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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, November 09, 2003

Critical Chain Case Study - Application of Critical Chain on High Value Petrochemical Projects -- I frequently get asked about examples of the use of Critical Chain Project Management in specific environments. This link points to a case study of its use in two construction contracts completed by Krupp Uhde, a South African engineering contractor in the design and build business. It talks about two projects; one that finished "in 16 months vs. industry norm of 24 months," and one that completed...
"in 4 month including working over the Christmas period vs. an industry norm of 12 months for a plant of this size. This is phenomenal when one considers that the conventional equipment delivery time for a large distillation column, which was part of the plant, is 9-10 months."
The case study also offers a list of lessons learned...
- Always start with a simple plan.

- Do not allow the momentum of a large project lull you into a false sense of security in terms of progress. A large project is like a large ship with a huge amount of momentum, once you are going in the wrong direction it is very difficult to steer onto the right course. The critical chain approach makes for easy steering.

- Identify critical path and manage to keep one critical path.

- Identify "bottleneck" vendors/sub-contractors early on.

- Do not fast track by traditional methods like early orders and start of construction before you know what to order and what to build. These methods give a false sense of security in terms of schedule progress. The true result of such steps is the snowballing of errors that will exist in any project. It is cheaper and quicker to fix something on paper than in concrete and steel.

- Give change management the highest priority.
There's more details in the study. Read the whole thing.

And if there's anyone else out there interested in bragging about their accomplishments via Critical Chain, let me know, and I'll pass them along here. I get a lot of questions about its use in software and pharmaceutical development environments.

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