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Schedule compression is one of the tools and techniques for the PMI processes of control schedule and develop schedule. Schedule compression shortens the schedule without changing the deliverables. Some of the ways to compress the schedule are

crashing
add additional resources to get activities done faster; the disadvantage is that this often increases the cost
fast-tracking
activities that were done in sequence are now done in parallel or with overlaps; the disadvantage is that this can increase the risk

Before deciding to crash or fast-track activities, it is important to identify which activities can make a difference. The activities on the critical path are the ones that can shorten the schedule. Keep in mind that as the schedule is compressed, the critical path may change.

Related: leads and lags, start and finish times

See section 6.6.2.7 of the PMBOK, 5th edition.

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