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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.

Sunday, April 06, 2003

Getting Projects Out of Your System: A Critical Chain Primer (Cutter 2) -- This is a review of the second article in the recent Cutter IT Journal issue focusing on Critical Chain-based project management (CCPM). Disclaimers first. I personally know the author, Richard Zultner, as both a TOC student of mine and as a former colleague, so my expectations were high going into this article. He has worked in a wide range of software arenas, and is comfortable with iterative development methodologies and should be able to make a good case for CCPM to Cutter's software-centric audience. But it turns out the article is an adaptation of an earlier piece that I thought was good three years ago. And it remains a quite good intro to CCPM, covering in one piece similar ground to the introductory CCPM and multi-project management papers I did for the PMI back in '99. That said, I particularly like Richard's description of estimate-to-completion task status reporting as a "countdown." I'll have to remember to attribute it to him when I steal it.     ;-)

I've got only a couple concerns with the piece. First, as a rework of an older article, it retains some dated language about "a new and exciting conclusion;" OK for 2000, but maintaining the hype level a bit much for 2003. It also emphasizes the shorter project lead time benefit, that the previous Higgins article points out as a possible Achilles heel of CCPM promotion today. And given the audience -- an IT crowd -- Richard's description of a project as a system that "isn't finished until all its tasks are completed" might draw some ire from the agile/extreme/etc crowd. I wish Richard had connected CCPM as a PM envelope for modern software methodologies -- he can probably do that better than I'm managing in this weblog. I hope the few concerns I mention don't prevent readers from getting the core message.

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