Project Management Institute

Why a critical path by any other name would smell less sweet?

Towards a holistic approach to PERT/CPM

Soon after entrepreneur Eliyahu Goldratt outlined in a 1988 article his Theory of Constraints (TOC), a concept more appropriately defined-explains this author-as a Management by Constraints (MBC), his concept was widely embraced by management practitioners as a novel approach for managing the flow of materials in factories. But soon after, researchers began finding-this author explains-that the TOC concept Goldratt put forward as innovative was an approach that was too simplistic and not always correct. In revealing this information, the author points out the errors of TOC/MBC and examines the unreferenced concepts Goldratt recommended in his writings, particularly in regard to his Critical Chain (CC) approach, a concept that this author recognizes as more holistic approach to scheduling than the practice managers previously used. This author additionally addresses the strengths and weaknesses of CC and TOC.
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