Critical Chain

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Powerful yet simple techniques to solve project management’s toughest problems. This book teaches companies to drastically cut project development times resulting in early completion within budget and without compromising quality or specifications.

Project managers and your teams will benefit from Goldratt’s techniques of how to remain focused on the few critical areas and how to prevent your attention from being divided among all of the how to prevent your attention from being divided among all of the projects’ tasks and resources.

Especially useful for dealing with one of the most difficult and pressing management challenges: developing highly innovative new products.

About the Author:

One of the world’s most sought after business leaders – author and educator, Dr. Eli Goldratt. Eli Goldratt had been described by Fortune Magazine as a “guru to industry” and by Business Week as a “genius.” His charismatic, stimulating, yet sometimes unconventional style has captured the attention of audiences throughout the world. Eli is a true thinker who provokes others to think.

Eli Goldratt is the creator of the Theory of Constraints (TOC) and is the author of 8 books, including the business best sellers The Goal, It’s Not Luck, and Critical Chain. Goldratt’s Theory of Constraints is used by thousands of companies, and is taught in hundreds of colleges, universities, and business schools. His books have sold over 3 million copies and have been translated into 23 languages. Goldratt’s fascinating work as an author, educator and business pioneer had resulted in the promulgation of TOC into many facets of society and has transformed management thinking throughout the world.

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Editorial Reviews

Harvard Business Review
This valuable to two main audiences: project managers and senior managers…useful for dealing with one of the most difficult and pressing management challenges: developing highly innovative new products.
Anyone who doesn’t snap up a copy is missing a wonderful opportunity for professional and personal development.
World Aero-Engine Review
Critical Chain will revolutionize project management.
Harvard Business Review
“This is valuable to two main audiences: project managers and senior managers . . . useful for dealing with one of the most difficult and pressing management challenges: developing highly innovative new products.”
Harvard Business Review
From the Publisher

“This is valuable to two main audiences: project managers and senior managers . . . useful for dealing with one of the most difficult and pressing management challenges: developing highly innovative new products.”
Harvard Business Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780884271536
  • Publisher: North River Press Publishing Corporation, The
  • Publication date: 1/28/1997
  • Pages: 246
  • Sales rank: 117,905
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.04 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

Eli Goldratt is an educator, scientist, philosopher, and business leader. But first and foremost he is a thinker who provokes others to think. Often characterized as being unconventional and stimulating, Dr. Goldratt exhorts his readers to examine and reassess their business practices with a fresh new vision.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    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.

    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:"

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2008

    Wonderful book

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    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 a

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  • Anonymous

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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