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Critical Chain Project Management – A Better Way to Reach Higher Project Performance


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Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM) is a popular methodology to plan, execute and review various projects in single- and multi-project environments. The critical chain of individual tasks and buffer management are key components of the methodology. It is based on Theory of Constraints (TOC), an overall management philosophy that offers a range of approaches and algorithms to plan task durations, avoid missed deadlines, reduce costs, estimate resource needs, and produce desired deliverables.

The key idea behind the CCPM methodology is to reach higher performance of a project. It entails that for any project there is always a sequence of resource-dependent elements (product, data, service, or any combination of them) of the work breakdown structure to prevent the project from a longer/shorter completion date. Such a sequence creates constraints for the project. It’s called the critical chain. The methodology allows using three types of buffers to protect the project from poor performance by adding amounts of safety time to project tasks. In such a way, when determining project constraints and evaluating the critical chain, the project manager can use the concept of buffer management and TOC to assess performance and control progress of the project.

The CCPM methodology offers three key steps or implementation phases to deliver a project. Here’re these phases:

  • Planning
  • Execution
  • Monitoring

The phases create the lifecycle of a project managed under the CCPM methodology. They combines a range of activities to develop action plans, create the critical chain, determine safety buffers, estimate task durations, control cost, and review results.

For greater convenience, it is recommended to divide the phases into a number of simple, more manageable and measurable tasks that can be performed by the team and managed by the project manager. VIP Task Manager can be used to plan, do and manage tasks of every implementation phase of your CCPM driven project.

VIP Task Manager is a task management program for team collaboration. It features tools such as Task List, Calendar and Task Tree to plan your project by tasks. You can develop task templates, to-do lists, project hierarchies and schedules. Your team members can use the software to view their assignments. The manager of your project can use filters and notifications to track the team’s assignments.

Below we give the Table of Contents listing several articles. Please navigate the articles to learn more about the key implementation phases of your project driven by the Critical Chain Project Management methodology. The articles also explain how VIP Task Manager can be helpful for managing typical tasks of the phases.

Table of Contents

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