Fast Track

Fast Track means that you look at activities that are normally done in sequence and assign them totally or partially in parallel. For instance, imagine that you are building a home.

A dependency that you face is that you cannot construct the house frame until the foundation has been laid and has dried.

However, if the house is large enough, you may have options to Fast Track by starting to erect the frame on the side of the home where the foundation was poured first.

The foundation will harden there first, and might allow you to erect the frame on that side while the foundation on the far side of the home is still drying.

Another example involves designing an IT application. Normally you would not start constructing a solution until the design was completed. However, if you were fast-tracking, you would start constructing the solution in areas where you felt the design was pretty solid without waiting for the entire design to be completed.

Fast-tracking always involves risk that could lead to increased cost and some rework later. For instance, in the example of designing and constructing an application, it’s possible that the design might change before it is finalized, and those final changes may result in having to redo some of the work already underway.

A good rule of thumb is that sequential activities can sometimes be fast-tracked by up to 33%. In other words, if you are fast-tracking, you can start the second of two sequential activities when the first activity is 66% complete.

There is risk involved. However, this seems to be a level of fast-tracking risk that is normally acceptable.

Float (also referred to as Slack)


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