Critical Chain: A Business Novel

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Powerful yet simple techniques to solve project management s toughest problems.

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This book teaches companies to drastically cut project development times resulting in early completion within budget and without compromising quality or specifications. Project managers and your teams will benefit from Goldratt's techniques of how to remain focused on the few critical areas and how to prevent your attention from being divided among all of the how to prevent your attention from being divided among all of the projects tasks and resources.

Especially useful for dealing with one of the most difficult and pressing management challenges: developing highly innovative new products.

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Chapter 3. Critical Chain Eliyahu M.

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  6. So, to make the system stronger, the organization must work to remove its constraints to achieve its goals. In many studies since the book was published, CCPM has been credited to improve project delivery performance especially when it comes to improving project duration, budget, and meeting of scope. As we know from PM, a critical path is that specific sequence of project activities that add up to the longest duration.

    The multiple sequences in a project chart are constructed by taking into account the pre-reqs and dependencies. The Critical Chain is defined as the longest chain [not path] of dependent tasks. The chain in this case is not the same as the path.

    Book Review: Critical Chain by Dr. Eliyahu Goldratt – Episode –

    The chain instead takes into account additional dependencies related to resources, resource constraints, and so on. By taking this view the author introduces a number of practices. These include introducing safety buffers at strategic points in the project flow , constantly monitoring the health of the critical chain, monitoring tasks on their remaining duration and not their percentage complete, and other such practices. Over the years, organizations have found these practices to be effective to deliver projects on time and within budget. The book introduces this concept of critical chain by narrating a story like in a novel.

    Business critical chain

    The story includes a number of characters from a university. For example, there is a professor who is aspiring to get tenure in the university but then finds him struggling to keep his job in the university because of the falling interest and enrollment in the executive MBA programs nationwide. Yet his engaging teaching style and specific work in a Project Management class earns him accolades in the institution where he teaches and also amongst his students.

    Throughout the story that mostly takes place in a PM class, the book highlights the frustrations that typical PMs and their management feel when attempting to deliver projects within the committed timeframes and costs.

    Critical Chain Project Management - 5 min. summary

    This leads to a discussion among the characters on the challenges with estimation techniques, managing vendors, managing seniors in the organization, and some other useful topics. The characters debate a number of PM concepts and discuss their feasibility and limitations. Some of the topics that characters discuss include critical path tasks vs non-critical path tasks, and late start and early start.

    The characters also discuss estimation errors and the drivers behind those errors, and building safety buffers at strategic places instead of adding them in each task.

    In one setting there was also an extensive dialog related to managing vendors and about negotiating with them on trade-offs between pricing and delivery timeframes. Now a few other things about the book. Also, due to the novel like a style of the book in which the author attempts to get a few key concepts across to the reader, you may need to read or listen this book a couple of times to understand some of the concepts.

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