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What is Critical Chain Project Management? | A Complete Tutorial

Last updated on 24th Aug 2022, Blog, Tutorials

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Nidhi Mittal is a Project Executive Lead for Respective Industry as an expert and supports the Project Manager as a partner by planning, monitoring, ensuring, and reporting appropriate activities with regard to failure prevention and effective implementation and has been Serving for 6+ years.

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Critical Chain Method:

The important Chain methodology (CCM) is one among the strategies wont to perform Schedule Network Analysis that takes under consideration task dependencies, restricted resource handiness, and buffers. It’s wont to prepare the project schedule once restricted or restricted resources square measure offered.In this methodology, the Program Manager (PM) typically schedules all or most of the speculative or important activities within the earlier stage of the project schedule. This enables the important tasks to be completed early and also offers buffers to handle surprising issues if they arise. Also, the PM can mix many tasks into one task and assign one resource to handle all.

Critical Chain methodology:

Critical Chain methodology

Before we have a tendency to discuss the important Chain methodology, let’s review the failings with the important Path methodology. The important path methodology features a few inherent drawbacks:

  • Unlimited Resources
  • Float Misuse
  • Activity Completion Gain/Loss
  • Student Syndrome

Unlimited Resources: The important Path methodology is optimistic, presumptuous that the project forever has resources whenever required.However, this can be not forever doable. Many times, this assumption results in delays and extra prices. No organization will give unlimited resources for any project, and if truth be told, resource constraints square measure common.

Misuse of Float: Misuse of Float or slack was routine within the important Path methodology.According to Parkinson’s Law, “work expands to fill the time offered for its completion.” Team members typically misuse the slack, inflicting delays within the schedule.If any activity features a float, the team member is incentivized to use all of it to finish the task.

Activity Completion Gain/Loss: If you complete Associate in Nursing activity early, the time gain is useless as a result of success should wait till its early begin date. This might happen as a result of the resources allotted to successive activities might not be offered at the instant.However, the alternative isn’t true. If any activity is delayed, it’ll have an effect on success, and also the next activity is delayed, and so the project is simple too. Delays accumulate within the important path methodology, however gain doesn’t.

Student Syndrome: Student Syndrome infects the important path once team members don’t begin the task till the last moment.Therefore, the activity has no float, and any delay within the activity can have an effect on the project schedule.Clearly, an important path-based schedule contains several potential pitfalls for project managers.Project managers required a practical approach to developing a practical schedule to assist them complete on time with lowest obstruction.Hence, the important Chain methodology (CCM) came into existence. Mr. Eliyahu M. Goldratt developed this methodology in 1997 as Associate in Nursing improvement over the important Path methodology.

Critical Chain Project Management:

Critical Chain Project Management

Critical Chain Project Management was developed and published byDr. Eliyahu. Goldratt in 1997. Followers of this methodology of Project Management claim it to be a volition to the established standard of Project Management as supported by PMBOK ® and other norms of Project Management. In this composition, we ’ll give a brief overview of what Critical Chain Project Management is, the principles of Critical Chain Project Management, and its connection to managing systems across all associations and verticals. The Critical Chain system has its roots in another one ofDr. Goldratt’s inventions the proposition of Constraints( TOC). This design operation system comes into force after the original design schedule is set, which includes establishing task dependencies . The evolved critical path is reworked grounded on the Critical Chain system. The technique makes this assumption based on constraints specific to each activity. A Many of These Constraints Include

  • There’s a certain quantum of query in each task.
  • Task durations are frequently overrated by platoon members or task possessors. This is generally done to add a safety periphery to the task so as to be certain of its completion in the decided duration.
  • In utmost cases, the tasks shouldn’t take the time estimated, which includes the safety periphery, and should be completed before.
  • If the safety periphery assumed isn’t demanded, it’s actuallywasted.However, it may not inescapably mean that the successor task can start before as the coffers needed for the successor task may not be available until their listed time, If the task is finished sooner.
  • In other words, the saved time can not be passed on to finish the design beforehand. On the other hand, if there are detainments over and above the estimated schedules, these detainments will most surely get passed on, and, in utmost cases, will exponentially increase the design schedule.
  • With the below hypotheticals, the Critical Path Methodology of design operation recommends pooling of the task buffers and adding them at the end of the critical path.

A Few of These Constraints Include:

  • There is a certain amount of uncertainty in each task.
  • Task durations are often overestimated by team members or task owners. This is typically done to add a safety margin to the task so as to be certain of its completion in the decided duration.
  • In most cases, the tasks should not take the time estimated, which includes the safety margin, and should be completed earlier.

If the safety margin assumed is not needed, it is actually wasted. If the task is finished sooner, it may not necessarily mean that the successor task can start earlier as the resources required for the successor task may not be available until their scheduled time. In other words, the saved time cannot be passed on to finish the project early. On the other hand, if there are delays over and above the estimated schedules, these delays will most definitely get passed on, and, in most cases, will exponentially increase the project schedule.With the above assumptions, the Critical Path Methodology of project management recommends pooling of the task buffers and adding them at the end of the critical path:

Critical Chain methodology (CCM) Goal:

The goal of the important Chain methodology (CCM) is to eliminate project schedule delays thanks to uncertainties, overestimation of task period, and wasted internal buffers.Critical Chain methodology (CCM) StepsThe important Chain methodology is Associate in Nursing updated type of the important Path methodology. Here, you think about resource handiness whereas developing the project schedule.In the important Chain methodology, you utilize a buffer rather than float. These buffers eliminate the thought of float or slack.You can take into account the important path as a selected case of the important chain once the project has unlimited resources.

The six (6) steps concerned within the CCM are:

  • Identify all activities and dependencies
  • Construct a Schedule Network Diagram
  • Define constraints
  • Determine important path
  • Determine buffers
  • Apply resource handiness

Critical Chain methodology (CCM) Buffers:

The CCM has 3 (3) differing kinds of Buffers that are:

Resource buffer: is inserted simply before an important chain activity wherever an important resource is needed. It’s wont to prompt the project team that a resource is required and to complete previous activities.Resource buffers square measure unbroken aboard the important chain to confirm that they’re offered once needed. These buffers will be human resources or instrumentality.Please note that since the important chain considers resource constraints, its period is longer than the important path. However, you’ll make amends for this by removing contingencies from the activities.The resources utilized in the important chain square measure are called important resources.

Feeding buffer: is inserted as a security margin within the non-critical chain of a network schedule. It’s placed wherever the trail feeds into the important chain path. This buffer is more to the non-critical chain so any delay doesn’t have an effect on the important chain. Feeding buffers square measure inserted between the last task on non-critical and significant chains.Feeding buffers and also the project buffer square measure calculated in an equivalent manner. The period of those buffers is predicated on some fraction of the protection aloof from the tasks on non-critical chains.

Project buffer: the summation of all the inner buffers more to every project task or activity. This buffer is placed between the last task and also the project completion date as a non-activity buffer, and it acts as a contingency for the important chain activities. Any delay on the important chain can eat this buffer, and also the project completion date won’t modify it.If any activity finishes early, the gain is more to the current buffer.Usually, the period is five hundredth of the contingency that you simply have aloof from every task. This helps to maneuver uncertainty from the tasks to the project buffer, improve potency, and scale back the schedule period.Please note that though the important chain starts at the start, it ends before the beginning of the project buffer, and it doesn’t finish at the shut of the project. This period can embody any time period borrowed from the project buffer or exclude the period more to the buffer.

Difference Between Important Chain methodology (CCM) and significant Path methodology (CPM):

There square measure few variations between the important chain methodology and also the important path methodology however they each specialize in schedule development and estimation.

These are: Critical Path methodology is concentrated on however long a project is predicated upon task estimation and also the quantity of float on a project.Critical Chain methodology operates on shortening however long a project is thanks to overestimation, uncertainties, and buffers.

Differences Between Buffer and Float:

what is total float and free float
  • Many aspirants confuse buffer and float, however they’re quite completely different.
  • Float or slack may be a crucial path development, whereas buffer belongs to the crucial chain.
  • A float may be a distinction between the length of the crucial and also the non-critical methods, and a buffer relies on contingencies.
  • A float is zero on a crucial path, whereas a buffer isn’t zero on a crucial chain or the other chain.
  • A float is the same for all activities on a non-critical path. Any activity will consume it part or absolutely, et al. will utilize the balance. there’s no analysis.
  • Any activity can even borrow a buffer if the activity is delayed. The project manager analyzes the remaining buffer to search out the standing of the project.
  • Buffers are often divided into 3 categories: project, feeding, and resource. A float is either total float or free float.

How to produce the crucial Chain Network Diagram?

To create a crucial chain network diagram, first, produce a crucial path network diagram.Then you need to follow these 3 further steps to develop a crucial chain network diagram:

  • Remove all contingencies from activities. Replace your estimate with an associate degree optimistic estimate if you have used a saucy (Program analysis and Review Technique) estimate to create the schedule.
  • Align the activities with late end dates and take away resource constraints. offer priority to crucial chain activities whereas assignment resources.
  • Add feeding buffers to non-critical chains so their durations are adequate for the crucial chain. Add the project buffer to the top of the crucial chain, however before the project finish date.

Example of crucial Chain methodology:

Consider receiving a project to build a structure. You develop a schedule supporting the crucial Path methodology and begin the work.However, throughout the execution of this project, you discover out that:There is a shortage of cement, or Equipment from your project is appointed to another comes, orManagement has force one team member for a few pressing work.

  • What will happen now?
  • Of course, this may cause a delay in your project.
  • So, wherever was the problem?
  • Did the crucial path not determine the resources needed by your project?
  • No, the crucial path is to know the resources for your activities.
  • So, wherever was the problem? What went wrong?

The problem was with resource allocation. Though the crucial path knew the resources, it didn’t account for the restricted convenience of resources. The project schedule was developed with the idea that every one resource would be offered whenever they were required. sadly, this might not happen, and also the schedule was delayed.Therefore, to resolve these problems, you apply resource constraints to your crucial path, and it’s currently a crucial chain network diagram, and it’s additional realistic.Now you’ll complete your project with additional confidence.

Let us return some key options of crucial chain management before this diary post ends:

  • It is a settled model.
  • It avoids misdirection of slack or float.
  • It optimizes the employment of resources.

Projects supported the crucial chain methodology are completed 100 percent to half-hour quicker than those supported the crucial path methodology:

  • It is an additional sensible approach.
  • It improves productivity.


The crucial Chain methodology may be an additional sensible approach to developing the project schedule. In it, the provision of resources is taken into thought whereas drawing the network diagram. Here you utilize buffers rather than float. The crucial Chain methodology is one among the foremost necessary recent developments in project management. This methodology addresses several shortcomings of the crucial Path methodology, provides a sensible schedule, encourages team members to perform expeditiously, and improves productivity. If you are considering working toward your PMP® or PRINCE2® exam.

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