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Planview Enterprise and Critical Chain


This best practice outlines how to emulate the key principles of Critical Chain in Planview Enterprise, while noting the exceptions. 

About Critical Chain

The Critical Chain methodology involves working around resource constraints, removing all slack from the project, and inserting controlled “buffers” to manage project performance. The ultimate goal is to produce greater throughput of projects. In contrast, the Critical Path Method focuses on task sequencing without regard for which resources are constrained. At its core, a critical chain is a critical path that’s has its resources leveled across all projects. But there are other assumptions and principles as well.

One assumption Critical Chain makes is that most people subconsciously add padding to their estimates, and due to Parkinson’s Law (i.e., “work expands to fill the time allotted”), this extra time will be used up unnecessarily. It also makes the assumption that, due to the Student Syndrome, people will wait until the last minute to accomplish their work.

Because of these assumptions, it recommends asking for aggressive, but feasible, estimates, so resources can be focused on getting their tasks done in sequence. It also recommends removing all slack time by setting all tasks to start “as late as possible.” Instead of slack time and bloated estimates, Critical Chain involves creating a series of “time buffers” that the project manager can maintain control over.

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