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Project Managament

Project Managament
Compose an essay explaining the reasons why individuals routinely waste the excessive safety we acquire for our project activities. Be sure to use at least three references from the CSU library and remember to cite and reference them at the end of your essay. Your essay should consist of no less than three pages.
MBA 6961, Project Management 1
Course Learning Outcomes for Unit V
Upon completion of this unit, students should be able to:
1. Differentiate between common cause and special cause variation.
2. Apply critical chain project scheduling to network reconfiguration.
3. Assess the pros and cons of Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM).
4. Compare and contrast CCPM and Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT).
5. Differentiate project buffers from feeder buffers.
Reading Assignment
Chapter 11:
Critical Chain Project Scheduling
Unit Lesson
Introduction to CCPM
According to Murphy’s Law, “What can go wrong, will go wrong.” Do not let your next project fall victim to Murphy’s Law, Student Syndrome, Parkinson’s Law, or to uncertainty. As a project manager, improved scheduling reliability is at your fingertips with the use of Critical Chain Project Management CCPM.
CCPM is an alternative scheduling approach to Program Evaluation and Review Technique/Critical Path Method (PERT/CPM). Advocates of CCPM maintain that it is a more proactive approach to scheduling than its counterparts. The basic premise of CCPM is to minimize uncertainty through greater productivity, predictability, and minimum schedule complexity. The purpose is to identify the path of activities that allow for timely completion of the project through effective and efficient use of resources.
The benefit of CCPM is evident in many industries: sales and marketing, agriculture, technology, the military, service industries, and pharmaceuticals, to name a few. CCPM uses Goldratt’s Theory of Constraints to remove bottlenecks and resolve the root cause of the problems. This popular technique uses the best of three important practices that you may already be familiar with: Six Sigma, Lean, and Statistical Process Control.
Understanding Variation
In any type of scheduling there is bound to be a certain amount of variation in the process. Variation can occur for many reasons and in some instances it is so miniscule that even if it is identified and eliminated, the Return on Investment (ROI) wouldn’t be significant. What is important to note is that common cause variation should not be ignored, but dealt with by effectively using continuous process improvement techniques. On the other hand, special cause variation should be identified and eliminated. Many statistical techniques are available to help determine whether the variation is a result of common cause or special causes. Common cause variation has been the primary culprit when project scheduling is misestimated.
Developing the Schedule
When developing the project schedule, non-critical tasks have less priority. However, these tasks serve as project buffers, which are contingency reserves for individual tasks. Adding these project buffers can significantly reduce the total amount of time required to complete the project. Table 11.1, on page 334 in the textbook, depicts the activities based on the original estimated duration and the duration based on 50% probability. This is, in essence, referred to as shrinking the schedule. The project buffers allow the project
Critical Chain Project Scheduling
MBA 6961, Project Management 2
manager to protect the entire project and the critical activities. This is calculated by looking at the amount of
time needed to complete the project and then working backwards.
Creating the Culture
This is the way that we have always done things. Get it done by any means necessary. Late performers will
be punished. You have likely heard these statements a time or two in your place of employment. This type of
thinking is not acceptable in the new CCPM culture. The use of CCPM requires a culture that is supportive
and willing to accept the possibility that sometimes employees will fall short of achieving the goals. This also
means that you have the CAVE (Citizens Against Virtually Everything) and that members must find a way to
deal with them effectively, even if it means removing them from the project. Remember that culture is the look
and the feel of the organization. Therefore, management must project an image of support and trust in order
to successfully utilize CCPM.
Suggested Reading
Click here to access a PDF of the Chapter 11 Presentation.
Learning Activities (Non-Graded)
Case Study
Please complete Case Study 11.1, “Judy’s Hunt for Authenticity” on page 349 and Case Study 11.2,
“Ramstein Products, Inc.” on page 349 in the textbook.
Please make sure that each question is answered completely with a minimum of 200 words.
Non-Graded Learning Activities are provided to aid students in their course of study. You do not have to
submit them. If you have questions contact your instructor for further guidance and information.
Key Terms
1. Capacity constraint buffer
2. Central limit theorem
3. Common cause variation
4. Critical chain
5. Critical chain project management
6. Drum
7. Drum buffers
8. Multitasking
9. Negative variation
10. Positive variation
11. Special cause variation
12. Student syndrome
13. Theory of constraints
MBA 6961, Project Management 3

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