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38th TOCPA International Conference


28-30 March 2018, Paris, France

Critical Chain Project Management


overview in 20 minutes
(CCPM)
Philip Marris
Marris Consulting, France
Philip Marris

• Theory Of Constraints expert.


31 years of TOC experience. Started working
with the founder Eliyahu Goldratt in 1986.
• Lean expert.
33 years of experience in Lean. Assists some
of the Leanest organizations in the world.
• >25 years of experience helping over 200
companies in all industrial sectors.
• CEO of Marris Consulting
based in Paris, France.
contact@marris-consulting.com
Motto: Factories, People & Results +33 (0) 1 71 19 90 40
Critical Chain has demonstrated its ability
to greatly improve performance
■ Finish projects on time, without budget overruns nor loss of initial
specifications…
■ …and significantly reduce
project durations and productivity.

Results Average Worst Best


case case
Project durations -39% -13% -78%
Number of Projects +70% +15% +222%
completed in a given time
Throughput +53% +14% +150%

Source: “Advanced Multi-Project Management Achieving Outstanding Speed and Results with Predictability” 2013
book by Gerald I. Kendall & Kathleen M. Austin, page 95. The analysis is based on public information available
concerning 60 different organizations working in different industries that had applied CCPM.

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Critical Chain aims at protecting the
whole project, not the individual tasks
■ All project tasks have significant security margins, but they are
wasted (Student syndrome, Parkinson’s law, multitasking …).
■ With the Critical Chain approach, these margins are reduced and
mutualized in a buffer at the end of the project.
With traditional planning...
32 Delay

4 16 12

… each task has its own margin

2 2 8 8 6 6

With Critical Chain, margins are mutualized and cycle times are challenged
24

2 8 6 8
Buffer

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Then during the project execution,
we focus on tasks on the Critical Chain
■ The Critical Chain is the longest sequence of tasks of a project,
taking into account logical links and resource dependencies.
■ The project is like a relay race throughout the Critical Chain.
■ Having a mascot (a noticeable object) enables one to follow
physically the progress along the Critical Chain.

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Monitoring progress is much easier
thanks to the Project Fever Chart
Red zone = risky zone 
Yellow zone =
start right now corrective actions
warning zone 
identify main cause 100%
% consumption of the project buffer
of delay and prepare Finished project
90%
action plan with project
80%
Week 5 buffer not fully
70% W4 consumed.
Week 6
60%

50% This means that


40% the project
30% finished before
W2 Week 3
20%
the end date.
Green zone = W1
comfort zone  10%
10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%
no action
needed % of Critical Chain completion

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The Portfolio Fever Chart greatly facilitates
dynamic arbitration between projects
100%
P4
Projects 1 & 2: Project 4:

% consumption of the project buffer


90%
urgent action P2 Finished
80%
needed! exactly on
70% P3 time
60%
P1 P5 P19 P6
50%
P17
40% P15 P16
P14
30% P18
P13 P10 P12
Projects 7 to 20: 20% P20 Project 6:
(green zone ) P8 P9 P11
Finished
10%
nothing to report 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%
before the
% of Critical Chain completion end date

The Portfolio Fever Chart helps to quickly track all the projects
in the portfolio with objectivity and transparency
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To limit the number of ongoing projects,
do not launch projects too early
■ Traditionally, people try to level resources between all projects.
■ CCPM only considers the capacity constraint (or control point).
■ Projects are launched according to the constraint’s availability.
■ We avoid unnecessary WIP that generate (very) bad multitasking.

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Important but not always done:
analyse the causes of buffer consumption
■ Each time an activity on the Critical Chain takes more time than
initially planned, the buffer is consumed.
■ It is crucial to understand why the buffer is consumed, in order to
start a process on-going improvement.
■ Initially the buffers are consumed for the wrong reasons:

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The blind spots of Critical Chain

■ CCPM is a scheduling and execution


system. It does not ensure that the
completed project was a success:
- a bad product, a product that is very difficult
to manufacture, etc.
■ So needs combining with Lean
Engineering etc.
■ It is very difficult to apply to external
contributors (subcontractors, other
departments, …).
- See Ian Heptinstall's presentation later today.
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It is really just common sense

■ How do organize your project of catching a plane?

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Conclusion: The Critical Chain can
be applied to all kinds of projects
■ New Product Development
(single project or project portfolio).
■ Construction and big engineering projects.
■ MRO: Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul.
■ Software development (often with Agile)
■ Non repetitive manufacturing process.
■ General management!
■ …

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Thank you for your time

In the speaker's opinion


there is no viable alternative to
Critical Chain Project Management…

Questions?
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