Chapter 12. Critical Chain Project Management

New ideas are not born in a conforming environment.

Roger von Oech, President, Creative Thinking

In 1984 Eliyahu M. Goldratt introduced the Theory of Constraints (TOC) in a book entitled The Goal. Peter Senge, in his book The Fifth Discipline (Currency/Doubleday, 1994), stated that "to change the behavior of a system, you must identify and change the limiting factor," which Lawrence P. Leach, in his book Critical Chain Project Management, Second Edition (Artech House, 2005), called the best definition of TOC that he has heard. Still, it was not until the late 1990s that practitioners were able to link TOC to project management. Critical chain project management (CCPM) is the result of the linkage between TOC and project management. CCPM has grown in popularity and is making an impact on project success.

The second edition of this book contained a brief paragraph on CCPM. At the suggestion of several readers, I decided to expand my treatment of CCPM. That is the purpose of this chapter. I am aware that many project management practitioners and writers dismiss CCPM as just another way of managing risk, and suggest that it does not represent any new thinking about project management. It is not my purpose to settle that debate. I merely want to give some space to an idea, an approach, that all project managers will appreciate. The interested reader should consult Leach's Critical Chain Project Management.

What Is the Critical Chain?

As mentioned ...

Get Effective Project Management: Traditional, Adaptive, Extreme, Fourth Edition now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.