Schedule Execution Scenarios & Trade-offs

Powerful project models can be developed by considering different schedule execution scenarios and resource trade-offs.

Instead of working with single-time estimates i.e. assuming an activity can only be executed in a single-mode determined by a fixed duration and a fixed resource allocation, several possible execution scenarios (multiple-modes) may be defined.

Each mode reflects a feasible way to combine an activity’s duration and resource allocation. For example, by varying the number of resources assigned, the method used, the working week etc. there is considerable freedom to choose a deliverable’s duration, which leads to a different schedule and as a consequence a different project duration.

Several trade-off types exist,

  • Time / resource trade-off
    • By calculating duration by varying number of units for fixed work.
  • Resource / resource trade-off
    • By resource substitution i.e. an activity performed by 2 experienced workers else one experienced and two junior workers.
  • Time / cost trade-offs
    • By considering different time outcomes for increased / decreased costs ie project crashing.

The concept of multiple execution modes results in powerful schedule models that are capable of mapping many important real-world situations occurring within a project.

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About Ian: I have more than 20-years IT Project Portfolio experience spanning vendor, solutions integrator and customer side both for private and government organisations. I have worked for Motorola, Ericsson, Vodafone, Dimension Data and Fujitsu amongst others. I am the principal of pminsight, a boutique consultancy specialising in empowering project organisations and professionals with project data-driven insights.

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