Featured Posts

How To Create A Subscription Popup With 'Thank You' Page For Your Blog

One of the best ways to boost the number of blog subscribers is via popups. A well-designed, timed, and informative popup can greatly enhance user interaction to your blog and increase traffic. In this article, I will explain how to quickly create a cool popup like the one below for your Wordpress blog using PopupAlly plugin integrated with your MailChimp account, ...

Read More

8 Critical Techniques For Optimizing Google Adsense

Google provides an easy way to earn money from online content using Google Adsense. The article lists eight critical optimization techniques that bloggers should adhere to for better ad monetization. But first as a start, check out the online course provided by Google for all Adsense publishers who want to learn how to earn more from their website. This course helps in building your Adsense expertise through ...

Read More

Agile Methodologies: Lean Software Development (Part 1)

In this long article, we will briefly describe the Lean process, go through its history, then present its associated principles and techniques. This is the first part of the article and subsequently the rest of the content will follow later. Lean is one of the major Agile software development methods that aims at performing only the tasks that are absolutely necessary ...

Read More

8 Ps of Vision and Strategy

By Junaid Tahir   The young boy asked the old man, "why a fast running horse is better than the slow running horse"? The old man said, "it has developed the habit to produce more power so that it can run up to ten times faster than the slow horse" The youngster said, "and what if the horse is running in the ...

Read More

Agile Methodologies: Learning About Crystal Methods

Crystal is a family of related methodologies described by Alistair Cockburn in his book "Crystal Clear: A Human-Powered Methodology for Small Teams". It is a family of color-coded agile methodologies such as Crystal Clear, Crystal Orange, Crystal Yellow, etc. whose attributes are determined by various factors such as team size, system criticality, and project priorities. Thus the colors become darker as the size ...

Read More

Analyzing Business Strategy: The BCG Matrix

The BCG matrix, also called the Growth-share matrix, was developed by Bruce Henderson of the Boston Consulting Group, a private global management consulting firm, in the early 1970s to help multi-product companies properly assess cash demands of their products, financial resource allocation across their product lines, and investment/divestment decisions to improve their return on investment (ROI) and maximize their future growth and ...

Read More

Scrum: Learning it The Simple Way

Scrum is one of the best Agile practices used today that helps in building complex software products for customers through a simple fundamental process described below. Product features, known as user stories, are written from the perspective of the end user. The collection of all these user stories is known as the product backlog (PBL) which is basically a wish list of all the things ...

Read More

Scenario Planning: Supplementing Traditional Strategic Planning

It is clear the rate of change in today's work environments has been aggravating with more emphasis nowadays on smaller teams, incremental and rapid delivery, faster payback, and frequent project status reporting. This acceleration has instigated uncertainty that forced organisations to start supporting their strategic planning with a longer term perspective of planning called scenario planning or scenario thinking/analysis. Scenario ...

Read More

A Simple Method to Split a Wordpress Post into Multiple Pages

One of the most effective ways to increase the number of page views and decrease the bounce rate of your site is by splitting your long posts into several pages. In the first part of the article, you will learn in 2 steps how to split a post in Wordpress using the codex function wp_link_pages() and the <!––nextpage––> tag. In the second ...

Read More

Boosting Your Wordpress Site's Performance By Enabling GZIP Compression

Ever heard of GZIP? It is a simple software application that compresses/decompresses files based on an algorithm named DEFLATE. It works by finding similar strings in a text file and replacing them temporarily to make the overall file size smaller which would drastically improve the performance of your website. The algorithm perfectly works with CSS and HTML filetypes which typically ...

Read More

Improving Quality of Project Estimation

It is clear that estimating a project is important for the project manager to determine how long the project would take, to figure out how much the project would cost, to decide whether the project is worth doing, to measure variances against the baseline plan, and to take corrective actions. However some project managers nowadays tend to put minimum effort ...

Read More

Avoiding Common Pitfalls of High Performance Project Teams

Previously in one of my earlier articles, I discussed the key qualities required for a project manager to be effective in building a high performance project team. Believe it or not, though high performance project teams can produce incredible outcomes, there still remain some serious pitfalls that project managers need to be aware of in order not to fall victims ...

Read More

Contract Management Must-Knows For Project Managers

Contract management constitutes a major component of a project procurement system. Most work done nowadays on projects involves dealing with contracts or has a contractual nature. Although some companies have purchasing departments that specialize in procurement, one of the basic knowledge and skills of a project manager is to be able to read and manage contracts. This post basically discusses ...

Read More

Understanding And Managing Your Boss

The idea of “managing your boss” may sound quite unusual for some managers, considering the widespread adoption of the traditional top down management approach in most organizations. Even though talented and aggressive managers nowadays carefully control and administer their subordinates, services, and products, they might reveal, on the other hand, a passive stand with their bosses (Gabarro and Kotter 1993). ...

Read More

Changes in Project Management Processes Between PMBOK 4 And PMBOK 5

This post presents a tabulated summary of differences in the names, inputs, tools, and outputs of project management processes between PMBOK 4 and PMBOK 5. Note that terms in Red which exist in PMBOK 4 have been removed or replaced in PMBOK 5, terms in Blue have been newly added into PMBOK 5, and terms in Black have not ...

Read More

Critical Analysis of Porter's Five Forces Model - Information Technology (IT) Industry

In order to appropriately formulate their corporate strategies and distinctively compete in the market, organizations are in a need for a framework that would help them in understanding industry structure and in overcoming rivalry. This essay aims at discussing, analyzing, and criticizing Porter’s Five Forces model using a wide variety of academic literature. The first part introduces the model, discusses ...

Read More

Key Qualities For An Effective Project Manager

This post describes key qualities needed for an effective project manager. It discusses the differences between leading and managing a project, explains the importance of managing stakeholders, describes how to gain influence by reciprocity, stresses on the significance of leading by example and managing by wandering around (MBWA), explores how to deal with the contradictory nature of work, and finally ...

Read More

An Example Scenario Using Program Evaluation And Review Technique (PERT)

This post demonstrates how to use PERT (Program Evaluation and Review Technique) to compute the weighted average duration, standard deviation, and the variance of each activity in a given project. It then calculates the average or expected project duration, which is the sum of the average activity times on the critical path. Finally knowing the average project duration and the ...

Read More

Figure 3

Improving Scheduling Using Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM)

On December 17, 2002, Shelby County Habitat of Humanity, a nonprofit ecumenical housing ministry, broke the world record for the fastest habitat house ever built in 3 hours, 26 minutes, and 34 seconds. Chad Calhoun, the project manager, attributed the project success to the careful planning of each activity, the readiness and organization of all the resources and materials, and ...

Read More

Porter's Value Chain

Critical Analysis of Porter's Value Chain Analysis (VCA) Framework

This post presents a critical analysis of Porter's Value Chain Analysis (VCA) framework by considering both its benefits and its limitations. It first defines the concept of value chain, discusses the primary and support activities, illustrates how to achieve competitive advantage using value chain, analyzes differentiation and cost using value chain, and finally analyzes all the weaknesses and limitations of ...

Read More


Home > Time Management > Improving Scheduling Using Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM)

Improving Scheduling Using Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM)



Pages: 1 2 3 4

Share Button

On December 17, 2002, Shelby County Habitat of Humanity, a nonprofit ecumenical housing ministry, broke the world record for the fastest habitat house ever built in 3 hours, 26 minutes, and 34 seconds. Chad Calhoun, the project manager, attributed the project success to the careful planning of each activity, the readiness and organization of all the resources and materials, and the serious commitment to the sensitive schedule. The project kicked off at 11:00 AM on December 17th with the prefabricated wall panels already set in place and ready to be lifted. This was immediately followed by raising the interior panels which lasted exactly 16 minutes as planned. A series of tasks were later executed by dedicated workers and involved plumbing, wiring, carpeting, flooring, painting, and installation of lightnings, cabinets, electrical outlets, windows, and porches. The construction of the 14,000-pound roof was taking place simultaneously on the ground. Upon completion, it was lifted using a crane and attached accordingly. During that time, another crew of workers was busy handling interior work like decorations while others were planting shrubs in the yard. The house was completed around 2:21 PM.

The scenario above represents a typical example of a project where speed and completion time are essential conditions for its success. This kind of projects requires considerable training, management commitment, and a change in the working behavior of resources to be able to achieve the required benefits and outcomes. This constitutes a type of project management developed by Eliyahu M. Goldratt and was termed as Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM). Goldratt, the proponent of the Theory of Constraints, pinpointed how project managers tend to manage slack for their resource-limited projects. They either attempt to add slack at the end of the project and commit themselves to a completion date that is far beyond the scheduled date, or attempt to start their project early and refrain from using slacks of activities to ensure early completion.They also tend to overestimate or pad by providing activity time estimates that have 80 or 90 percent chance to be completed before that estimated time. All this would eventually help in finishing a project ahead of the planned schedule.

However in reality, even with all this over-estimation, many projects tend to finish behind schedule. Goldratt in his book Critical Chain attributes this to several reasons:

  • Student Syndrome: As students procrastinate preparing for their exams until the last minute, workers also defer starting their tasks when they notice they have enough time to finish their tasks later. This puts task completion time at risk especially when emerging problems start showing up.
  • Parkinson’s Law: Why rush into completing a task early when it is due until the day after tomorrow? Workers tend to delay outstanding work until the next day although they can finish it today. This unfortunately decreases productivity and slows down work. Yet workers instead can prevent this phenomenon by utilizing their free time to catch up with other work.
  • Dropped Baton: The time gained from starting and completing an activity early could be wasted if the next group of workers who is responsible for receiving the output of the activity work is not ready. This could be due to lack of communication and coordination and improper resource scheduling. Goldratt compares this scenario to a relay race whereby the next runner is not ready to receive the baton from the first runner which eventually leads to a time loss.

Pages: 1 2 3 4

Share Button
The following two tabs change content below.

Ihab Sarieddine

Ihab Sarieddine is a senior IT software engineer and a project manager with over 8 years of professional experience in managing and delivering IT banking projects and services for organizations primarily in the Middle Eastern and Asian regions. He is a PMP certified and an ITIL Release, Control, and Validation (RCV) V3 practitioner, and have a Masters degree in IT management.
Categories: Time Management
  1. Bill Duncan
    April 16th, 2013 at 05:36 | #1

    And yet the world record for building a single family home is 2 hours and 53 minutes. And that was accomplished using traditional scheduling techniques in the late 1970s. The implied cause-and-effect (critical chain sets world records) doesn’t hold water.

  2. Joe Raiti
    April 21st, 2013 at 15:03 | #2

    Unlike Bill D., I am terribly impressed at the build time for the house. I enjoyed most of the rest of the article as well. Can you share with me and other readers what were the reasons why you needed to construct the home so quickly? Were you going to lose resources at a certain date/time? Was it related to weather conditions? Also, was there a go/no go review/decision point before the start of the build? How much time and effort were put into planning and rehearsing? Is it possible that the project would have been more safe and efficient with fewer resources going at a slower pace. Thanks for entertaining my curiosity.

  3. ihab
    April 21st, 2013 at 17:31 | #3

    Hi Joe, the intention in demonstrating the habitat house example at the start of the article is to show how much resource behavioral dedication, commitment, and careful planning is required to deliver a project using CCPM ahead of time without impacting delivery quality. It really shows how you can fully make use of your resources by increasing their productivity, encouraging teamwork, and by training them to deliver on time. I know CCPM has its drawbacks which are not presented here, the purpose of this article is to introduce the reader to a challenging scheduling methodology that can be truly beneficial in fast track project scenarios.

  4. Glenn
    May 10th, 2013 at 01:56 | #4

    The challenge with both methods and the house scenario is that the intiation and planning effort also included significant pre-build. A more accurate cycle would be to take the two methods and compare them from the time the drawings are validated and signed until the final building inspection is complete.