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
- 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.
- 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).
- 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 http://www.pqa.net/ProdServices/ccpm/W05002003.html
http://www.advanced-projects.com/CCPM/MindMap/CCPM_MM.htm-Mindmap on CCPM
https://mail.cognizant.com/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.focusedperformance.com/articles/ccrisk2.html - An excellent article on risk management in CCPM
https://mail.cognizant.com/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.compulegal.demon.nl/files/pm.htm%23CCPM – Links to lots of articles on this topic