Lean Project Management Workshop DRM Associates

This is a two-day, practical, hands-on workshop to apply lean principles to managing multiple projects in a product development system. Create a “PULL” system for projects that reduces queues and optimizes development batch sizes. Reduce waste in project planning. Increase speed (i.e. reduce cycle times) in project execution and deliver projects on-time.

NOTE: Participants are encouraged to bring their 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:

The “Pull” Product Development System

  • A “PULL” system for multiple projects that reduces queues and optimizes development batch sizes.
  • Understand the nature and the damaging effects of a high WIP (Work-In-Process) environment in product development.
  • Learn some simple techniques to gate the start time of projects to capacity rather than starting all projects ASAP.

Planning: Reduce Waste in Project Planning

  • Create goal-oriented plans that are clear and credible
  • Learn a visual project planning process that is proven to deliver lean project plans.
  • 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.
DAY 2:

Execution: Increase Speed in Project Execution

  • Learn how to use constraints management principles (Critical Chain and Buffer Management) to achieve speed in project execution (i.e. reduce cycle times) and deliver projects on-time.
  • Understand how Critical Chain creates URGENCY during project execution which will help the project team to stay “on task”.
  • 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.
  • At the multi-project level, learn how to define single, normalized Task Level Priorities across ALL projects that will help eliminate local bottlenecks in your product development system.


Apply what you have learned to one of your key or upcoming projects. Instructor will be available to guide and coach participants in creating a lean project plan with buffers that can then be managed in execution with Buffer Management.