Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM) is more powerful and resource-driven than Critical Path Project Management. CCPM is based on methods and algorithms derived from the Theory of Constraints. The Critical Chain is the sequence of both precedence- and resource-dependent tasks that prevents a project from being completed in a shorter time, given finite resources. If (non-human) resources are always available in unlimited quantities, then a project’s Critical Chain is identical to its Critical Path.
CCPM provides greater transparency into how the organization’s overall set of projects are performing during execution, and provides global metrics to guide and motivate all parties to do what is best for the entire organization.
You can view this PowerPoint presentation (with audio included) to learn more about Critical Chain Project Management.
By leveraging Aurora’s sophisticated scheduling system with CCPM theory, a much more robust solution has been developed: Aurora-CCPM. Resource constraints (e.g., available equipment, space, and human resources) are very important to the implementation of the Critical Chain method because it more heavily considers them when compared to Critical Path. Fortunately, Aurora-CCPM takes into account resource requirements, a variety of constraints, and can be adapted to pertinent domain knowledge. This is especially critical during the execution phase of a CCPM plan as real-time updates arrive regarding the status of the hundreds or thousands of tasks that make up the plan.
Aurora-CCPM greatly enhances the practicality and power of the Critical Chain method:
- Critical Chain can now be applied to projects encompassing thousands of tasks
- It can also be used to handle complex emergency-type situations, where new tasks are inserted during the actual execution of the plan
Aurora-CCPM is a combination of Aurora™, Stottler Henke’s intelligent planning and scheduling system, with the added power and flexibility of Multi-project Critical Chain Project Management.
By using sophisticated scheduling software as the underpinnings for Critical Chain reasoning, Aurora-CCPM can be applied to projects encompassing thousands of heavily constrained tasks and requiring hundreds of different kinds of resources. Giving the Critical Chain method such a solid scheduling basis also allows it to more easily handle complex situations such as new tasks being inserted during the actual plan execution, as well as other radical changes to the situation.
Features and Benefits
By adding Critical Chain Project Management to an already powerful and sophisticated scheduling software, Aurora-CCPM provides two important additional benefits:
- Better Critical Chain (one that can potentially be worked in less time)
- More flexibility and an improved ability to accommodate change
- Interfaces with Primavera P6, Microsoft Project, Artemis, PSS, Open Plan, PS8 and enterprise applications; to import, analyze, and export schedules.
- Provides intelligent conflict resolution.
- Provides explanations on why each activity/task was scheduled where it was, adding transparency.
- Disruptions to the original plan including interjections of new tasks during execution are handled optimally.
Aurora-CCPM provides enterprise solutions not otherwise available:
- Boeing uses Aurora-CCPM because no other product could meet its Critical Chain needs
- Large-project modeling is possible and more efficient
- Large multi-project environments can be modeled
- Short duration critical chain