Project Management Institute

Critical chain project management improves project performance

This paper describes the theory and practice of critical chain project management (CCPM). CCPM provides a substantial step in the ongoing improvement to the Project Management Body of Knowledge. The critical chain differs from the critical path by including resource dependencies and never changing. CCPM improves the project plan by ensuring that it is feasible and immune from reasonable common cause variation (uncertainty or statistical fluctuations). It does this by aggregating uncertainty into buffers at the end of activity paths (or chains). The project buffer protects the overall project completion on the critical chain path, and feeding buffers protect the critical chain from path merging. Buffer management enhances measurement and decision-making for project control. CCPM implements required changes in resource behavior, including elimination of date-driven activity performance and multitasking.
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