How decision model goals & objectives translate to a schedule

How decision model goals & objectives translate to a schedule

In this example the team needed to determine which market segment to target for a new product. The choice of segment would then drive customer selection and eventual product definition around the driving requirements of the tier 1 customer in the selected segment. They believed that 80% of the segment's requirements would be captured from this driving customer, so selection of the right segment and customer was critical to realizing the project goals.

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Schedule pull-in makes the Refresh Planning process work

Refresh Planning is made up of the following elements:

  • Update (looking back to record what was done)

  • Pull-in (looking forward to breakdown long duration tasks and/or change the schedule to cause schedule acceleration)

Most teams only focus on Update, which is good, but it alone does not cause the schedule to accelerate. You really need to do schedule pull-in after each update.

Reserve 5-10 minutes at the end of the refresh session to seriously look for pull-in opportunities and then put them directly into the schedule so the team can see the result of the action.

You can aid this process by asking:

  1. What is on the critical path over the next 3 weeks?

  2. Looking at the critical path chain of activities, what can we do to accelerate this work?

  3. Specifically, can X be done at the same time as Y? Can we do Z faster in any way? Can Q be broken down into more detail and made to go faster?

  4. Finally, if all the above fails to generate a pull-in, ask if the work over the next three weeks can be done differently in order to make it go faster?

  5. If you get a pull-in, ask what the risks are with the new flow and what you can do to help mitigate them?

fastProject 4.8.8 Released


  • Problem fixed when breaking down a task when the schedule has a blank line (could cause the task to be broken down incorrectly)

  • Restoring Views/Tables/Filters improved and minor bugs fixed


  • Bug fixed where the ribbon would disappear in some cases with sub-projectsewfwe

  • Target status now reflects correctly the Target details when the target is in a sub-project

  • Displaying the “Latest baseline” when a target is in a sub-project, now displays the baseline for that sub-project

    • Note: this will also display the same baseline for all sub-projects, so bear in mind that if the sub-projects have not been updated in sync with each other, the baseline displayed for the other sub-projects could be a different date


  • Updating a schedule now automatically displays the Inspector and displays the information relating to the next Target. This allows the team to track changes to the target as the schedule is updated.


  • Options made clearer when a Wigglechart does not exist


  • Added a check for the fastProject defaults not being set, indicating the schedule should be converted.

fastProject 4.8.7 Released


  • Warning when deleting a Target manually removed

  • Importing a schedule now

    • Sets the split bar up to the Duration column

    • Fits the schedule to the screen

  • Breakdown

    • Can now add prefix to multiple selected summary tasks

    • Bug fixed where breaking down an in-progress activity with a finish date in the past and tasks are not linked would cause an error

    • Doing an Unbreakdown now displays the task bar in the Gantt chart (since it may have been a Summary with the task bards hidden)

  • Updated training files

  • Link to Blog fixed


  • After an Update, the Inspector is now automatically invoked

  • Optimized the Refresh interface so the functionality works left to right

  • Bug fixed when trying to run the Wigglechart when the Wigglechart is open. The Wigglechart can be run when open, but only if opened via fastProject, otherwise the user will get a warning to close the Wigglechart.

Macro-micro Roll-up

  • New “Create Macro from Micro” function added. This will delete all subtasks to a roll-up task while moving external dependencies to the associated roll-up task

  • Added an additional test to check for Touchpoints in the macro - these buts be contained within a summary task

  • Updated Macro-micro Roll-up documentation

  • Added a new function “Find duplicate task names” which finds tasks with the same name that can cause problems with the roll-up

  • Added “Display timing analysis” as an option in the initial dialog box

  • Documentation updated (V2.0)

Macro Mind-Mapping

Macro Mind-Mapping

In this screencast I’ll discuss Macro Mapping, which is a planning technique we use to organize a top-level macro plan. This mind-mapping approach causes a team to look holistically at a program from beginning to end... from a macro perspective. This way of looking at a program from the top-down is a key characteristic of fast teams we’ve worked with over the years.

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