Part 1: Summary 1.
BookintroductionCriticalchain is a novel written by Eliyahu Goldratt. It is a book which act as a knowhow to guide for aspiring project managers in industry. It was published by theNorth River Press on 4th September 1997. The book has many real lifeexamples which help us to understand the the theory of project management in amore realistic and engaging way. 2.
Primary/Core idea of the bookThe bookrevolves around many philosophies and tries to highlight key concerns incurrent practices and system. It attemptsto bring a difference in the educational systems for better understanding ofchange in business world. The novel effectively points out the problemsregarding how time estimates are normally carried out on projects.
It alsotries to explain the concept of Theory of Constraints with an example of itsimplementation in a steel mill. It further shows the application of topicTheory of Constraints and how it can be incorporated in case of multipleprojects, create easy generation of schedule and manage resources constraints. 3. The storyThe bookstarts with the description of activities happening at a modem company of nameGenemodem . Over there the management is demanding to shorten the process of the product development becausethey believe that if they did not do that then they would lag behind themarket. They appoint three young managers.
One from the development, one from finance,and one from marketing department. They are given responsibility to find amethod to shorten the lead-time of product development. Their mission was toshorten their current project of 2 years to 6 months.The mainstory is about a person named Rick Silver. He is a young associate professor ofbusiness. He is apparently struggling to create an impact and make a noteworthycontribution to the academic world in field of project management. He seeks toget a tenure and is in need of publications.
He desperately wants a tenurebecause he is facing personal and financial problems at home , which he thinkscan be resolved if he gets the tenure. But theuniversity manger B.J. decides to reject new tenure applications, including thatof Rick Silver’s to avoid financial disaster as she realized that MBAprogrammes are not giving desired value to students. Now rick has to teachproject management course to those recruited 3 young managers from Genemodem.
.Heis a very good teacher and conducts interactive learning in his lecture to hisstudents at Executive MBA class. In firstclass, Rick discusses the definition of a project and its stakeholders. He tellshis students the famous story about the StatOil project in which a Norwegianoil company was left with no choice but to resign from a four-billion-dollar oil drillingproject. He also talks about traintunnel channel project between England and France which faced major costoverrunIn thesecond class, rick and his students conclude that there exists a repetitive systemregarding justification given for project delays. The notice that the topmanagement usually blames the weather, the vendors, the government while lower-levelmanagement blames people inside the company for delay.
In the third class, theybegin to draw diagrams of what a project should appear. They also learn how aproject manager should monitor progress and be always focused. Later on, theyattend a colloquium and meet professor Johnny Fisher who enlightens studentswith knowledge on what is required in a managers to manage well and he divideshis philosophy into two types which are controlling of costs and protectingthroughput. They discuss uponthe current procedure of measuring success at a workand shows how it is in contradiction with success measured at line ofproduction. They explain principle steps involved in theory of constraints.
Theyagree to the point that the critical path is the constraint in projectmanagement. The solution that they found to decrease lead time on Genemodemproject is to decrease time for each critical path steps by half. The time thatis saved by cutting each step into half is added to the end of path and theterminology used to describe it is project buffer. For non-critical path cut the steps of estimatedoriginal time by half. The half of the remainingcut lead time was call feeding buffer time.
In the endthe university is able to find solution to the market value demand. And hence professorrick silvers financial as well as personal problems also resolve.4. Review of the bookWith variousexamples and analogies, we get to learn about the theory of project management.
We are also highlighted upon concepts of resource bottlenecks, multiple projectresource constrain, cost of money, bell curve, median etc. The book also pointsout issues in current education system like student syndrome, not claimingearly competition and multitasking inefficiency.