Theory of Constraints

n 1984 Eliyahu Goldratt wrote the excellent book "The Goal". His vision on the logistical processes and production were widely noticed but at the same time his ideas were extremely logical and even obvious. The vision of Goldratt, named the Theory Of Constraints, focuses strongly on reaching the end result through following an integral process and banning and preventing local optima.

The vision of Goldratt shows very much the same way of thinking as PRINCE2®. A common view from an efficiency perspective would be to manage teams on activities and to create teams on basis of disciplines and specialism, e.g. a development team and a test team. It would however be much more effective to manage on results, Business products instead of activities. This would lead to the formation of product focussed teams containing several disciplines cooperating closely towards the result. Also many projects are aimed at the delivery of tools (e.g. IT) while the underlying goal is not clear. Why do we do this project (Business Case), what is the goal of this project?
These are some examples how PRINCE2® and the Theory Of Constraints share the same ideas.

Critical Chain

The prerequisites of Goldratt could also be translated to the world of project management. In his book "Critical Chain" Goldratt describes how to increasing effectiveness of the project through a result-driven planning bases on processes. As a logical next step to the PRINCE2® technique Product Based Planning and in combination with the PRINCE2® processes, the project manager gets a powerful and convincing way of thinking and acting. In real life this way of thinking proved it possible to increase the effectiveness of projects.

About the author

Specialist in effective change.

Accredited MSP™ and PRINCE2® trainer.

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