Critical Chain is a novel by Dr. Eliyahu Goldratt published in 1997,using the Critical Chain theory of Project
the major theme. It is really a teaching method for the theory.
Critical Chain is a book about project management for
all the leaders, project managers, operations manager. In this book Dr. Eliyahu
Goldratt highlights how the current education system has done more harm than
added any value to the individual. The teaching methodology as described in the
book highlights how the training and learning should happen in the class via more
interactive sessions between the students and the trainer. The book is
especially a great value add to Project managers who are in a constantly trying
to identify the right things that needs to be done on their projects.
of the book :
project will run out of time but will never run out of excuses.
are projects late? People blame uncertainty and unforeseen risks. Top
management blames externalities, while project participants more-honestly place
direct blame on internal politics and management.
usually build safety into their estimates when estimating times-to-complete for
project activities. Typically, the estimate is judged at an 80% confidence
point. That is, the estimator believes there is an 80% chance that an activity
will be completed within this time.
With all this safety built into the scheduling
estimates, why are most projects late? Because (1) most safety is wasted and
(2) because people do not focus on critical chain activities and resources.
The story :
main story happens in a business school which is facing a crisis. As an
associate professor in that business school, the hero Rick Silver is struggling
to become tenure to make his life better. And then, he is assigned to teach a
course in an Executive MBA course. This is a challenge but also a good
opportunity for him. During the MBA course, Rick introduces his findings to his
students and develops the concept of the “Critical Chain” with his students.
The teaching style of professor Silver welcomed by his students, at the same
time, Rick is also inspired by three of his students who are involved in a
project at their company to develop a way to cut product development time. The
economy crisis of business school almost makes the promotion of Rick
impossible, but the new discoveries he makes in the MBA course and the support
it gets from the industry let his promotion come true.
Review of the book
Again it is written as a business novel, this times from the
perspective of an assistant professor at a small university whose job is at
risk because MBA courses are not delivering the practical skills needed by
business. I think Goldratt was making an interesting point there.The hero is offered a chance to teach on course on the
executive MBA program and it’s one he doesn’t know much about so he has to
learn as he goes and clashes with traditional project management ideas.
I enjoyed reading Critical Chain and I’d rate
it as better than It’s Not Luck (much less confusing) but not as compelling as
the classic, The Goal.