Critical Chain Project Management Workshop

Critical Chain (first introduced in 1997 by Theory of Constraints guru, Eli Goldratt) is a practical and proven method to manage the risk and uncertainty which is typically found in product development projects. This two-day, practical, hands-on workshop covers Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM) from project planning to execution.

NOTE: Participants are encouraged, but not required, to bring a laptop computer with Microsoft Project 2000 (or greater) loaded on it. You will be introduced to a simple add-on tool to Microsoft Project that performs Critical Chain and Buffer Management calculations for project planning and execution.

DAY 1:

Planning: Identifying the Critical Chain and Creating Buffers

  • The importance of creating goal-oriented plans that are clear and credible.
  • Learn a proven, visual project planning process that enables CCPM.
  • Focus on the 3 key elements of a project plan:
    • Tasks and logical dependencies
    • Resources
    • Task duration estimates
  • Focus on deliverables/handoffs at the functional/line interfaces rather than on the activities within the function/line. This is especially critical in product development environments, where being effective in project management requires understanding the creation, flow and exchange of information.
  • Learn how to account for limited resources and project uncertainty and risk.
  • Understand the importance of planning with a carefully selected, cross-functional team.
  • Learn how to get plan buy-in from the project team AND plan acceptance by management.

Execution: Buffer Management

  • Understand how Critical Chain creates URGENCY during project execution which will help the project team to stay “on task”.
  • Learn how to use Buffer Management as the operational metric “par excellence” for proactive, real-time project management.
  • Understand how Buffer Management brings FOCUS to your project during execution by regularly identifying the few, key tasks that may be constraining the project from success.
  • Learn how to use Buffer Management to give you maximum visibility during project execution to anticipate and proactively resolve issues that arise.
  • Learn how to use Buffer Management for effective, real-time task prioritization.

DAY 2:

Apply the learning of Day 1 to one of your key or upcoming projects. The instructor will be available to guide and coach participants in creating a Critical Chain project plan that can then be managed in execution with Buffer Management.