crashing is a compression technique that focuses on the project schedule to hasten the project’s completion date. Plausible examples of crashing include the following: Over-time. Allocating additional resources to specific activities.

Why is project crashing done?

Crashing is accomplished by adding more resources to the project, which enables tasks to be completed faster than originally anticipated. Of course, this also raises the overall project’s cost. As a result, the main goal of project crashing is to cut the project’s duration while also keeping costs to a minimum.

What are the 5 common reasons for crashing a project?

What Are Five Common Reasons for Crashing a Project?
  • Project Schedule Delay. There aren’t many options available to you if the project is running behind schedule for completion.
  • Resource Availability. …
  • Avoiding Future Delays. …
  • Time Bonuses. …
  • Extra Manpower.

What are the steps of project crashing?

  1. Step 1: Analyze the critical path. …
  2. Step 2: List all tasks that can be completed faster with more resources.
  3. Step 3: Calculate for each task: trade-off, gain, time reduction.
  4. Step 4: Choose the least costly approach. …
  5. Step 5: Give the sponsor a crashing budget and revised project baselines.

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