Applying the Theory of Constraints to Project Portfolio Management

Larry Leach

This chapter describes an approach to apply the theory of constraints (TOC) to project portfolio management. It adds to the knowledge of the critical chain method of project management1 and the synthesis of critical chain with the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK™), called critical chain project management (CCPM).2 Although the critical chain method brings improvements to several areas of the PMBOK™, it does not address many of the processes necessary for project success. TOC tools and thinking can add value to these other processes, including project portfolio selection and management.

The first two parts of the chapter describe the TOC and CCPM, which form the basis for TOC portfolio selection and management. CCPM development focused on managing projects to achieve the results faster, assuming that they were the right projects. Although development did focus on managing portfolios of projects, TOC portfolio management also assumed the right set of projects. The final part of this chapter extends that thinking to project portfolio selection.

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Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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