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Applying Critical Chain to improve the management of uncertainty in projects

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000128093D
Original Publication Date: 1998-Dec-31
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Sep-14
Document File: 6 page(s) / 21K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

Cook, Stephen Carl: AUTHOR [+3]

Related Documents

http://theses.mit.edu:80/Dienst/UI/2.0/Describe/0018.mit.theses/1998-248: URL

Abstract

In an ever intensifying global competitive market, the management of projects, particularly product development efforts, increasingly is one of the few areas which can produce a sustained competitive advantage. Firms that can bring products to market faster can extract higher initial margins, can be more responsive to their customers, and will have products with longer sales lives. Critical Chain is a new methodology that applies Eli Goldratt's Theory of Constraints to project management in order complete projects faster and with greater predictability while simultaneously making more efficient use of resources, The Critical Chain method accomplishes this by building project networks with average task durations, aggregating buffer at the end of projects where it can absorb unplanned iterations and other delays, and de-conflicting resources, both withill and across projects. This new project management methodology was researched by spending seven months on site with ITT Night Vision and applying the method to two product development projects. In addition, benchmarking studies of previous product development efforts at the same site and of another lead user of the tool were conducted to provide both qualitative and quantitative comparison data, Critical Chain appears to minimize schedule risk while simultaneously minimizing project duration, and has the potential to improve both communication and employee morale,

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 This record is the front matter from a document that appears on a server at MIT and is used through permission from MIT. See http://theses.mit.edu:80/Dienst/UI/2.0/Describe/0018.mit.theses/1998-248 for copyright details and for the full document in image form.

Applying Critical Chain to Improve the Management of Uncertainty in Projects

by

Stephen Carl Cook


B. S. Electrical Engineering, United States Naval Academy, 1989 Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Sloan School of Management

at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

June 1998
SIGNATURE OF author: [[signature omitted]]

Sloan School of Management Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science May 8, 1998
CERTIFIED BY: [[SIGNATURE OMITTED]]

Steven D. Eppinger, Associate Professor

Sloan School of Management Thesis Supervisor Anna Thornton, Assistant Professor

Department of Mechanical Engineering Thesis Supervisor ACCEPTED BY: [[SIGNATURE OMITTED]]

Lawrence S. Abeln Director of Master's Program Sloan School of Management Arthur C. Smith
Chairman, Committee on Graduate Students Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

ARCHIVES MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY LIBRARIES OCT 27 1999

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Page 1 Dec 31, 1998

Page 2 of 6

Applying Critical Chain to improve the management of uncertainty in projects

Applying Critical Chain to improve the Management of Uncertainty in Projects

By Stephen Carl Cook

Submitted to the Sloan School of Management and the Department of Electrical Engineering on May 9, 1998 in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degrees of Master of Business Administration and Master of Science in Electrical Engineering

Abstract

In an ever intensifying global competitive market, the management of projects, particularly product development efforts, increasingly is one of the few areas which can produce a sustained competitive advantage. Firms that can bring products to market faster can extract higher initial margins, can be more responsive to their customers, and will have products with longer sales lives. Critical Chain is a new methodology that applies Eli Goldratt's Theory of Constraints to project management in order complete projects faster and with greater predictability while simultaneously making more efficient use of resources, The Critical Chain method accomplishes this by building project networks with average task durations, aggregating buffer at the end of projects where it can absorb unplanned iterations and other delays, and de- conflicting resources, both withill and across projects. This new project management methodology was researched by spending seven months on site with ITT Night Vision and applying the method to two product development projects. In addition, benchmarking studies of previous product development efforts at the same site and of another lead user of the tool were condu...