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# PLAYBOOK Training Series: Critical Chain Project Management

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• 2. PLAYBOOK LEAN PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT SERIES This series is for anyone interested in Lean, Agile and team principles and how they can be applied in new product development scenarios to increase innovation, improve delivery times and create engaged, happy, high-performing teams. PLAYBOOKHQ.co @PLAYBOOKHQ
• 3. Theory of Constraints Elements: 1. Every system has _______________ performance limitation (constraint/bottleneck) at any time. 2. For example, let’s say we have a serial manufacturing process in which Machine A can process 100 parts/hr, Machine B can process 20 parts/hr, and Machine C can process 50 parts/hr. Machine A 100 parts/hr Machine B 20 parts/hr Machine B 50 parts/hr ---------->>>>>>>>>>>> Parts Flow --------->>>>>>>>>>>> a. What’s the maximum number of parts can this line process every hour? b. _______________ is therefore the constraint and the rest of the system must be paced off of it. c. Machine B limits the _______________ of the system. 3. The following process is used to increase system throughput: a. Identify the constraint. b. Exploit the constraint. c. Subordinate all other system elements to the constraint. d. Elevate the constraint. e. Repeat the above again, again and again.
• 4. Identify the Constraint: 1. The goal of the new product development system is to maximize _______________ . 2. _______________ is generally the strongest driver of profit. 3. The constraint/bottleneck of the project is the critical _______________ of the project. 4. Traditional Critical Path says that the speed of the project is determined by the longest chain of _______________ tasks. 5. If a resource has one critical path task and one non-critical path task scheduled simultaneously, they are both _______________ . 6. Critical Chain says that the speed of the project is determined by the Critical Chain, which considers BOTH … a. _______________ tasks AND b. … the limited _______________ needed to execute it. 7. These assume the task durations have been estimated independent of other tasks.
• 5. Exploit the Constraint (Critical Resource): 1. Maximize the throughput of the _______________. 2. Multitasking _______________ the completion of the critical work. 3. Task buffers artificially inflate the _______________. 4. Don’t waste their time. Make sure they are working with the _______________ information. 5. Make sure they don’t run out of work to do. Keep a prioritized _______________ of work in front of them. The Critical Resource should know exactly what to work on next.
• 6. Notes: 1. Task Duration is a function of the Work and resource Availability. a. Work (hrs) is the total amount of effort involved to complete the task. b. Availability (hrs/day) is the amount of time a resource has to do the work. 2. What happens to task Duration when the estimated amount of Work changes? a. Duration varies _______________ with Work. b. For example, if the estimated amount Work = 12 hrs and we’re available, on average, 4 hrs/day to do that work… i. Duration = 12 (hrs) / 4 (hrs/day) = 3 days ii. If Work increases 25%, Duration increases _______________. • Duration = (12 + 0.25(12))/4 = 3.75 days • 3.75 days = 3 + x(3) • X = 0.25 = 25% iii. If Work decreases 25%, Duration decreases _______________. • Duration = (12 - 0.25(12))/4 = 2.25 days • 2.25 days = 3 - x(3) • X = 0.25 = -25% iv. What happens if Work changes +50%? • +50%, Duration increases _______________. • -50%, Duration decreases _______________.
• 7. Notes: 1. What happens to task Duration when resource Availability changes? a. Duration varies _______________ with resource Availability. i. For example, if the estimated amount Work = 12 hrs and we’re available, on average, 4 hrs/day to do that work… • If Availability increases 25%, Duration decreases 20%. • If Availability decreases 25%, Duration increases 33%. • If Availability increases 50%, Duration only decreases by 33%. • If Availability decreases 50%, Duration increases by 100%. 2. Implications a. Task Duration is more sensitive to changes in resource Availability than to changes in the estimated amount of Work. b. Even when using good estimates, things will take longer on average than you estimate. c. More time is lost when a resource’s Availability goes down than is gained back when it goes up. d. Managing & determining resource Availability is very important, especially if it is low. e. Keeping resource Availability above 50% will insure much more accurate Duration estimates.
• 9. Exploit the Constraint: Method #1 – Minimize Multitasking 1. What happens when we try to work on two things at the same time (i.e. multitask)? a. Availability for both tasks goes _____________ (half of what it was). b. What happens to task Duration? _____________ . c. What is the effect on task Duration of even little changes in Availability? _____________. 2. When we multitask, we’re operating on the _______________ side of the curve. 3. Is it any surprise that our confidence in task Duration is greatly reduced? __________. 4. Takeaways a. Organizations that don’t have a good handle on resource Availability have lower schedule predictability and their projects take longer than desired. b. Multitasking is a primary contributor to the uncertainty in resource Availability.
• 10. Exploit the Constraint: Method #2: Eliminate Task Buffers 1. Task Level Buffers == _______________ estimates for task duration. 2. Safe estimates for task durations make the task take _______________ . a. Parkinson’s Law - The task grows to fill the time allotted. Engineers continually try to _______________ the design if they are given the time. b. _______________ important things come up that make you put off completing the task. c. Student Syndrome or just an overly busy, multitasking person, causes _______________ discovery of problems. d. And many more...
• 11. Exploit the Constraint: Method #2 - Eliminate Task Buffers (continued) 3. If you don’t complete the tasks _______________ as often as you complete them late, the project will be late. a. How often are tasks completed early? _______________ b. Why? ____________________________________________________________ 4. In summary, task buffers always get _______________ and often the task actually extends past its buffer. 5. It’s better to _______________ task buffers and instead put a big buffer at the end of the _______________ . 6. The Project Buffer length is _______________ than the sum of the task buffers. 7. Project Buffers are sized such that they benefit from variability pooling similar to statistical tolerance analysis.