Copyright to Skip Reedy © 2012.
Published here December 2012.

Editor's Note | Constraints Management | Five-Step Process
Improving Production at Little Cost | Buffer Management | Critical Chain Project Management
Critical Path Method vs. Critical Chain Project Management
Critical Chain Rules of Engagement

Critical Chain Project Management

Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM) focuses attention on the few tasks that determine the duration of the project. Projects can be completed 25 to 50% faster, and at less cost. The critical chain is the constraint of a single project. However, CCPM is most effective in complex project environments and especially with multiple activities and projects that share the same resources.

Critical Chain Project Management is based on the Theory of Constraints. Drum-Buffer-Rope (DBR) is primarily used to manage production and CCPM is primarily used to manage projects. The distinction between projects and production is blurred. Is building a $200 million aircraft considered production or a project? The only real distinction is how you want to pay attention to the work.

DBR monitors the Drum and Buffer, not the process. DBR does not directly track each job or item. CCPM tracks the project as it flows through each resource, so it doesn't get delayed. High value and important projects use CCPM to continuously monitor status with confidence.

Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM) uses aggressive task durations with a buffered project commitment. Time buffers absorb the normal variation in task durations. Since Critical Chain focuses attention on the few tasks that impact the actual duration of a project, it changes behaviors. These behaviors change from only meeting due dates to completing tasks quickly, which is why Critical Chain is most effective with complex, multi-project programs that share resources.

The Critical Chain is the longest, task or resource dependent, chain of tasks in a resource loaded and leveled project. Critical Path Method only considers task dependencies. The Critical Path can have parallel tasks requiring the same limited resources.

Buffer Management  Buffer Management

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