Critical Chain Rules of Engagement
For Critical Chain Project Management to work, a number of rules and behaviors must be followed during project execution:
- Tasks and projects must be prioritized.
- Higher priority tasks have precedence for limited resources.
- A resource is to work diligently on one task until it is completed.
- Resources are to turn in work when completed (task deliverables are available).
- Tasks must have all inputs available before starting.
- Task status is to be reported as Remaining Duration (effort only).
- Status is collected frequently, usually daily.
Project execution decisions are based on Buffer Management. If a task takes longer than its aggressive planned duration, the buffer will shrink. If a task completes in less time than planned, the buffer will expand.
For every project, the percent of Buffer Used (%BU) is compared with the percent of Critical Chain Completed (% CCC). The relative buffer impact (%BU/%CCC) is used to prioritize management's focus where it is most needed. Resource assignments and special assistance are based on this Buffer Management. During execution, these high priority tasks get management attention. Lower priority (less buffer impacting) tasks receive very little management attention.
Task start and due dates are relatively unimportant in CCPM. What is important is completing the most important work rapidly, so that the whole project is completed as quickly as possible.
You could say that:
Critical Chain is like driving on Cruise Control for Projects