Critical chain is NOT critical path

by Brad Egeland


Critical Chain Project Management


Do you critical chain PM? Don't know? What is it, you say? Well, critical chain project management, as defined by that #1 source on the internet (tongue firmly implanted in check even though it is my 2010's version of the old World Book Encyclopedia at my parent's house) is “a method of planning and managing projects that emphasizes the resources (people, equipment, physical space) required to execute project tasks. It differs from more traditional methods that derive from critical path and PERT algorithms, which emphasize task order and rigid scheduling. A critical chain project network strives to keep resources leveled, and requires that they be flexible in start times.”


Oh boy...good old resource leveling. I haven't screwed that up since I was putting together a 7,500 task project management schedule for a $50 million government program my company was bidding on and I forgot to allow for holidays. I will NEVER do that again...big lesson learned!

Critical chain is NOT critical path

So we've established that critical chain is not the same as critical path...which most or all of us are fairly familiar with...whether we really pay any attention to the critical path is another matter. Most of us do not worry too much about it till something starts to go wrong on the project.


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Tags: Basis , Planning , Capaciteitsmanagement
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