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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.

Thursday, April 10, 2003

Old and New Games (Cutter 5) -- The final article in the Cutter IT Journal issue focusing on Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM) is entitled "Bridging the Reality Gap," and is written by Rob Newbold, CEO of ProChain Solutions (a provider of software and services supporting CCPM), and author of "Project Management in the Fast Lane." The basis of the article is a comparison of an "old game" and a "new game" for projects.

The gist of the "old game" is a management demand for an unrealistic project and the gyrations, risks, and "dishonesty" that accompany them. Newbold summarizes the "new rules" as...
1. Insist on honesty.
2. Need can't win over reality.
3. Account for risks.
4. All players should be asking "How can I help?"
5. Focus on business objectives.
6. Use the process on the game board. (A process for requesting, planning, assessing, promising, accepting, and "facing reality," delineated in the article.)
7. Hold people accountable for following the rules.
The connection that is drawn to CCPM is based on the explicit understanding of risk in terms of buffers, shorter project lead times when "safety" is aggregated and concentrated in buffers instead of spread among tasks, and other cultural aspects common to CCPM environments.

I'm sorely tempted to jump on Rob's bandwagon, as I agree with his connections, but I fear that he may be taking a few liberties with a comparison of CCPM with common, but not recommended processes associated with non-CCPM environments. While Critical Chain processes and outcomes will likely facilitate the "new game," most (maybe not all, but most) of what he proposes for the new game should be achievable with "good PM practice" of the non-CCPM flavor. Hopefully, this will not be translated by readers as "hype."

But on the other hand, the real problem may be that "good practice" is not really "common practice."

So why not consider a management philosophy that makes "good practice" and integrity easier to swallow?

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