CCPM-a cure for decreased efficiency?

Student syndrome, Parkinson's law, multitasking - how they can influence your project and what you can do to prevent it?

Have you heard about CCPM? That acronym stands for Critical Chain Project Management. It is a relatively new, alternative approach to project planning which has its roots in Theory of Constraints (ToC). As the literature says the expression of CCPM was first introduced by Eliyahu Goldratt – an Israeli physist. The author underlines that resources waste their working time by techniques such as:

  1. Student syndrome - postponing the start of work to the last moment, just before deadline
  2. Parkinson’s law - the work expands in such a way as to fill the whole time planned for its realizatio
  3. Multitasking - the conversion time between tasks is longer than the performance.

To prevent above mentioned situations, the method assumes to estimate the task duration for 50% its original time. It also concerns no activity due dates, no project milestones and no multitasking.

Additionally, time reserves should be accumulated in two buffers:

  1. Project buffer which secures the timeliness of the entire project,
  2. Feeding buffer - to keep the critical chain unchanged and to control its stability.

Many companies has declared the benefits after implementing the CCPM in their organizations. One example is High Tech Development company which announced time reduction of project realization from 38 to 23 months. Giving other example, the company Danisco, admitted to finish 87 % projects on time after implementation of CCPM compared to the previous percentage of just 23% projects delivered on time.

We asked our partners and coworkers if they knew about the CCPM and the results are quite interesting. More than 70% respondents admit they have a theoretical knowledge about it, but only 10 % said they used in practice! (Sample: 46 survey participants)

If the method brings visible benefits why is not used more widely in practice?

"Tell me how you measure me and I’ll tell you how I will behave.” E. Goldratt

Author: Magda Wojtasik


Marris P. La chaîne critique pour réduire le “time to market” et accroître la productivité, STP PHARMA PRATIQUES - volume 21 - N° 5 - septembre-octobre 2011

Goldratt E., Łańcuch krytyczny, Werbel, 2000, s. 211 – 214

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