Chapter 8. Critical Chain Project Management

Critical chain project management (CCPM) is based on the theory of constraints developed by Dr. Eliyahu Goldratt. Simply put, CCPM is a project timeline approach that will cut your project durations by 25—50% . After hearing this, most CTO/CIO/CFO types tell me I am lying and go about their business. However, this approach requires that you move out of your traditional comfort zone, forget about what you thought you knew about managing projects, and get prepared to have the traditional project model turned on its head. This is another one of those mind-altering processes that will change the way you look at work from this point forward.

What is CCPM? To understand that better, let's look at the way a typical project is managed. You're the PM on a team that is rolling out a new system that uses some prebuilt software components, has a good bit of new development, and has to integrate with an existing system.

You have a deadline nine months out (39 weeks) that is etched in stone because there are some regulatory compliance issues that must be addressed by that time, so ultimately your project's primary constraint is the timeline.

You have assembled an experienced team that consists of system architects, network architects, certified Java and C++ developers, DBAs, and Online Documentation and Test. There are a few green-beans who are apprenticing to more experienced team members. These folks are out of school with CS degrees and can code, but ...

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