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Schedule Compression
Fast Tracking


12 Examples of Fast Tracking

Fast tracking is the process of completing tasks in parallel where they have some dependencies between them. This may require modified work procedures, close coordination and extended risk management to accomplish. As the name suggests, fast tracking is done to improve delivery speed, often to meet a deadline. The following are illustrative examples followed by a fast tracking process.
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 Tracking

Generally 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 Tracking

Fast 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 Tracking

Fast tracking is a type of schedule compression. The following are common alternatives to fast tracking:

Parallel Tasking

Running tasks in parallel that contain no mutual dependencies. Massively preferred to fast tracking.

Dependency Reduction

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.

Resource Optimization

Assigning senior and high performing resources to tasks on the critical path.


Asking existing resources to work longer hours in exchange for compensation.

Scope Reduction

Reducing the scope to what is truly required by a deadline.


Breaking scope into manageable phases to deliver important things first.
Next: Schedule Compression
More about schedule compression:
Best Effort Basis
Pareto Analysis
Project Management
Schedule Compression
Schedule Risk
Time Management
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