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6/6/2012 at 5:11:21 AM GMT
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CCPM Research

TOCICO Chicago Conference June 2012

CCPM Research using the Standing on the Shoulders of Giant’s Process.

Breakout Report summarized by James Holt from many contributions of participants.

BREAKOUT: The goal of these two breakout sessions was to consider expanding the reach of the Giant of CCPM to other areas (and to also highlight areas where their might be problems with someone has already solved but are not generally known-nuggets of knowledge that need to be published). The CCPM Breakout group was about 60 CCPM experts. There was a short review of CCPM basic theory by Ajai Kapoor. The Giant of CCPM was discussed with its dramatic successes in a wide variety of settings. The

general boundary of traditional CCPM was outlined:

1. Concepts:

a. Task Touch time is comparable to task duration.

b. Time is critical

c. Plans can be created

d. Durations can be estimated

e. Cutting WIP reduces Multi-Tasking

f. Uncertainties can be absorbed in the Buffer

g. Accountability is maintained through Buffer Management

2. Method:

a. Have a PERT Plan to start

b. Create Aggressive Plan (50% Durations)

c. Identify the Critical Chain.

d. Remove Resource Conflicts.

e. Insert Buffers (Project Completion Buffers, Feeder Buffers).

f. Adjust schedule as necessary.

g. Sequence Multiple Projects (with a Drum Buffer of Virtual Buffer).

h. Manage Projects using Buffer Management.

An example of areas outside projects outside the traditional CCPM boundary was mentioned:

Shipyard Maintenance where thousands of tasks are assembled in work packages (short duration tasks within a larger work package-the short work must be done within the work packages window of time). This project environment produces much traveling work (delayed of uncompleted work into the next work package) and acts much like production.

The participants broke into four groups and identified this list of additional areas they felt were outside the traditional CCPM boundaries:

  • Projects with many uncertain arrival rates (must start when arrive).
  • New project Development.
  • R&D without plans.
  • Start-Up companies.
  • Shut Down of operations.
  • Short duration task (1<<day) projects.
  • Mixed Project and Non-Project work.
  • Project with High Dependence on Customer, Vendor and Supplier contributions.
  • Long Duration Procurement (short tasks spread over a long period).
  • Rapidly changing environments.
  • Inter project dependencies.
  • Sales and Marketing Projects.
  • Environments where we can’t control the task duration (Surgery).
  • Larger Percentage of Fixed Lead Time in Projects.

    After Review, the groups decided to attach several areas in small groups to see if their could be progress. Much discussion ensued. Many conflict clouds, logic twigs and assumptions were pondered and debated. The following is a summary of some of this work:

Area Not Covered by the Giant of CCPM: Area where many external factors are present in the CCPM plan (Customer, Vendor, Supplier actions are on the critical chain on in feeding chains).

Assumption: Safety embedded in individual tasks can be removed and aggregated into the Project Buffer.

Assumption: The impact of External Elements are Relatively Low.

Assumption: Feeder Buffer are only for scheduling.

Assumption: Suppliers will respond to monetary incentive.

Assumption: The best way to manage external elements is "Hands-Off” with Feeder Buffers.

Injection: Apply the Supply Chain Partnership model (Replenishment solution) to Project Management. Final Sell price is shared a Fixed Cost (floor cost of each task) plus a percentage above the floor for each task. TDD and IDD help keep external elements cooperative.


Area Not Covered by the Giant of CCPM: New Project Development.

Assumption: We have a Flow Line.

Error in Assumption: New Product development is a new world full of never ending iterative processes.

Injection: More planning (can reduce iterations)

Injection: Establish the criteria to identify excellent value projects during Full Kitting.

Injection: Think out the New Ideas Funnel with quick early evaluation, and second evaluations (or more later) to leave just the best for final project work (the longest part).


Area Not Covered by the Giant of CCPM: R&D

Assumption: We have a known goal.

Assumption: There is an end date.

Assumption: There is a linear project flow plan.

Injection: Create firm expectations between customer and workers.

Injection: ‘Full Kit’ is the first phase of the project.

Injection: Improved effectiveness (through collaboration).


Area Not Covered by the Giant of CCPM: Short Duration Tasks (<1 day)

Assumption: Remaining Durations estimates are required to status the project.

Assumption: Preceding tasks must be complete before succeeding tasks.

Assumption: The minimum time per task is 1 day.

Assumption: We need to know the buffer status.

Injection: Report only Completed Work.

Injection: We have Automated Reporting.

Injection: We bundle completed tasks for reporting in batches

Injection: Change focus from Resources to WIP.


Area Not Covered by the Giant of CCPM: Start-Ups

Assumption: We can plan a Start-up.

Assumption: We can estimate Task Durations.

Assumption: We must have a Project Buffer.

Assumption: The Project Buffer can absorb the variation

Injection: The Full Kit is part of the Bigger Plan.


In addition to these possible areas of expansion of CCPM, there were many UDEs identified that are associated with the CCPM Process or Implementation.

(Note: Some of these UDEs may have been solved but that golden nugget solution is not widely known. These UDEs could be the topic of a nice, short paper posted the TOCICO Project Management Forum. An analysis based on many of these UDEs may find a core problem with the implementation or blockages to implementations that can be the subject of a great TOCICO Webinar or a TOCICO conference presentation. A fully analyzed study could even be a consideration for a Goldratt Foundation Award.)

An UDE List (and a few questions):

There are too many disagreements on precedence.

There are more than 1000+ tasks.

Every minute of the Buffer is always used up (features are added or deleted to use up all the buffer).

There is confusion about combining many small projects into a single large project or to manage each project individually.

Workers will not accept cutting their estimates in half.

Must an aggressive schedule always be 50%?

What adjustment do we make for experienced CCPM groups?

Isn’t there a better way of converting a partially complete active project to a CCPM project?

How do we deal with a project plan when the required delivery date is much less than the end of the Project Buffer?

Should we adjust task durations based upon the person who is assigned the task?

How do we deal with Novices and Journeyman on the same project?

How much change can the Project Completion Buffer absorb before we reschedule the project?

What happens when Feeding Chains are longer than the Critical Chain?

We often have multiple critical chains in the same project.

We can’t agree on the method to level resources.

How much resource conflict can we allow within a single project?

How can we tell resource loading before we release new work?

Can we overlap tasks that share common resources?

Can we buffer in-progress work?

We don’t know whether to include Feeder Buffers or not.

How do we control costs on Projects?

How big should the Cost Buffer be?

We can’t meet our Earned Value numbers using CCPM.

We can’t decide when to release new work to the system.

PMI doesn’t accept CCPM.

CCPM is not a complete project management solution.

CCPM requires too much detail.

CCPM provides too little detail.

Contributed by James Holt