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Effective Project Management: Traditional, Agile, Extreme by Robert K. Wysocki

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Chapter 10. Using Critical Chain Project Management

New ideas are not born in a conforming environment.

Roger von Oech, President, Creative Thinking

CHAPTER LEARNING OBJECTIVES

After reading this chapter, you will be able to:

  • Explain the difference between the critical path and the critical chain

  • Identify resource constraints and know how to resolve them

  • Use the critical chain approach to project management for single projects

In 1984, Eliyahu M. Goldratt introduced the Theory of Constraints (TOC) in a book entitled The Goal (current reference is Goldratt, Eliyahu, M.1992, Great Barrington Ma: North River Press, ISBN 0-88427-061-0). The basic idea behind the TOC is that every organization is constrained by at least one factor. That factor ultimately constrains the activities of the organization. In projects, that constraint is often the availability of people either in terms of numbers or skills. 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 ...

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