Theory of Constraints (TOC) - Application for Projects
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Theory of Constraints (TOC) - Application for Projects

About the Book

This eBook discusses the problems faced by Projects organizations and shows the causes that are responsible for these problems. 

It explains in detail, TOC’s application for Project Management i.e. Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM).

The eBook contains several Figures, Tables, Diagrams, Pictures, Charts, Graphs, examples, Quotes, Exercises and Games as appropriate. Most chapters are summarized in “Points to Ponder” at the end of certain chapters.

The eBook has some Multiple Choice Self-assessment questions. These questions help you to assess yourself the knowledge gained by you by reading this eBook.

This eBooks series is an excellent guide for those who want to learn TOC and its applications.

About the Author

Rajeev Athavale
Rajeev Athavale

I am a TOC consultant. I teach and implement TOC. I have been studying and trying TOC over a decade.

I am an ardent fan of ToC. For past few years, reading about TOC has moved me from “I am impressed” to “I like it” to “I want to know more…”. I did not realize when it became a passion for me. Now, I eat, sleep, walk and breath TOC.

By sheer accident, I came across the famous book “The Goal” and that changed my life. I went on reading Goldratt’s next book “Its not luck” and thereafter I read all his books. Fortunately, Internet is a great source of information and it opened up the wealth of knowledge for me.

As I did more and more research on TOC, I felt the need for crystallizing and documenting the knowledge that I gained. I created my own training material and conducted a two-day workshop on TOC in my company. Thanks to Internet, I kept on enriching my Training material.

Apart from my own consulting, I had the opportunity to work on a large TOC implementation called "Viable Vision". The project was implemented by Goldratt Consulting.

As a part of the project, I had undergone training from various experts from Goldratt Schools such as Oded Cohen, Mickey Granot, Philip Wiljoen, Eli Schragenheim, Humberto Baptista, Kiran Kothekar and Martin Powell.

Apart from the training and on the job experience, study of Goldratt’s webcast, Strategy & Tactics Trees, TOC Insights, TOC Simulators (GSIM, MICSS, PM SIM, and Distribution), TOC Games and TOC SLPs have helped me to enrich his TOC related knowledge.

My passion for learning, experimenting, sharing knowledge and achieving results continues...

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Table of Contents

Copyright Information   4

This book is dedicated to              5

Preface                6

I am thankful to…             8

Introduction       9

Some statistics  10

The Problem      11

The Golden Triangle and the Golden Hexagon    11

Time Estimates in Projects           14

How Safety In Estimates Gets Wasted?19

Multitasking       19

What is Multitasking?     19

What is the common belief?       20

What does it mean practically?  20

Why Multitasking is bad?              23

Is there anything like Good Multitasking?             24

A clarification     25

A game to imbibe the concept   25

Murphy’s Law   27

Students Syndrome        29

Parkinson’s Law                31

How to defy Parkinson's Law      33

Dependencies   35

Task Duration Variability and Resource Dependency        37

Starting non-critical paths on their early or late start        42

And there are some more ways…             43

Yes, there are some more ways by which the safety embedded in task estimates gets wasted:  43

The Vicious Cycle             44

The Learning      45

Safety   45

Projects and Manufacturing        45

Managing Safety              45

Critical Path and Critical Chain     48

Critical Path        48

Critical Chain – an Improvement over Critical Path            49

Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM)         50

The Solution       52

The Constraint  52


How to use safety / buffer?        55

Project Buffer   55

Feeding Buffer  56

Resource Buffer               57

Guidelines          59

Guidelines for creating a Critical Chain (CC)          59

Guidelines for creating Buffers and setting priorities       59

Buffer Management      61

How Much Buffer Do We Need?               61

What Buffer Management does?             61

What do we measure during project execution?               62

CCPM in Multi-Project Environment        67

Reducing Bad Multitasking           69

Freezing projects             69

Accelerating the project completion       71

Full-kit Preparations       73

Project Planning               75

What is the “Normal” Practice in Planning Phase?             75

What is the Resultant “Normal” Practice during Execution Phase?             75

Creating Plan / Sequence / Schedule      75

Constructing a “Good Enough” Schedule               81

Build the network            81

Create Critical Chain Schedule    82

Schedule Analysis            83

Validate               83

Analyze Critical Chain     83

Analyze Project Buffers                83

Staggering the projects85

Execution Management and Control       88


Measure the Buffers      89

Manage with the Buffers             89

Using Buffer Report        90

Task Management          90

Using Buffer Report for Managing Supply Chain92

Project Control93

Managing the Performance of Contractors          94

CCPM and Five Focusing Steps   97

Beware of Your Policies – The Way We Work Here           99

CCPM Culture    100

CCPM Culture for TOP Management (including Delivery Heads, Resource Heads and Function Heads):    100

CCPM Culture for Project Managers, Resource Managers and Function Managers:           101

CCPM Culture for Task Managers             102

CCPM Culture for Resources       103

Summary             104

Rules for Planning            105

Execution Rules                105

Features of CCPM           106

CCPM provides106

Pitfalls addressed            106

CCPM does not106

Benefits of CCPM            106

Self-assessment questions          108

eBooks published by Rajeev Athavale    111

Learner’s Guides              111

Article Repository            112

TOC Applications: Implementation Guidance for Small and Medium Size Enterprises        113

Bibliography       114

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