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Critical Chain Project Management

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Presentation on theme: "Critical Chain Project Management"— Presentation transcript:

1 Critical Chain Project Management

2 Three Challenges Choosing the right projects
Getting each one completed more quickly Getting more projects done without adding resources Critical Chain focuses on the latter two goals

3 Negative Effects of Trying to Do Too Much
Multitasking Cutting task estimates Managing people very closely

4 Critical Chain Solution
Identify the system’s constraint Decide how to exploit the constraint Subordinate everything else to the above decision Elevate the system’s constraint If, 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 ethic Allowing new projects to start only when a “strategic resource” is available Need 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 it Implementation of buffer management as a key process for identifying problems during execution

8 Task Estimate Example Task times are not deterministic, they’re estimates Various uncertainty factors First task, modifying parts, is relatively easy. Last task, testing finished product, is highly variable Difficulties 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 Steps Start 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 Execution Set priorities based on which task is most penetrating the project buffer Keep data updated frequently, perhaps daily Negative effects of multitasking Strategic resource buffer “Drum” resource is the one most likely to impact the cycle time of all projects

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