Friday, October 06, 2006

Critical Chain Project Management(CCPM)

Very recently I came across an article in one of the publications about Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM). After going through the introduction I found it very interesting and decided to research on that subject further. This article will provide an overview on CCPM and links to many good articles on this subject that I came across.

CCPM is based on the Theory of Constraints (TOC) developed by Eliyahu.M Goldratt. TOC is a management philosophy with a set of concepts, tools and principles using which simple solutions can be identified and constructed for seemingly complex problems. Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM) is one such solution in the TOC framework. CCPM is all about managing buffers and working through a project plan that will identify and explore constraints. CCPM works on 5 basic principles and they are

1. Identify the System Constraint
2. Exploit the Constraint
3. Subordinate everything else to the constraint
4. Elevate the performance level of this constraint (Increase its throughput)
5. Go back to Step 1 to identify new constraint

A detailed explanation of these principles with examples can be found out at

CCPM works using critical chain and this is different from Critical path. Critical chain is the sequence of both precedence and resource-dependent terminal elements that prevents a project from being completed in shorter time, given finite resources. If resources are available in unlimited quantities then a projects critical chain is identical to it critical path.
Main features that distinguish the critical chain from critical path are
  1. The use of (often implicit) resource dependencies. Implicit means that they are not included in the project network but have to be identified by looking at the resource requirements.
  2. Lack of search for an optimum solution. This means that a "good enough" solution is enough because: As far as is known, there is no analytical method of finding an absolute optimum (i.e. having the overall shortest critical chain). The inherent uncertainty in estimates is much greater than the difference between the optimum and near-optimum ("good enough" solutions).
  3. The identification and insertion of buffers:
    o Project buffer
    o Feeding buffers
    o Resource buffers.

A comparison of CCPM with traditional project management methodology can be found at

Other related Links on CCPM - An excellent article on risk management in CCPM – Links to lots of articles on this topic

Happy Reading!!!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

How to get PMI PDUs(Professional Development Units) easily

Hello Friends… After getting your well earned PMP certification many of you would have had these questions in you your minds, how do I get/claim PDUs? Do I need to spend lot of money in getting PDUs? Well… I had these questions when I completed my PMP Certification. I googled for hours trying to find out ways to get my PDUs. I have tried to compile below some of the easy ways I had found out in getting the required PDUs

  1. If you are a PMI member, join one of the special interest groups (SIG) that offers webinars. Membership to these SIGs will cost you around $15-$20 annually depending on the SIG that you have selected. Attend the webinars offered by them. You can do this from the comfort of your home if you have a multimedia PC. Each webinar will typically take around 45mts to 1 hour and attending this webinar will fetch you 1 PDU. There is no limit to the number of webinars that you can attend in your PDU cycle. You can even browse through the webinar archives and go through the webinars with topics that interest you. I myself am a member of Information Systems SIG and this group offers 1 new webinar every month. They also have a big archive of webinars. ISSIG also provide webinars as podcasts. What more can you ask for? Isn’t that a cheaper way of fetching some PDUs.
  2. Join PMIs Volunteer Programs. What this means is you can be a part of the projects executed by PMI. For Volunteer opportunities please visit PMIs Opportunity Page ( you find any opportunity that interests you, then you may submit an application at any typical project you need to spend at least 1-2 hours every week. PDUs are awarded depending on the project
  3. Join your local PMI Chapter and attend the chapter meeting. This will fetch you 1 PDU for every meeting. Attend the programs organized by the chapter. Each such program will have certain number of PDUs attached to it.
  4. The day-to-day Project Management activities that you do in your workplace can fetch you 5 PDUs every year. That means 15 PDUs in a typical PDU cycle.
  5. If you take any training sessions on Project Management topics or if you are a speaker at a Project Management conference, this can fetch you 10 PDUs.

The next thing that you will be having in your mind will be how to claim these PDUs. It is as easy as getting them. Visit the website Logon to this site with your PMI Membership number, PMP Certification Number and first four digits of your surname. If you are not a PMI member please contact PMI Customer Care Centre. However you will need to maintain the documents relating to your PDU activities so that it can be submitted to PMI if you are selected for an audit.

Feel free to contact me ( if you have any questions on the above article

Happy PDUing…..