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Hour 16. Fine-Tuning the Project Plan > Shortening the Critical Path

Shortening the Critical Path

Using the strategies for reviewing the various aspects of your project that have been covered so far in this hour, you might conclude that you need to make some adjustments in your plan. In most cases these changes revolve around time and money; there is seldom enough of both. For instance, you might need to reduce the time frame for your project. One way to do this is add more resources to get the job done; however, adding resources greatly affects the project's final cost.

The most straightforward method of reducing the time it takes to complete the project is to determine which tasks are truly driving the project completion; that is, which tasks are on the critical path. Recall that tasks that cannot be rescheduled without affecting the end date of the project are critical, and the sequence of those tasks is the critical path through the project. After you identify the critical tasks, you may be able to shorten their duration, or use other strategies, to compress the time frame for the project; this is called "shortening the critical path."


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