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The Thinking Process helps you improve a system. As illustrated in the preceding chapters, the individual Thinking Process tools are amenable to individual application for specific purposes. You can use the Evaporating Cloud for a wide range of problems, from individual internal decision making to resolution of international issues. The following are key points from the TOC Thinking Process application to project management:

• The core conflict, leading to all project UDEs, is between the individuals and the project-management system.

• The core conflict derives from how the project system manages (or fails to manage) uncertainty by allocating contingency to buffers.

• The constraint for single projects is the critical chain, the longest path through the project considering both the project-task logic and the resource constraint.

• A system to exploit this constraint aggregates individual task uncertainty into buffers at the end of activity chains.

• Buffer management provides a real-time information (the answer to the question asked) system to effectively manage projects to complete at or before the scheduled end of the project buffer.

• The system constraint in a multiproject environment is a resource shared across multiple projects (the drum resource).

• Exploiting the multiproject resource constraint requires eliminating bad multitasking of all project resources.

• You must subordinate resource efficiency measures to the multiproject constraint. (Note that all resources, not just the drum, require protective capacity.)

You should modify the model as necessary to match the specific requirements of your environment. So far, the generic injections have proved to be robust over a wide range of project environments. Specific deployment (e.g., implementation plan, PRT, TRT) varies. Experience to date demonstrates that effective leadership and a good implementation plan are the critical success factors. Do not underestimate the cultural resistance that will occur. Plan to counter the resistance, but do not inflict harm on the resistors. Frequently, the greatest resistors become the biggest champions once they have understood and tried the new approach.

11.10 Conclusion

I ask you not to blindly accept a single thought I have presented in this book. Rather, consider the ideas and think them through for yourself and your organization. When you do so, I encourage you to think critically and identify as many potential obstacles and unintended consequences as you can. But, don't stop there. The only reason to identify obstacles and unintended consequences is to overcome and avoid them. I sincerely hope that the methods in this book will help you do so.

Thank you for joining me on this journey. My greatest hope is that you can improve the happiness of everyone on your project teams.


[1] Deming, W. E., Out of the Crisis, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1982.

[2] Womack, J. P., and D. T. Jones, Lean Thinking: Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corporation, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1996.

[3] Pande, P. S., R. P. Neuman, and R. R. Cavanagh, The Six Sigma Way: Team Fieldbook. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2002.

[4] PMI, OPM3, Organizational Project Management Maturity Model, Newton Square, PA: PMI, 2003.

[5] Goldratt, Eliyahu M., Critical Chain, Great Barrington, MA: North River Press, 1997.

[6] Noreen, Eric, Debra Smith, and James T. Mackey, The Theory of Constraints and Its Implications for Management Accounting, Great Barrington, MA: The North River Press, 1995.

[7] Goldratt, Eliyahu M., The Goal, Croton-on Hudson, NY: North River Press, 1984.

[8] DeBono, E., Lateral Thinking, Creativity Step by Step, New York: Harper & Row, 1970.

[9] Popper, K., Objective Knowledge, An Evolutionary Approach, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1972.

[10] Dettmer, H. William, Eliyahu M. Goldratt's The Theory of Constraints, A Systems Approach to Continuous Improvement, Milwaukee, WI, University Bookstore, 1995 (now Available through ASQC Press).

[11] Goldratt, Eliyahu M., It's Not Luck, Great Barrington, MA: North River Press, 1994.

[12] Altshuller, G., And Suddenly the Inventor Appeared: TRIZ, the Theory of Inventive Problem Solving, Worcester, MA: Technical Innovation Center, Inc., 1996.

[13] Senge, P., et al., The Dance of Change, New York: Currency Doubleday, 1999.

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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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