Why consider changing current project management? Any change must respond to one of two possible situations. The first situation is to achieve a better result than is currently available and the second is to try to solve problems that exist today and have not been overcome. In the current project management, we find both situations.
The need to increase the speed in the delivery of projects exists because the competition is increasingly aggressive, with cheaper and better quality products and services, in this environment the need to develop projects with increasing speed is a situation that takes more importance. Traditional methodologies try to impose more precision or more control over plans and actions, but do not substantially improve the delivery time of projects.
In the same way, it is common to find in the projects a series of negative situations that impel to look for better ways to operate. Among the main problems we can find: The real costs over pass those initially defined; delivery time takes longer than planned; Despite more demanding control measures, the visibility of the project is not clear; the resources and those responsible for the execution of the tasks are not synchronized; changes and adjustments are made during the development of the project; resources are not available at critical moments of the project; the conflicts between the areas, managers, customers and suppliers is increasing; and profitability does not meet the ideal levels, among others.
The traditional management approach seeks to have solutions for each of the problems, omitting the causal relationships that exist in any organization. These solutions require more time from the people involved and therefore they have less productive capacity, thus entering a negative cycle that leads to the perception of insufficient resources constantly.
In 1986, due to the need to improve project management at Statoil, a Norwegian oil exploitation company, what is now known as Project Management with Critical Chain or CCPM is developed by its acronym in English (Critical Chain Project Management) . This company looked for Dr. Eliyahu Goldratt world expert in manufacturing and recognized by the book "The Goal", to analyze their processes and propose a way to improve, this requirement is born CCPM. This methodology goes on to propose a series of paradigms that question the traditional way of planning and managing projects and thus achieve unprecedented results in organizations that implement these principles.
Project Management with Critical Chain
Among the main elements that characterize the Project Management with Critical Chain, the following can be described:
Taking into account the possibility of having several projects in execution or several tasks in the same project, this situation allows the activation of multitasking. This generates a limited dedication to a task / project and go on to execute a different task. The consequence of multitasking management is the reduction of quality in the activities carried out, the increase in execution time and the increase in delivery times. These three elements cause low synchronization and low productivity of the work team. The Project Management with Critical Chain promotes the reduction of multitasking with different mechanisms of freezing of activities, which allows to increase the speed of delivery of the activities in execution, the greater focus of the person in charge of the tasks, the increase in the quality of the tasks and consequently increase the delivery capacity in projects with the same resources.
Eliminate local optimum:
The systemic origin of the Project Management with Critical Chain devotes its attention to the achievement of the objective of the system and subordinates individual activities to the achievement of the major objective. Therefore, this methodology implies eliminating the intermediate dates of the activities and the individual protection (in time) of the tasks that this implies. The aggregation of security for the entire project is the suggestion of this methodology. This mechanism is known as a buffer and applies both to the chain of dependent activities contemplating the resources - which is the Critical Chain - and to the chains of activities that, without being critical, are necessary for the successful development of the project. In this way, the project buffer and feed absorbers are defined.
Adopt a predictive and improvement mechanism
One of the greatest benefits in implementing this methodology is the achievement of genuine teamwork, where people are aligned to the same goal and where collaboration is born of an honest interest in achieving benefits for everyone involved in the project. .
The achievement of different results implies different actions, but this process must be carried out with caution as it is leaving the comfort zone of the person who implements it. So a systematic, gradual process is recommended to learn and establish a cycle of improvement based on the experience and application of this methodology called Project Management with Critical Chain.