Starting to build framing members for the wall of a house before the foundation is completed.
Training employees in software before that software is written.
Completing code that relies on an API before that API is available.
Recruiting project members before roles and resource requirements are finalized.
Preparing and cleansing data before a database is designed and implemented.
Beginning to implement a strategy while running a feasibility study for that strategy.
Preparing for the next phase of construction while awaiting inspection of the first phase.
Beginning to assemble machines in a temporary location before a facility is fully constructed.
Filming the sequel to a movie at the same time as the movie itself.
Shooting the final scene of a movie while the beginning of the movie is being rewritten.
Signing event sponsors before an event venue is finalized.
Starting groundwork on a construction project while awaiting permits.
Disadvantages of Fast TrackingGenerally speaking, fast tracking increases risk and complexity. It can also decrease quality or performance. For example, signing event sponsors before a venue is finalized is likely to hurt negotiations and make them more complex. The result may be less favorable agreements than if you had selected the venue first.
Benefits of Fast TrackingFast tracking allows for increase parallel work. As such, it can increase resource utilization, decrease cost and improve time to market. This is when everything goes right. In practice, the complexity added by fast tracking can cause failures that add delays and costs.
Alternatives to Fast TrackingFast tracking is a type of schedule compression. The following are common alternatives to fast tracking:
Next: Schedule Compression
Running tasks in parallel that contain no mutual dependencies. Massively preferred to fast tracking.
Restructuring a project to have less dependencies. For example, removing the use of an API by writing some custom code that does the same thing.
Adding more resources to tasks on the critical path.
Assigning senior and high performing resources to tasks on the critical path.
Asking existing resources to work longer hours in exchange for compensation.
Reducing the scope to what is truly required by a deadline.
Breaking scope into manageable phases to deliver important things first.