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Project Management via
Critical Chain (CCPM)


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Executive Overview on CCPM (Critical Chain)

CCPM (Critical Chain Project Management) is a new methodology for doing projects that allows you to complete projects with high quality deliverables in 10% to 50% less elapsed time, and/or 10% to 50% less resources (ie. man-hrs, $, etc.).


Burned Up or Burned Out by Projects?

Do you have one or more of the following symptoms?

  • You work long hours and still don't get everything done.

  • You must get your projects done faster.

  • You must co-ordinate and effectively use your precious resources.

  • Costs must be reduced, or else!

  • Competitors are stealing your best ideas before you pay off the R&D bill.

If you have some or all of the the above needs, you are probably Burned Up or Burned Out by Projects.


Diagnose your Project Management Problems

The above 5 factors are a simple analysis of the typical problems faced by people and projects.  If you are going to improve your project management system, you must focus your efforts.  PQA finds that approximately 90% to 95% of the systems and tasks performed within a PM systems are good to excellent; it's the remaining 5% to 10% which creates the majority of the problems.

Therefore, you need a tool to better understand where your problems and opportunities are located so you can better focus.  To assist you in this task, PQA has developed a questionnaire tool for ourselves and our clients to assess the PM system.

    You can do the questionnaire yourself and use it as a basis of discussion among your Project Team members, Project Managers, and Sr. Management.  We recommend answering the questionnaire in private, then discussing the answers as a group.  In this way, you will find huge differences of opinion about your current system throughout your PM system.  Don't force consensus too soon.  Listen to why the people feel the way they do.  Only then will you truly understand the issues and what needs to be changed for the better.

    Will Critical Chain (CCPM) help some of your current problems?

    For a more detailed assessment of your current situation, download PQA's Project Management Questionnaire, take 30 minutes to fill it in, & send it back to PQAPQA is doing some basic research on project management results in the real world, and plans to write a series of articles on the research results, so we'd like to add you as a data point.  Your individual data will be kept confidential.    If interested, or you have questions about this research project, contact PQA

What's New & Different About
Critical Chain (CCPM)?


Critical Chain Project Management (Critical Chain (CCPM)) is the first major advance in Project Management principles since the 1950's.

Critical Chain (CCPM) was invented in 1997.  PQA has been doing CCPM since 1998.

If you're familiar with Gantt charts, PERT, critical path methods, and scheduling, you'll love the improvements that Critical Chain (CCPM) brings.  The following table compares and contrasts Critical Chain (CCPM) vs. traditional project management techniques:

Critical Chain (CCPM) is based on: Critical Chain (CCPM) Does Not:
Common sense and reality Require ideal scenarios, nor perfect data
How people work most effectively Make people work like robots to impossible standards of perfection
Using information effectively Create Information Overload, nor Information Vacuum, nor out of date reports
Minimum schedule complexity that gets the job done with acceptable risk Create Analysis Paralysis, nor a huge bureaucracy overhead
Proven Theory of Constraints philosophy put to another practical use Depend on impractical nor untested ideas
Simple, proven methods Require project management specialists, nor "Rocket Science"
Software that makes Critical Chain (CCPM) accessible by everyone Have proprietary technology nor algorithms, everything is "open source"
One project alone, or multiple projects sharing resources Limit your flexibility nor responsiveness, it enhances them

See the links at the top & bottom of the page for more detailed information.


What are the "Bottom Line" Results I can Expect from Critical Chain (CCPM)?

Your benefits from upgrading to Critical Chain (CCPM) will depend on how well you are doing right now, your industry, and your type of business.

Most people readily achieve at least a 10% improvement in their Critical Chain (CCPM) projects.  This improvement can be:

  •  10% to 50% Cheaper through better, more efficient use of resources, less re-do, identifying & reacting sooner to problems, etc.


  • 10% to 50% Faster through better scheduling, conservation of safety time, better reporting, minimizing multi-tasking, etc.

Some organizations have documented up to a 50% improvement through Critical Chain (CCPM), even though they considered themselves to have an "excellent" project management system before embarking on CCPM.

Your results may vary.  PQA can help you estimate the potential savings that are available for you.

Has Anybody Already Used Critical Chain (Critical Chain (CCPM)) in my Industry?

After 20 years of frustration with traditional project management problems, I started searching for something different in 1998.  I found Critical Chain (CCPM), and immediately recognized Critical Chain (CCPM) as a solution to 20 yrs. of frustration.  Now, all of PQA's internal projects that need project management services use Critical Chain (CCPM) methodology.

We highly recommend Critical Chain (CCPM) to our clients for all their projects that need a better method of management.

Some of the people and industries who have already benefited from Critical Chain (CCPM) are as follows:

aerospace agriculture automotive building & construction
computers consulting electronics engineering
farming food government health care
IT manufacturing medicine media & publishing
military pharmaceuticals quality professionals research
sales & marketing service software development telecommunications


How do I get started in Critical Chain (CCPM)?

PQA offers a complete suite of CCPM training courses to fully support a CCPM implementation.

While there are many different users and approaches to Critical Chain (CCPM), we usually find that the following methodology works best over the long term:

  1. Gain more awareness of traditional Project Management problems, and what Critical Chain (CCPM) has to offer.
  2. PQA has an CCPM Executive Overview training course available to help you.
  3. Train Senior management AND project managers on the best methods for projects.
  4. PQA has a CCPM training course for project managers.
  5. Choose a significant demonstration project.  Apply Critical Chain (CCPM) methods to your special case, needs, risks, and constraints.  Monitor the project closely & spread the word.  Keep doing Critical Chain (CCPM) demonstration projects until you're convinced that Critical Chain (CCPM) really works, and it's substantially better than previous methods (may take from 1 to 4 demonstration projects).  Await one person, group, department, or division to volunteer to take Critical Chain (CCPM) to the next step.

  7. Accept one volunteer who will implement Critical Chain (CCPM) for 100% of all their future projects (done by one person, team, group, department, or division).

  9. Measure, communicate, train, and promote Critical Chain (CCPM) until you are ready for Critical Chain (CCPM) on 100% of all projects throughout your entire organization, and your supply chain.


How can PQA help you improve your Project Outcomes ?

PQA offers full service, comprehensive support for organizations considering or implementing Critical Chain (CCPM):

  • Executive Overview Training

  • Feasibility or Implementation cost estimates, ROI estimates

  • Critical Chain (CCPM) software, installation, training, and support

  • Pilot Project Implementation & Support services

  • Training for Project Managers, management, sales, engineering, Project Team Members, & support personnel

  • Measurement & feedback systems & analysis to assess the improvements achieved through Critical Chain (CCPM).


To find out more about Critical Chain (CCPM), get the answers you need, or start your own Critical Chain (CCPM) improvement process:

  • call PQA at   (800)-837-7046
  • e-mail PQA at dwhitred@pqa.net

Next:   Frustrations from Traditional Project Management Methods

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