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Bringing Discipline To Project Management


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This presentation tries to capture the essence of the book review of "Critical Chain by Eli Goldratt" published in Harvard Business Review.

Review by : Jeffrey Elton & Justin Roe

Published in: Business, Technology
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Bringing Discipline To Project Management

  1. 1. BRINGING DISCIPLINE TO PROJECT MANAGEMENT<br />By Jeffrey Elton & Justin Roe<br />Presented By:<br />Group 5 – Batch 2008-10<br />AnubhavVanmali<br />Sharadkumar R Bhatt<br />Siddharth Anand<br />Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Bangalore<br />
  2. 2. Eli Goldratt<br />The Goal –<br />Introduced the Theory of Constraints<br />Critical Chain –<br /> Applying the TOC framework to managing the development of new products & other products (Falls short in explaining the management of a portfolio of projects)<br />
  3. 3. Focusing on the Constraints<br />Explains how to boost the performance of any process that involves a series of interdependent steps<br />Focus on bottlenecks or constraints rather than on breaking the process down and improving the efficiency of each step<br />Bottlenecks widened by changing policies that may promote efficiency<br />Sometimes this hampers effectiveness at the crucial bottlenecks<br />
  4. 4. Focusing on the Constraints<br />Next, volume of production from the non-bottleneck activities to be limited to a level that can be handled<br />Managers can increase output by investing in extra capacity at the bottlenecks<br />These steps to be repeated over time because of constraints that can emerge<br />Critical path<br />Scarce resources needed on & off the critical paths + other projects<br />
  5. 5. Focusing on the Constraints<br />Critical Chain = A combination of critical path & scarce resources<br />For smooth flow of critical chain –<br />Use safety buffers<br />Allow extra time to tasks that impinge directly on the critical path<br />Allow extra time to tasks not on the critical path that feed into the scarce resource<br />Tightly schedule the activities of the scarce resource<br />
  6. 6. Focusing on the Constraints<br />Project Managers<br />Create a project plan involving a WBS<br />Plan is arranged so that items on critical path can be completed in time<br />In conjunction with the budget – to validate some core assumptions<br />Know that the plan is only advisory and suggestive of the true structure<br />
  7. 7. Focusing on the Constraints<br /> Plans are almost always “wrong” in the sense that the resources used and the time actually taken to complete tasks rarely correspond to the original project plan<br />
  8. 8. Focusing on the Constraints<br />Successful Organizations<br />Putting emphasis on coordination and communication (advances in project management software)<br />Continual communication & coordination becoming mandatory<br />
  9. 9. Focusing on the Constraints<br />Goldratt:<br />Elaborate plans should not distract managers from focusing on constraints<br />Most projects have one/two essential constraints – addressing them most important<br />Proper use of measurements<br />Induce the parts to do what is good for the whole<br />Direct managers to parts that need their attention<br />Reduce number of milestones as they motivate managers to insert safety time before each milestone<br />
  10. 10. Focusing on the Constraints<br />“The fewer the milestones, the fewer the delays”<br />Message for project managers<br />Remain focused on a few critical areas <br />Project phases do not matter<br />Design a project in the same way as a product<br />Project design needs to identify the potential sources of failure: critical-path tasks and critical resources<br />Then insert resource & work buffers<br />
  11. 11. Focusing on the Constraints<br />Message for senior managers<br />Juggle a portfolio of products<br />Allocate resources carefully across projects to minimize constraints on shared resources<br />
  12. 12. Managing Projects as a Portfolio<br />Managers cannot isolate and control different projects easily<br />They need a wider perspective of aggregate project planning<br />Projects fall short of resources or lose direction due to lack of agreement between senior and junior managers leading to slowing down of project and also failure to kill them<br />Thus organizations have too many projects compared to available capacity<br />
  13. 13. Managing Projects as a Portfolio<br />Projects may still fall short because: Company may not have adequate skills for all parts of product development process<br />Hence outsourcing which limits the individual project’s progress<br />Reducing the number of overall projects relieves constraints on common resources<br />
  14. 14. Putting Flexibility where It Counts<br />When the degree of change involved is great, managers need to approach projects differently<br />Projects incorporating discontinuous technologies require managers to apply stringent & individualized criteria for determining how to proceed<br />
  15. 15. Putting Flexibility where It Counts<br />Goldratt’s flexible approach ( without many milestones) may be more easily applied to products that can be frequently modified than to capital intensive or mission-critical products, such as aircraft engines<br />
  16. 16. Conclusion<br />Process Management: Eliminates variability<br />Project Management: Accepts variability as each project is unique<br />Critical chain theory cannot be fully implemented for projects due to high level of uncertainty<br />Essential are Project Managers who can handle the political, as well as the technical aspects of their projects<br />
  17. 17. In truth, Leadership may be the larger constraint.<br />Thank You<br />