Document Type

Closed Project

Publication Date

Winter 2017


Tim Anderson

Course Title

Operations Research

Course Number

ETM 540


In any company, there are plenty of factors which can move a project past its deadline. It's very common for some project tasks (Activities) to be complex than anticipated or to have turnover on the project that requires to bring new resources up to speed. Sometimes, many project activities are simply underestimated and they end up taking more time than predicted. Regardless of how it happens, most of the times managers discover that projects are trending beyond committed deadlines. If it’s still the beginning of the project, some corrective actions could be taken to bring project back on track. But, closer to project deadline, choices dwindle. In spite of such situations, project deadlines can’t be easily delayed or postponed as most of the projects in a company are interdependent in nature while sharing resources to maintain economies of scale. Changing customer demands or pressure of stiff competition in the market also force managers to get the project done before deadline.In such cases, companies prefer the option of ‘Project Crashing’ which simply means applying additional resources to the critical path or the sequence of activities that must be completed in required schedule. It's always possible to just throw more resources on the critical path, but crashing also means to get the biggest schedule gain for the least amount of incremental costs. To study the issue of Project Crashing and high crashing cost related to it, we examine the case of Siemens Energy Inc. Siemens Energy Inc. is a division of a large European company Siemens AG which has operations in manufacturing and electronics worldwide. Similar to all companies, Siemens Inc. also deals with the issue of managing multiple projects in a given period of time. Management at Siemens Inc. would like to prefer developing a standardized method or model that can help managers to make informed and rational decision which can help them to accomplish all the project activities in time with the least extra cost incurred. To begin with, we reviewed past literature available on Project Management. Most of them mainly focus on approaches used for schedule compression. In addition, we also reviewed past literature on optimization methods used for project crashing. Understading the past researches and the need of a robust and widely applicable optimization model for this classic but important problem, an attempt was made to address this Project Management. Hence, a model was developed using Linear Programming and Excel Solver which aims at meeting the project deadline with minimum cost.


This project is only available to students, staff, and faculty of Portland State University

Persistent Identifier