Project Management Operational Problem Solving Implementation & Change Management Strategy & Alignment

Frank Patrick's Focused Performance Business Blog
This Focused Performance Weblog started life as a "business management blog" containing links and commentary related primarily to organizational effectiveness with a "Theory of Constraints" perspective, but is in the process of evolving towards primary content on interactive and mobile marketing. Think of it as about Focusing marketing messages for enhanced Performance. If you are on an archive page, current postings are found here.

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

Critical Chain Stories (Cutter 3, 4) -- The third and fourth articles in the Cutter IT Journal' special issue on Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM) are case studies by members of organizations who have implemented the approach, Douglas Brandt of Abbott Diagnostics Division (ADD) and Matt Gelbwaks of Segway (the high-tech scooter folks).

The first of these reads like a typical CCPM success story. At Abbott, CCPM was first piloted three years ago and is now the standard for all projects at all Diagnostic Division locations. Prior to then, the primary constraints faced at ADD were those common to most product development organizations...
"...limited resources, poorly allocated resources, and conflicts between tasks for shared resources."
To address these presenting issues, the Cutter article reiterates the development of a PMO based on CCPM concepts, emphasizing the importance of dealing with the informal policies -- the culture -- associated with the previous approach to projects. The new culture, including a new respect for "planning, cross-functional cooperation, and the ability to say no when necessary" allowed the PMO to use CCPM to advance their mission of
"...ensuring ADD's leadership by getting quality products to market first [through] excellence in project management. [Brandt affirms that, at ADD, they] "believe that many of these improvements are due to employing the principles of the theory of constraints in our PM methodology."
All in all, a pretty picture of a typical CCPM success story, but not much new.

The Segway CCPM story, chronicled by Matt Gelbwaks, on the other hand, is the first that I've seen that publicly talks about the application of the approach in an "Agile Development" environment. Consistent with my own developing understanding, Gelbwaks points out the common and mutually supporting nature of agile efforts performed under a CCPM umbrella. Pointing out the differences in the approaches, primarily agile's usefulness when final, full details are unclear, but developed over time through "stories," versus CCPM's preference for clarity of dependent tasks throughout the project, Segway creatively combined the two.
"...we created a network of [dependent] stories rather than tasks. The value here is that it was possible to start with the ultimate story -- Mass produce a Segway HT on our assembly line -- and then back all the way up to the initial stories such as Complete proof of concept and Secure funding. Once this network existed, it was clear what the critical chain would be...All other chains of stories would be subjugated [subordinated?] to this one."
Segway came to understand that along the way in a project, one can think of consumption of buffers as symptoms of bottlenecks in the flow of value creation, and that that pinchpoint needs to be addressed to keep things moving. Combining the "network of stories" and the creation of "detail only for those tasks needed by the Critical Chain at the current point in time," appropriate attention is paid where needed.

As I read the article, I realized the serendipity of its message, because in a special series of weblog postings planned for next week, Hal Macomber and I will be discussing this idea of following what could be understood as the constraint of a project as it passes through the Critical Chain tasks and using the TOC focusing steps to manage it. That is exactly what Segway did in their 18 month project from design through production of their unique, innovative product.

posted by Frank - Permanent Link - |

Current Posts (Main Blog Page)

Previous Posts

It is a common delusion that you make things better by talking about them. - Dame Rose Macaulay



What's this XML thingie all about?


View Frank Patrick's LinkedIn profileView Frank Patrick's profile



Google
Web focusedperformance.com


FP's Recommended Reading
- From the FP Bookshelf...

...from My AStore

...and some ideas from Amazon...


Best of the FP Blog Archive
- The really good stuff...

Strategic Thinking and Improvement

Enterprise PM - It Starts with Strategic Interdependence

Face Reality

How to Think With Your Gut

Hugger-Mugger and Helter-Skelter

Managing for Murphy, Satan, and Yourself

More of the Same (Local/Global)

PMI Congress Notes: Using Risk Management for Strategic Advantage

Tell Me How You'll Measure Me and Ah, But What to Measure?

What's in Your Strategy?

Why Can't We All Just Get Along?

Why TOC Works
Project and Multi-Project Management
Critical Chain and (not or) XP

Defining Project Success (But for Whom?)

Down 'n Dirty w/TOC and PM (Part 1 of 5 consecutive posts)

End of Project Review

If Project Management is the Answer, What's the Question?

In Defense of Planning

It Ain't the Tools

Lessons Learned, Revisited

Predicting Uncertain Futures

Project Conflicts

Project Determinism (and other myths)

Project Portfolio Management

Promises, Predictions, and Planning

Removing Bottlenecks - A Core Systems Design Principle

Stage Gates and Critical Chain

Ten Top Sources of Project Failure (The Executive Version)

The Meaning of "Schedule"
Leadership and Change Management
Consistent Leadership Behavior

Invisible Dogma - Perpetuating Paradigms

Nothing But Value

On Assumption Busting

Personal Productivity - An Excuse?

The Psychology of Change Management

FP's Blogroll
- Other weblogs and sites I read


FP's Ryze Page


FP's Technorati Profile
- Click the pic



Who links to FP?


For Your Charitable Consideration:

Give Something Back Foundation

Global Virtual Classroom


FP's Link List
- Selected Sites and Resources

Critical Chain Discussion Group

Lilly Software: Visual DBR

Sciforma PS (Critical Chain Software)

Spherical Angle (Critical Chain Software)

Synchrono Supply Chain Planning Software


FP Blog Archives
- All the oldies, but goodies...

Current
10/09 | 09/09 | 08/09 | 07/09 | 06/09 | 05/09 | 04/09 | 03/09 | 02/09 | 01/09 | 12/08 | 11/08 | 10/08 | 09/08 | 08/08 | 07/08 | 06/08 | 05/08 | 04/08 | 03/08 | 02/08 | 01/08 | 12/07 | 11/07 | 10/07 | 09/07 | 08/07 | 07/07 | 06/07 | 05/07 | 04/07 | 03/07 | 02/07 | 01/07 | 12/06 | 11/06 | 10/06 | 09/06 | 08/06 | 07/06 | 06/06 | 05/06 | 04/06 | 03/06 | 02/06 | 01/06 | 12/05 | 11/05 | 10/05 | 09/05 | 08/05 | 07/05 | 06/05 | 05/05 | 04/05 | 03/05 | 02/05 | 01/05 | 12/04 | 11/04 | 10/04 | 09/04 | 08/04 | 07/04 | 06/04 | 05/04 | 04/04 | 03/04 | 02/04 | 01/04 | 12/03 | 11/03 | 10/03 | 09/03 | 08/03 | 07/03 | 06/03 | 05/03 | 04/03 | 03/03 | 02/03 | 01/03 | 12/02 | 11/02 | 10/02 | 09/02 | 08/02 | 07/02 | 06/02 | 03/02 | 02/02 | 12/01 | 11/01 | 10/01 | 09/01 | 08/01 | 06/01 | 02/01 | 01/01 | 12/00


Powered by Blogger

If you are interested in adding an easily updated weblog to your site, I would suggest you look into the free service provided by Blogger.

Who is FP?
Contact Focused Performance