2 Three Challenges Choosing the right projects Getting each one completed more quicklyGetting more projects done without adding resourcesCritical Chain focuses on the latter two goals
3 Negative Effects of Trying to Do Too Much MultitaskingCutting task estimatesManaging people very closely
4 Critical Chain Solution Identify the system’s constraintDecide how to exploit the constraintSubordinate everything else to the above decisionElevate the system’s constraintIf, in a previous step, the constraint was broken, go to step 1
5 Critical Chain: Definition Longest chain of dependent events where the dependency is either task or resource related.Not necessarily equivalent to project duration.
6 Practices Don’t measure on accuracy of estimates Don’t measure on meeting deadlines“Relay Runner” work ethicAllowing new projects to start only when a “strategic resource” is availableNeed to protect projects from task time variations by using buffers(22A)
7 Practices, continued Reduce multitasking Use multi-project software and make sure the executive, project managers, and resource managers understand itImplementation of buffer management as a key process for identifying problems during execution
8 Task Estimate ExampleTask times are not deterministic, they’re estimatesVarious uncertainty factorsFirst task, modifying parts, is relatively easy.Last task, testing finished product, is highly variableDifficulties are found late in the work.
9 Example, continued “Student Syndrome” Skewed curve Inflated estimates Higher probability of finishing near the estimated duration.
10 Protection Focus on whether project, not tasks, finish on time. Deming: Common cause variation: sick time, machines breaking, etc. Take no action.Special cause: Things which should be addressed
11 Control StepsStart with best schedule, cut estimates in half, then add half of this back in as buffers.Resource-level the project.Don’t measure on completing on time or accuracy of estimates.Allow people to work on a Critical Chain task in a dedicated manner.
12 Control Steps, continued Change organization’s resource management approach so people can accept work earlier than expected.Implement a project buffer (30 to 50% of the critical chain)Implement feeding buffers.
13 Buffer Management Examine buffer reports frequently These show how far into a buffer a task has taken.Look at trends of buffer consumption
14 Managing ExecutionSet priorities based on which task is most penetrating the project bufferKeep data updated frequently, perhaps dailyNegative effects of multitaskingStrategic resource buffer“Drum” resource is the one most likely to impact the cycle time of all projects