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Posted March 7, 2009
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Very good introduction to Critical Chain -- the application of Theory of Constraints to Project Management
A business novel introducing the use of the Theory of Constraints in Project Management.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Like Goldratt's book The Goal, Critical Chain is written as a novel not like a project manager's how-to guide. This book is a story about a professor trying to attain his tenure at a university's business school. The plot is used to maintain interest in the subject and provide a real life feel to the book. It provides plenty of real-world examples. The plot of the novel is three fold:
* A professor trying to become tenured,
* A business school's struggle improve enrollment,
* Teaching philosophy,
* Applying the Theory of Constraints to project management
The reason for the book is the last point.
A complete synopsis of the book my be found at: http://ecaminc.com/Books/CriticalChain.html"
Posted January 17, 2008
This is an excellent book that focuses Critical chain implementation in projects. This is written in form of a business novel and in a simple english. This is MUST-READ for all those who are aspiring to use their time effectively in projects and get better results.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 2, 2006
Great Concepts That Can Increase Your Schedule Accuracy
The concepts that are presented in The Goal and then extended to Project Management in Critical Chain are exquisite in their simplicity. However, their deviance from classical thinking keeps them from being universally accepted. I don't disagree with Mr. Mitchell's review, however, if we take these concepts in their appropriate context, scheduling is a critical aspect of Project Management (albeit only a portion of the puzzle). Even though I have not used these techiques specifically as outlined here, the techniques expoused here are extemely consistent with my own estimating and scheduling techniques which have resulted in an unprecented track record of completing software development projects on-time and on-budget. I highly recommend this book, just be aware that it is not a silver bullet. Taken within the context of a mature and effective Project Management framework, they can add several more points of accuracy to your project execution.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 29, 2001
Helpful Thoughts About Scheduling and Coordinating Projects
There is an old saying. To a carpenter, every problem looks like a nail. Having now read two of Mr. Goldratt's books, it appears that to him every management issue is a scheduling and coordination problem. While that's true, product development management of difficult tasks is also sensitive to many other things like getting competent resources, having the right amount of input from each function early in the process, and developing the ability to produce the finished product efficiently and effectively. Those other issues are essentially untouched in this book. Think of this book as applying the system coordination and optimization concepts of Mr. Goldratt's famous novel, The Goal, to project management. If you have already read The Goal, this book will be much easier to understand than if you have not. Although many of the same concepts are explained here as in The Goal, the explanations in this book are not nearly as thorough and clear. Also, the plot and plot line in this book will probably not be as enjoyable to you as The Goal. I rated the book down two stars for these kinds of weaknesses. If you have read The Goal, Mr. Goldratt basically substitutes scheduling safety margins for work-in-progress inventory, and then applies the same debottlenecking concepts as in The Goal. If you have not read The Goal, Mr. Goldratt's argument is that schedules are put together with too much slack. Everyone wants to be almost sure they can meet a deadline. The deadkube date they pick usually relates to the most they can get away with. Usually, that much time is not needed and people start late. If they end early, they never tell anyone. So any delay puts the whole project back because there is no project scheduling slack. With many tasks going on simultaneously, often none of them get done well. The solution is to cut back on each individual schedule in favor of having all of the slack managed for the whole project, and communicating frequently about when the work really will be done so the next step can be ready to take up the baton. Then focus all measurements on project completion, rather than task completion. Give priority to whatever can hold the whole project back. Add resources there, too, if possible. In doing this, focus on both activities and resources as potential bottlenecks. The book also has some good sections on how to negotiate with external suppliers to improve performance, and how to think about the tradeoffs between speed and cost as a supplier and as a purchaser of supplies and services. Without changes in top management policies, most project managers will not be allowed to use all of these principles. So be sure to share this book upward, as well as sideways, and downward in the organization. If you are in a small company, it will be much easier to do. After you have finished reading this book, I suggest that you look at the last 20 projects that your organization has done. What was done well? What was not? Which of these issues can be helped by Mr. Goldratt's ideas? Which cannot? For these latter, I suggest you look for best practices and imagine what perfection could look like to design aWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 15, 2001
Been There, Did That
I was assigned to read The Goal and Critical Chain for my graduate course Psychology of Organizational Change. I came to this website to read the reviews for The Goal before starting it. The responses were mixed so I wasn't sure what to expect. I ended up really enjoying and learning from it - even applying it! Back-to-back, I read Critical Chain. I found it lumbersome, like Goldratt was trying too hard for a sequel, just tweaking environment and lesson a bit. Finally, two other points: 1) while the love stories provide a mental break from the quick-grab-a-piece-of-notepaper lessons, they are unnecessary 2) the books are stacked with information, and toward each ending I felt like 'enough is enough', the problems just kept generating new problems. It may model reality but each scenerio is written with so much description each problems takes pages to resolve. Go for The Goal.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 19, 2009
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Posted December 12, 2012
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