Critical Chain

Reconsider Your Rules on Materials and Suppliers

In my previous post about checking your assumptions, I talked about the rules and requirements about your process.  The supply chain is no different.  After all, rules are made, boundary conditions established around how you deal with your suppliers.  Therefore, you should also look at your supply chain policies to find possibilities to increase output – …

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ship on water with oil boom in foreground

Challenge Your Assumptions about the Process

To increase output, whether in a disaster or in everyday pressures, you must challenge your assumptions to find solutions.  Usually, the solution is not obvious (otherwise, it would have been implemented, right?), so you have to dig deeper.  Challenging assumptions helps us see where we can change the process.  There is still more to get out …

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Manage and Align Performance by Applying Uniform Standards

The more contractors or departments involved in a project, the more chances for variation and, often, more confusion.  There is always the opportunity for misalignment and miscommunication.   The larger the organization, the more opportunity for missing cues on priorities and direction.  For the process owner, the challenge is to align a team to drive progress towards …

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Blind Spot 3: Put the Whip to WIP

The sooner you start, the sooner you finish, right? Perhaps you remember the tale of the tortoise and the hare.  Sure, the hare is fast, but in the end, it’s the tortoise’s steady progress that wins the race.  In a project management sense, it’s not the speed of the individual project that matters; it’s the speed …

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Mass-producing Frustration: Why “Good Planning” Often Leads to Failed Projects

In engineering offices and construction trailers all over the world, promising projects suffer delays, cost overruns and missed output projections. In response, the collective finger of blame points to everyone’s favorite excuse: “bad planning.” If bad planning is responsible for failure, it stands to reason that “good planning” should be the savior. And by “good planning,” …

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Visual Project Management

We’ve been playing with a new concept in project management.  This new approach blends lean concepts, visual management, and theory of constraints.  It’s a visual project management process, with a display of all the projects in the portfolio.  We’re calling it ViewPoint. What’s interesting about this approach to project management is that it involves the project …

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Pit Crews cut final assembly time in half, giving FMC Technologies “The Racer’s Edge.”

We did a very successful Theory of Constraints Implementation a while back, that incorporated a wide variety of approaches.

Critical Chain Project Management
Process Reengineering
Supply Chain Management

The results were great. So we made a presentation telling our story. Here it is on slide share.

Probabilistic Project Scheduling = Shorter Project Lead Times

Probabilistic project scheduling uses an understanding of the variation in project tasks and the project environment (project risks) to make a quantitative prediction of a range of project outcomes. Instead of providing a fixed date to answer a question such as “When is first oil?” probabilistic scheduling provides a range of answers of the type, “There …

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Critical Chain Project Management Webinar

On April 29, 8am-9:30am PST, I’ll be presenting a webinar on Critical Chain Project Management. This event is sponsored by the Theory of Constraints Certification Organization (TOCICO). This one hour presentation (with a half hour for questions) by me, Mark Woeppel, will present the core concepts of the CCPM method as it applies to three main …

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Experience is not the best teacher?

According to Kishore Sengupta, an associate professor at France’s Insead business school, says that project managers says with 10 or more years of experience collectively generated higher costs and more errors and missed more deadlines than less-experienced colleagues. Mr. Sengupta developed a simulation program for project management that demonstrates when project managers fall into the patterns …

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