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How to Get More Done Quicker!

Simplified Critical Chain PM


Visual Management for the Masses

James R. Holt, Ph.D., PE


Professor Emeritus jholt@wsu.edu
Engineering Management http://etm.wsu.edu/
1
© Washington State University-2018
Roles in the Organization
• Leadership:
 1. Set the Vision
 2. Convince others the Vision is
Acceptable
 3. Motivate others to Achieve the
Vision

2
Roles in the Organization
• Leadership:
 1. Set the Vision

• Workers:
 1. Do the work In Order
Assigned
 2. Know their Status
 3. Know When and
How to Get Help

Work Flow
3
Roles in the Organization
• Leadership:
 1. Set the Vision

• Management: ¢
$
 1. Decide What to Do ? ?
? ¢
 2. Decide When to Do It ¢
 3. Know When to Give Help
Managers

• Workers:
 1. Do the work

Work Flow
4
What is a Project? If you are not
doing Mass
• A project is something we do so that something
Production,
else can be done (Achieve Purpose). you are doing
 Build a house  To live in it! Projects!
 Design a radio  For many to enjoy music!
 Build a bridge  Many can cross the river!
 Process Insurance Claim  Receive
restitution!
 Run for Public Office  To better the World!
 Bring a case to Trial  So justice can be done!
 Treat a patient  Restore Health!
• Projects are everywhere; everyone does them!
5
What is the Problem?
• To the outsider, the world
of projects is a black hole.

Much Time Later…

The Request
February
January
August
March
June
April
May
July 2013
2014
2012
2011
2010
The Result
Goes in… Comes Out!

I want a
house
Project World
Black HOLE

© Washington State University-2011 6


Inside the
Black Hole
No one is happy!
Who knows when things
will be done?
Not Management!
Not Workers!
Much Time Later…

The Request
February
January
August
March
June
April
May
July 2012
2011
2010
The Result
Goes in… Comes Out!

I want a
house
Project World
Black HOLE

© Washington State University-2011 7


Direction of the Solution

• 1. WE NEED to get projects Going!


• 2. WE NEED to keep projects Flowing!
• 3. WE NEED to know what to worry about!
• 4. WE NEED to know what NOT to worry
about!
• 5. WE NEED ‘good enough’ project status.
• 6. WE NEED to be predictable.

8
Contribution of PERT/CPM

Project Structure
• Linking Precedence
• Reporting Mechanism
• Recognizing Variability
• Critical Path

9
Contribution of LEAN

Customer Emphasis
• Do the Right Thing
• Don’t Do the Wrong Thing
• Get Things Going
• Keep Them Flowing
• Make it Visible

10
Contribution of Six Sigma

Variability Happens!
• Define Process
• Measure Process
• Analyze Data – Root Cause
• Continuously Improve the Process
• Control the Process and Sustain

11
Contribution of TOC

Constraint Focus!
• Aggressive Schedule
• Strategic Buffers
• Choke the Release
• Buffer Management
• Resource Reserve

12
Problems with PERT/CPM, LEAN,
Six Sigma & TOC Approaches
• Too complicated (too much analysis).
• Too restrictive (limits flexibility).
• Too involved (takes too much Time).
• Questionable Reporting.
• Extensive Computer Support
and Maintenance.
• Not worth the effort for routine,
day-to-day projects.
• Too Much trouble for 90% of the project world.

13
Proposal

• Project Management for the Masses!


• Include “The Best” from All
Management Techniques!
• Eliminates All the Problems!
• Fast, Predictable Response!
• The Process Develops Project
Management Ability and People!
• Everyone Agrees! Everyone’s Happy!
Visual Project Management

14
Visual Project Management
is Ideal When …
• 1. Getting the Job Done with the right Content is
most important.
• 2. The project is managed by a relatively small
team throughout the project and little interactivity
with other systems resources.
Fat Project
Skinny Project

• 3. The organization is not yet ready for a more


rigorous Project Management Approach
15
What is
Visual Project Management?

• 1. A firm, aggressive plan for each


Project:
 A CCPM Plan (with a Critical Chain) or
 A PERT Plan (with a Critical Path) or
 A List of Tasks (tasks that must all be done)
• 2. A 50% Project Time Buffer is Added
(50% of the Critical Chain, Critical Path or Sum of the List).
• 3. Reporting of Tasks Completed.
• 4. A 20% Expert Resource Bench
(the Sensei, First Responders or SWAT team who act
upon Buffer Penetration).

16
How to Do
Visual Project Management

• 1. Make an Aggressive Plan (Those who do the


task decide what is aggressive).

• 2. Add a 50% Buffer at the End.


• 3. Record Completed Tasks.
• 4. Provide Help When Needed (Expert
Resource Bench).

• 5. DON’T provide help when NOT


NEEDED.
• 6. Control the Release of Work (to the rate the
system can handle).

17
How Does
Visual Project Management Work?
Known Variable
Skinny Project Buffer Penetration
% Time NOW- Start Time
Consumed
= (CC, CP,List Time)
Buffer Only Element
(CC, CP, List Time) to Report (∑ Completed CC, CP, List Tasks)
% Project
Start NOW Complete
= (CC, CP, List Time)
Completed to here
Mostly Fixed Times
100%

% Buffer
Consumed
= 2*(%Time -%Project)
Percent Buffer

Note: Make the fever chart


Consumed

two units wide and one unit


high to give it the same
visible proportion as the
0%

relative times in the project


0% 100% and buffer. The slope of the
diagonal is 1/2.
Project Completion 18
Practice Plotting Buffer Status
Committed
Skinny Project Delivery Date
0
% Time
Consumed
= 20
= 0%
Buffer
20 0
% Project
NOW Complete
= 20
= 0%
100%

% Buffer
Consumed
=
Percent Buffer

0% = 2*(0%-0%)
Consumed
0%

0% 100%
Project Completion
19
Practice Plotting Buffer Status
Committed
Skinny Project Delivery Date
4
% Time
Consumed
= 20
= 20%
Buffer
20 3
% Project
NOW Complete
= 20
= 15%
Completed to here
100%

% Buffer
Consumed
=
Percent Buffer

10% = 2*(20%-15%)
Consumed

Note: A normal (acceptable) buffer


consumption rate is 1 day of buffer
0%

for 2 days of project complete. Here


we see 3 days of project completed
0% 100% and only one day (4-3=1) of buffer
consumption. The project moved
Project Completion towards the Green Zone.
20
Practice Plotting Buffer Status
Committed
Skinny Project Delivery Date
8
% Time
Consumed
= 20
= 40%
Buffer
20 5
% Project
NOW Complete
= 20
= 25%
Completed to here
100%

% Buffer
Consumed
=
Percent Buffer

30% = 2*(40%-25%)
Consumed

Note: Since the previous reporting period, the


time increased 4 and project completion
increased by 2. The normal buffer
0%

consumption rate is 1/2. At this report we see


the 2 days of buffer were consumed (4-2=2)
0% 100% over 2 days of the project for a consumption
rate of 2/2 or 1. The project status moves
Project Completion towards the Red Zone.
21
Practice Plotting Buffer Status
Committed
Skinny Project Delivery Date
16
% Time
Consumed
= 20
= 80%
Buffer
20 10
% Project
NOW Complete
= 20
= 50%
Completed to here
100%

% Buffer
Consumed
=
Percent Buffer

60% = 2*(80%-50%)
Consumed

Note: Since the previous reporting period, the


time increased 8 and project completion
increased by 5. At this report we see that 3
0%

days of buffer were consumed (8-5=3) over 5


0% 100% days of project for a consumption rate of 3/5 or
0.6 which is just above the 1/2. So, the project
Project Completion status moves slightly more into the Red Zone.

22
Practice Plotting Buffer Status
Committed
Skinny Project Delivery Date
20
% Time
Consumed
= 20
= 100%
Buffer
20 14
% Project
NOW Complete
= 20
= 70%
Completed to here
100%

% Buffer
Consumed
=
Percent Buffer

60% = 2*(100%-70%)
Consumed

Note: Since the previous reporting period, the


time increased 4 and project completion
increased by 4. At this report we see that 0
0%

days of buffer were consumed (4-4=0) over 4


0% 100% days of project. The consumption rate is 0/4 or
0 which is much less than 1/2. The buffer is
being recovered. The project status moves
Project Completion from the Red Zone towards the Green Zone.
23
Practice Plotting Buffer Status
Committed
Skinny Project Delivery Date
25
% Time
Consumed
= 20
= 125%
Buffer
20 17
% Project
NOW Complete
= 20
= 85%
Completed to here
100%

% Buffer
Consumed
=
Percent Buffer

80% = 2*(125%-85%)
Consumed

Note: Since the previous reporting period, the


time increased 5 and project completion
increased by 3. At this report we see that 2
0%

days of buffer were consumed (5-3=2) over 3


0% 100% days of project. The consumption rate is 2/3 or
.66 which is just above 1/2. The project status
Project Completion is moving slowly towards the Red Zone.

24
Practice Plotting Buffer Status
Committed
Delivery Date
28
% Time
Consumed
= 20
= 140%
Buffer
20 19
% Project
NOW Complete
= 20
= 95%
Completed to here
100%

% Buffer
Consumed
=
Percent Buffer

90% = 2*(140%-95%)
Consumed

Note: Since the previous reporting period, the


time increased 3 and project completion
increased by 2. At this report we see that 1 day
0%

of buffer was consumed (3-2=1) over 2 days of


0% 100% project. The consumption rate is 1/2 or just at
the allowable consumption rate (paralleling the
line between the Red Zone and Green Zone.
Project Completion
25
Practice Plotting Buffer Status
Committed
Skinny Project Delivery Date
29
% Time
Consumed
= 20
= 145%
Buffer
20 20
% Project
NOW Complete
= 20
= 100%
Completed to here
100%

% Buffer
Consumed
= 2*(%Time -%Project)
Percent Buffer

90% = 2*(145%-100%)
Consumed

Note: The project is complete. Since the


previous reporting period, the time increased 1
day and project completion increased by 1 day
0%

to finish before the end of the buffer. No


0% 100% additional buffer was consumed. The project
status stayed in the Green Zone.
Project Completion
26
Reporting Individual Project
Ka-Ching! A completed project is a Cash Machine! The Project
allows something else to go forward that has value
of five to ten times the cost of the project.
100%
Percent Buffer Consumed
0%

0% 100%
%Project Completion

27
Plotting Multi Projects on One Page

Visual Project Management (Many Beneficial Side Effects)


Red Zone Status: 1421 – Awaiting Packing. 1541 - Awaiting Tech Support.
614 - Awaiting Subcontractor. 644 - Prototype failure.
100%

1421
Percent Buffer Consumed

522
1541
433
5541 Project 1541
147 482 618 needs Techs.
644 614 16 Project 16
1667
can volunteer
1667 941 to give up
554 101
230 Techs for a
0%

time.
0% 100%
Project Completion

28
Anomaly Project Status
Black Zone Status: Projects 444 and 122 WILL BE LATE!
Cancel or Notify Customer.
122

444
100%

1421
Percent Buffer Consumed

522
1541
433
5541
147 482 618
644 614 16
1667

554 1667 941


230 101
0%

0% 100%
Project Completion

29
Anomaly Project Status
Below Zero Buffer Consumption: Projects 115 and 700 are not
aggressive enough.
100%

1421
Percent Buffer Consumed

522
1541
433
5541
147 482 618
644 614 16
1667

554 1667 941


230 101
0%

0% 100%
115
Project Completion
700

30
Implementing
Visual Project Management
• Only one Additional Step:
• Freeze 25% of current Active Projects
• Remove them from the Work force.
• Release Later (at the rate the system can handle)
• Will complete Frozen work about the same time as
planned
• If you don’t Freeze at least 25%, too many
projects run into Red and then Black
• Plan Remaining work of the other 75%
according to VPM.
• Use Buffer Management.
31
What to Expect from
Visual Project Management
• The simple visual tracking of Visual Project
Management shows the activity of a started
project. The Single project graph shows the
process over time. The multi-project plot
puts all the projects in perspective.
Individual Project Fever Chart Multi-Project Fever Chart

100%
100%

Percent Buffer Consumed


142
Percent Buffer Consumed

522
154
1 433
554
147 482 618
644 Barke 16
1667
16r
554 1667
230 Am
0%

0%

0% 100% 0% 100%
Project Completion Project Completion

Project Manager and Resource Manager and Workers


All See and
© Washington StateAgree.
University-2011 32
What to Expect from
Visual Project Management
• A vertical rise on the left fever chart (steeper
than the 1/2 slope diagonal) means the project
is not progressing as it should. If the buffer
status gets in the Red Zone, the individual
project manager should be seeking help.

Individual Project Fever Chart Multi-Project Fever Chart

100%
100%

Percent Buffer Consumed


142
Percent Buffer Consumed

522
154
1 433
554
147 482 618
644 Barke 16
1667
16r
554 1667
230 Am
0%

0%

0% 100% 0% 100%
Project Completion Project Completion

33
What to Expect from
Visual Project Management
• A plot on the right fever chart with the four
projects in the Red Zone draws senior manager
attention. Management should be giving help
(adding resources, removing blockages, etc.)
to those projects.

Individual Project Fever Chart Multi-Project Fever Chart

100%
100%

Percent Buffer Consumed


142
Percent Buffer Consumed

522
154
1 433
554
147 482 618
644 Barke 16
1667
16r
554 1667
230 Am
0%

0%

0% 100% 0% 100%
Project Completion Project Completion

34
What to Expect from
Visual Project Management
• Management must not let the number of
projects in the Red Zone exceed their ability to
assist them to get back into the Green Zone.

Individual Project Fever Chart Multi-Project Fever Chart

100%
100%

Percent Buffer Consumed


142
Percent Buffer Consumed

522
154
1 433
554
147 482 618
644 Barke 16
1667
16r
554 1667
230 Am
0%

0%

0% 100% 0% 100%
Project Completion Project Completion

More than 10% in Red? Choke


Release
© Washington of New Work.
State University-2011 35
The Resource Bench: Building the
Culture of Process Improvement!

A 20% Expert Resource Bench ( The Bench acts as


“Sensei, First Responders or SWAT team on Buffer Penetration”).
• When a project is in the Red zone, something
MUST be done to put the project back on track.
• The Expert Resource Bench are the First
Responders.
• They are the SWAT Team!
• They are Expert Mentors/Trainers who comes to
help teach with “Just-In-Time” instruction to
those ready and anxious to learn.
• They help FIX the Problem directing the project
back towards the Green Zone.
50%
of the
Time 36
The Resource Bench: Building the
Culture of Process Improvement!

A 20% Expert Resource Bench ( The Bench acts as


“Sensei, First Responders or SWAT team on Buffer Penetration”).
• The Expert Resource Bench is 20% of your best employees;
your experts.
• Sensei: Spend half their time watching the system looking
for problems. Problems with the system, problems of
individuals.
• While still in the Green Zone, the Experts THINK:
• Experts don’t fix problems yet.
• They watch and think about the problems.
• They ponder and analyze:
• “Why is the buffer being consumed so rapidly without progress?”
“What is the underlying problem?”
“What is the underlying conflict?” The other
“How can we improve the system?”
50%
of the Time 37
Mike Jones Ellen Morland Mike Edwin
Director of Technical Delivery Project Manager Engineer/Tech 3rd Grade
Phone: 565-443-2018 Phone: 565-445-1413 Phone: 565-544-2883
Text: 565-383-2125 Text: 565-434-2155 Text: 565-455-9876
Email: mjones@DTD.com Email: ellenM@DTD.com Email: medwin@DTD.com

Organization Status 433 Power Converter Old Engineer/Tech 3 Grade


Rewire Test Gear 154
Extend Pwr Coupling 644
Test Electronic Intrfc 433
Install Elec Oscilator 433
Review Building Pwr 16r
618 New Carrier Beam Alter Power Grid 17 230
Assemble Locking Module
522 Branch Office Complex Mike
Test Electronic Interface Add 440 V Bldg 14 618
Edwin
554 Plant B Expansion
John Final Assembly Unit 4 Test Signal Feed 554
142 Commercial Container Allen Ander Packing
16 Pipe Line Extension
433 Power Converter
Complete Complete
Future History Resources Org Status Resources Org Status Resources
Tasks Tasks

38
Resource Overload

The visual cue of “More than 10% in the RED


Zone” is a bit ambiguous. Is there an easy
way to determine when project resources
are overloaded?

39
Resource Loading
• The biggest problem managing work is knowing how much work
load to assign to a Human resource.
• In physical production, we don’t expect a machine to produce more
than it’s capacity. We don’t schedule a machine to do twice times
is capacity and expect the machine to deliver. In fact, we know
there is set-up time on a machine. There is break downs on a
machine. There is maintenance on the machine. And, there is
unavoidable idleness on a machine resulting from batch sizes and
transfer variations and such.
• How much work can we realistically expect to be done on a
machine?
Set-up Maint. Idle True Excess
Producing Time
Time Time Time Capacity

0% Capacity of the Machine 100%

• How does that relate to Humans?

40
Expected Flow time
• And, then there is another problem. Queuing
theory says when there are random arrivals to
a server and there is a distribution (not a % % Not Service
Busy Busy Time
fixed) Service Time, the time an arrival has to 0% 100% 0.0
wait in the system is proportional to 10% 90% 0.1
(The Percent of time the server is busy) / 20% 80% 0.3
(The percent of time the server is not busy). 30% 70% 0.4
This is a form of Little’s Law. 40% 60% 0.7
50% 50% 1.0
• What that means is the flow time through the 60% 40% 1.5
system increases as the server becomes 70% 30% 2.3
busy. Something crazy happens when the 80% 20% 4.0
90% 10% 9.0
workload exceeds about 75% of capacity. 95% 5% 19.0
99% 1% 99.0

Set-up Maint. Idle True Excess


Producing Time
Time Time Time Capacity

0% Capacity of the Machine or Human 100%


41
Humans are Better Than
Machines
• Humans have variable capacity. Some times they can do a lot (even
exceptional performance) and some times not.
• While Humans are not machines, Little’s Law still applies. If they have too
much to do, the time to get things done increases. Particularly if bad multi-
tasking (shifting between different uncompleted tasks while trying to get
them all done).
• When work overload and bad multi-tasking occurs, things get delayed. The
flow rate of work slows down, the system becomes clogged, the rate of
completing work slows down and predictability disappears.
• Not only does predictability disappear, some of the projects disappear
(meaning, get lost in some remote file cabinet).
• We need a rule of thumb for how much work to assign a resource (human
or machine). If the assigned workload for any human resource exceeds
this level, we need to choke the release of work to keep they system
working at it’s best. (This works like the stop lights on the entry ramps to
the freeway during rush hour.)

42
In a Project World…
• There are many different resources involved in many different
activities. It is very difficult to keep track of them all.
• Any individual resource can delay the delivery of the project.
• We can’t protect every resource, but we must do something.
• We must ensure that our most heavily loaded resources do not fall
into the “OVERLOAD” condition.
• Yet from time to time (for short periods of time), “Overload Happens”
to every resource. What should we do?
• First, we should consider every resource with the same general skill
as equals. Yes, we know different people can perform at different
levels even within the same skill set. But, we need to get over that.
We are not looking for “The Right Person” to do a task. We are
looking for a person who “can do the task”. We don’t want project
managers to horde their excellent resources. With VPM, good
resources will come to help if needed (if there is a Red Zone
Penetration). Treat all resources within a skill set as inter-changable.
43
A Simple Method for Load
Management
• Second, Calculate the work load for all resources. (In general, resources less
than 50% loaded are not a long term problem.)
• Here is a simple way to find out the Current Resource Loading of any resource in
the system.
• For each resource set, sum up the UnCompleted Tasks’ Durations (using
aggressive task duration estimates) for all of the tasks in they system for each
resource type. And, calculate the simple Average Project Length for projects
which use this resource. Divide the sum of each Resource’s UnCompleted Tasks
by the Average Project Length and again by the Number of Resources Available.
This gives a Percentage of Average Resource Workload for each Resource

Percentage Average Resource Workload =


(Sum of All UnCompleted Tasks assigned to a Resource Type) /
(Average Project Length for projects using that Resource) /
(The Number of Resources of that type).

44
Sample Resource Loading
• Here we see the average project duration and the remanding
(uncompleted) workload of several resources.
If any resource is more than 200% loaded (in
Project Sum #
Column1 Length Tasks Resources Workload
the black zone), management must stop
(freeze) work on some project(s) to avoid late
Electric 50 420 4 210%
delivery.
Mechanic 44 225 3 170% The Sweet Spot for most Delivery/Time is to
Drafting 66 135 2 102% have Resources loaded at 75-150% (when
Publishing 75 145 3 64%
using the equation).
250%

200%
• Electric Tech and Mechanic have too
much work assigned. They are in
the Red. Management should freeze 150%
some work or assign the Expert
Resource Bench (and others) to get
100%
their workload below 150% (Back in
the GREEN Zone).
50%
Electric Mechanic Drafting Publishing
45
Additional Insights for Resources
• With the Resource Loading Chart available,
management can perform “What if” analysis to
decide which projects to delay (freeze and restart
later).
• Also, “What if” analysis can be used to decide
which projects should be unfrozen or new project
started and “When”.
• The Resource Loading Chart is like a moving
average of resource loading. It gives a long range
view of the organization. It does not eliminate
occasional spikes of overload. Such spikes should
be handled with the Resource Bench or other
actions as dictated by the Buffer Chart.
46
Individual Loading
• Sometimes, we have our Favorite Mechanic!
• While the Average Work Load for all Mechanics is 170%, some
Mechanics carry more workload than others.
VPM helps identify Resource Abuse AND points
Project Sum #
out where Additional Training (On-The-Job)
Mechanics Length Tasks Resources Workload help is needed to get other Resources better
Mark 44 144 1 327% involved in increasing Throughput.
Fred 44 73 1 166% 250%
Andrew 44 51 1 116%
James 44 32 1 73% 200%

• Poor Mark! 150%


Talk about Work-Overload!
Bad Multi-Tasking is forced upon 100%
Mark.
• Yet, James is left will little to do.
50%
Will he ever learn to be as good Mark Fred Andrew James
as Mark?
47
• That’s it!

Visual Project Management!

• Do you want to learn more?

Many more Project Management Issues can be solved with Simplified Project
Management. Read On!
48
What About Emergencies?

Sometimes, there will be work the must be


completed much sooner than the end of the
Project Buffer.

49
Special Case: Very Short Due Date

• If a project is identified late and has a firm due date,


even an aggressively planned project (with the 50%
Project Buffer) may extend beyond the delivery date.
This means the project completion is in jeopardy.
• If the project must be done, a slight modification is
needed to insure this project has the right project
status (in the midst of the other projects) and receives
the correct amount of management attention.

Due Date
50% buffer
Remaining work on project

Buffer
0 Time  20 24 30

50
Special Case: Very Short Due Date

• If the project, with its 50% buffer, extends beyond the


fixed delivery date, keep the 50% buffer at its correct
length. The buffer is needed to signal the correct
management actions.
• Move the buffer back (earlier in time) so as to end the
buffer on the due date. This means the beginning of
the buffer will start before the planned end of the
project. Call this overlap of the planned project and the
buffer ‘Push Back’.
Due Date
50% buffer
Remaining work on project

Buffer
0 Time  20 24
Buffer

6 day pushback
51
Special Case: Very Short Due Date

• When calculating the Percent of Project Time


Consumed, add to the time actually spent on the new
plan, the amount of Push Back made during the
original adjustment.
• Push Back will adjust the Buffer Penetration correctly
and give the right message to management.

100%
% Time NOW- Start Time + Push Back
= (CC, CP,List Time)

Percent Buffer
Consumed

Consumed
Due Date

0%
Remaining work on project 0% 100%
Project Completion
Buffer
0 Time  20 24
Buffer
NOW
6 day pushback
52
Special Case: Very Short Due Date

• When calculating the Percent of Project Time


Consumed, add to the time actually spent on the new
plan, the amount of Push Back made during the
original adjustment.
• Push Back will adjust the Buffer Penetration correctly
and give the right message to management.

100%
% Time NOW- Start Time + Push Back
= (CC, CP,List Time)

Percent Buffer
Consumed

Consumed
Due Date

0%
Remaining work on project 0% 100%
Project Completion
Buffer
0 Time  20 24
Buffer
NOW
6 day pushback
Completed to here 53
How to Reward Success?

Do you reward the individual?


Or, do you reward the project?

54
A Word About Incentives

• You cannot reward individuals for completing tasks


early. If you do, they will increase their task duration
estimates so they will be early more often. This inflates
task estimates and leads to bad multi-tasking. Longer
task times delay completion of projects.
• You cannot reward individuals for completing tasks
late. If you do, they will be late more often and that is
working in the wrong direction.
• What do you do?
• You allow the work itself to be the reward. People who
do projects want to do them well and fast. What they
want is:
 Management to get out of their way.
 Management gives them the resources as needed.
 Management facilitates, supports and sustains the
workers.
• These are the best rewards management can give!

55
Gaming Visual Project
Management

No matter what the system, smart people


may try to circumvent it for their own
reasons.
The Expert Resource Bench minimizes this
effect.

56
What About the ‘Wally’ Syndrome?

• The ‘Wally’ Syndrome occurs when an expert is no longer


motivated and finds satisfaction in doing the least work
possible.
• With Visual Project Management, a ‘Wally’ could intentionally
delay a project to enter the Red Zone so others would come to
do his work. And then, by keeping his projects in the Red
Zone, he would not receive many new projects.
• Question: How do you deal with that?
• Answer: The Expert Resource Bench is the first responder to
Red Zone penetration. Their purpose is to create a more
productive resource (no matter the starting condition). The
Bench assesses the situation and gives guidance, training and
help. If necessary, additional resources are brought-in to
assist. The Assessment (and repeated assessments when
they occur) helps ‘Wally’ to know how to perform what is
expected and can produce an accurate evaluation of ‘Wally’s’
capability.
57
Evaluating ‘Wally’

• Question: ‘Wally’ is an unmotivated expert. How do you


motivate him?
• Answer: Most motivation problems stem from undervaluing
employees over the long term or ignoring their suggestions.
By pilling-on work without providing the tools, support or
methods to accomplish the impossible tasks, employees soon
become apathetic.
• Visual Project Management reduces the work in the system
and keeps it moving smoothly. When tasks slow (get stuck)
and the project moves into the Red Zone, the Expert Bench
comes to determine how to make improvements. Problems
with the ‘system’ are fixed. This removes most of the
annoying things that block workers from doing what they
need to do. Work speeds up (productivity increases).
• Productive Employees are motivated employees. And
motivated employees are productive.
• There will be fewer Wally problems.
58
For the Purist Critical Chain
Expert

While VPM is very close to CCPM, purists


may reject the inherent simplicity of Visual
Project Management.

59
Deviation from the Power of Critical
Chain Project Management
• Question: Visual Project Management ignores
important parts of Critical Chain Project
Management. While we know CCPM can cut project
durations 25 to 60% and consequently reduce costs,
how does that happen in Visual Project
Management? Visual Project Management allows
‘unchallenged PERT’ and even just lists of tasks to
be a project!
• Answer: Visual Project Management is Simplified
CCPM. It does not ignore the elements of CCPM that
accelerate projects. It just allows them to occur
naturally without a lot of forced behavior changes
nor a lot of technology. It works well with CCPM
schedules, PERT schedules and even just lists of
tasks .

60
Acceptance of PERT/CCPM Plans

• Clearly, CCPM is the best overall project management scheduling and


execution tool. The Project Buffer is added to a scrutinized Critical
Chain of tasks and resources. There are buffered feeding chains with
latest starts.
• Visual Project Management allows PERT/CPM Projects. Simplification
is justified because:
 Aggressive task times are given by those doing the work. Since
work overload is reduced, there are fewer distractions there is less
multi-tasking will decrease, the Resource Bench and other provide
help when needed, those doing the tasks will reduce the task
estimates over time.
 When feeding chains are started when planned (a stipulation of the
“firm project plan”, the normal buffer consumption along the
Critical Path effectively adds a Feeder Buffer to the feeding chains.
 Frequent Reporting of just completed tasks puts emphasis on
‘completing’. This reduces multi-tasking.
 Tracking Percent Project Complete versus Percent Buffer
Consumed emphasizes ‘Continuous Progress’. Anything that
slows progress (on the Critical Path or Feeder Chains, gets the
right attention with little multi Tasking.
61
Acceptance of Lists as Project Plans

• Management of Lists is not the best of method of doing projects.


• Visual Project Management allows using a simple list! Simplification
is justified because:
 In a list, there are unstated precedence relationships. And,
there are unstated parallel tasks that can happen. The
parallel tasks are things that should not be considered in the
critical path or chain.
 By accepting the sum of all the task durations as the base
line time for the project, the 50% Project Buffer will be much
larger than is actually needed.
 When you are ‘Managing By List’, you need all the help you
can get. Having the much larger Project Buffer is really
needed.
• VPMis a great way to manage your List.
• The Visual Status will bring the Expert Resource Bench
to help at the right times. And, the Expert Resource
Bench will also help improve the system. In time,
‘Managing By List’ will be replaced by a more mature
project management approach.
62
Confidence with Strange Plans

• Visual Project Management “Gets projects going” and “Keeps


them flowing” no matter what the method used for creating the
plan.
• Initially, 25% of the work is Frozen (the low priority projects are
held back) which reduces multi-tasking and increases
productivity. Project complete faster (shorter flow time).
• Soon, more and more projects are completed per unit time.
• New projects (un-Frozen or new ones) are only released at the
rate the system can handle. . If there are high priority projects,
they get released ahead of the low priority projects.
• When the system is not overloaded, and projects are held back
until needed, low priority work is not released and doesn’t get
‘LOST IN THE SYSTEM’.

63
Expectation with Strange Plans

• Visual Project Management provides a simple and effective way


to manage projects no matter how the project was planned.
• The overload of project resources is reduced. Active projects
move more quickly to completion.
• Low priority projects are removed or delayed, wasted effort is
reduced, the remaining work is faster.
• The Expert Resource Bench analyses and improves the system.
The Bench assists only when needed.
• Visual Project Management doesn’t struggle and force people
to change. They change themselves. Visual Project
Management, with the Expert Resource Bench, allows the
culture to change by itself in a very efficient and effective way.

64
Financial Issues

While the cost of projects should not be an


issue, there are some situations where cost
of doing the project seems to limit some
actions.

65
A Word About Finances

• Question: We pay people by the hour. It looks like Visual Project Management
makes all of our projects take 150% of the project time. Do we plan to use 150% of
the scheduled hours on the project? Projects will be EXPENSIVE!
• Answer: You plan aggressively. If you have a traditional schedule (lots of
inattention to tasks and bad multi-tasking) made in PERT (or just a list of work),
you can easily reduce every task’s time by 1/3 to have an aggressive schedule.
So, the buffered Visual Project Management time is about the same. Visual
Project Management gives the visibility and control that will create the culture
among workers that will quickly shorten task times and project durations which
will increase capabilities even more.
• Question: Many companies charge hours to a project. So, what do you do when
you move resources from one project to another?
• Answer: There is no difference between Visual Project Management and any other
method when it comes to charging labor to projects. If you need to charge hours,
you can charge them.
• Question: What about the Expert Resource Bench? Visual Project Management
asks for 20% of our best people to not be assigned to any project at all. Who will
pay for that?
• Answer: The Expert Resource Bench, when needed to recover from the Red Zone,
could be charged to the project as any other resource. The Expert Bench helps
move the project back on track. A great benefit. TOC recommends capacity to be
at 20% more than demand. If you count up the extra people you already have, it is
probably more than 20%. So, no additional cost.

66
More Words About Finances

• More to the Answer: First realize the value of the project is ten times
the cost of the project. (if it is not, don’t do it unless you have to.)
The cost of a project should never be the driving measure. The
value to the customer is the driving measure. Predictable delivery
has HIGHER VALUE that traditional, questionable delivery.
• More the financial solution: When management is involved in the
right way and the 20% Expert Resource Bench is in place, delays
will be removed. Bad-Multi tasking decreases. Task durations
WILL SHORTEN BY THEMSELVES. Projects will move quickly and
more predictably to ‘on-time delivery’. Predictability is a
Competitive Advantage. It can also be used as a lever for
increasing profits. And, more projects will be completed in the
same amount of time.
• Bottom line. There will be much more financial gain from using
Visual Project Management than the loss from shifting resources
or the cost of establishing the 20% Expert Resource Bench. (If
necessary, charge the Resource Bench’s ‘Watching’ time to
overhead. Overhead is a real and accepted burden to projects.
The Bench helps everyone do better. Isn’t that the purpose of
overhead? Let the Expert Resource Bench improve the system.
They are the best equipped.) 67
Visual Budgeting

Projects should provide VALUE.


Budgets should not block this value.
Don’t let Budget Trivia to distort the proper
expenditure of funds.

68
Project Budgeting
• In general, the cost of performing a project is less than 10% of the
value the completed project provides to the customer.
• The cost of most projects is directly proportional to the time to
complete the project (the Critical Chain plus the Project Buffer). Of
course, ‘fat’ projects have less activity on the Critical Chain than
‘skinny’ projects. But even with ‘fat projects’, aggressive scheduling
reduces the length of the project by at least 1/4th.
• In multi-projects, where there is much more multi-tasking, choking the
release of new work (un-cluttering the workforce) reduces project
durations much, much more than 25%.
• This reduced cost (of at least 25%) rolls over into the profit side of the
project organization. And, the extra productivity of the project
organization (more projects per unit time) adds a very significant
amount to the profit side of the organization.
• These things combine to give huge increases in Throughput for the
project organization. It means managing expenses is much less
important. No longer do you have to worry much about budgets.
• Let’s examine how Visual Management can assist in budgeting in the
Project environment

69
Project Organization Budgeting
• In the project world, like others, Throughput is much, more
important than Inventory. Inventory reduction (WIP) is much
more important than Operating Expense.
• The Role of Operating Expense is to produce the projects.
Any Operating Expense that can increase Throughput or
Reduce Inventory (reduce WIP means to accelerate project and increase
Throughput) is an excellent expenditure. This should be
encouraged.
• At the same time, there are Operating Expenses that must still
be managed. Routine expenses should be in control.
• Note: We are talking about For Profit companies.
In not-for-profit companies, OE is the constraint. With additional OE,
not-for-profit groups can almost always achieve more goal units.

70
Throughput (T) Focus
• When money is not the constraint (almost everyone can get
extra money – for a price), the focus should be on using
money is to increase T. This means, if there is money spent,
that money must directly connect to increasing T. Otherwise,
don’t spend it.
• There are some expenses that must be happen. The cost of
insurance, financial audits, taxes and so on allow the
organization to function and produce T. Without them, no T.
• There are some wages/salaries that seem to be costs. If we
look closely, we realize the Janitor keeps the work place clean,
presentable and organized so that the workers can be more
productive. Most support functions contribute to productivity
and significant increase in T.
• Every expenditure is connected to T and should increase T.
Any expenditure that increases T more than OE should be
approved.

71
OK. So, “What is a Budget?”
• Truly Variable Cost is defined as, “Costs that go up when one more
unit is produced.”
• Any budget forecast can show Throughput as anticipated sales
minus Truly Variable Costs.
• As far as a manager is concerned, Operating Expense has two parts:
 The part the manager cannot control: Utilities, wage rates,
overhead, transfer prices and such. These expenses are highly
predictable. They need not even be considered as part of
manager’s budget. They just need to be paid.
 The part the manger can control: Overtime, number of employees,
contracting out work, changes in size and structure of the
organization, improvements and other optional costs. These
expenses are highly un-predictable. They are the responsibility of
the manager and should make up the manger’s budget.
• For simplicity, let’s consider the Budget as the controllable
expenses of management (this is not the normal definition).

72
Visual Budgeting
• Let’s consider Budgeting the same way we do for time on project tasks.
Budgets (the controllable kind) are as highly variable as task durations in
projects. (Isn’t it amazing! With all that variability, most companies have spent exactly their budget at the end of the year? It’s an
annual miracle!)
• Let’s give the organization (any organization which has a profit and loss statement) an
aggressive (50% or median) budget. The parent organization holds back a Budget
Buffer of half the budget (the Budget Buffer is then 25% of the organization’s aggressive
budget--just like time in projects).
• This should be adequate to cover any variances in expenses. Particularly as
organizations are encouraged to increase T more than expenses.
• Each Month calculate:
 Percent Budget Buffer Consumed = (Actual Budget
to Date – Planned Budget to Date)/Planned Budget
to Date.
 Percent Increase Throughput = (Actual Throughput
to Date – Planned Throughput to Date)/Planned
Throughput to Date.
• Plot and track Percent Budget Buffer Consumed relative to Increased
Throughput each month by budget group (and for the company as a whole).
• Monthly examine all budget groups on a similar visual fever chart as is done for
Visual Project Management

73
Visual Budgeting

• These two simple Fever Charts make Budget Management easy to control.
Budgeted Department XX Chart Many Department Chart

100%
Extra Budget Consumed

Extra Budget Consumed


Dept XX

Dept W
Dept ZZ

Dept V
100%

Dept TT
0%

0% 100%

0%
Dept BB

Department Increased Throughput Achieved 0% 100%


Department Increased Throughput Achieved

• The meaning of these charts merits explanation.


• For both Fever Charts, a department who is generating Throughput at the planned
rate (according to annual plan) would have a Percent of Increased Throughput achieve as
zero (the circles would stay at the left edge of the Fever Chart) .
• Spending the budget at the budgeted rate (according to the annual plan) means the Extra
Budget Consumed would be zero and the circles would stay on the bottom line of the
Fever Chart.
• A circle at the top right hand corner means, the budget was increased by 50% (100% of
their Budget Buffer was used) and Throughput was also doubled (exceeded the planned Throughput
100%). This is a very good situation! Expending extra Budget funds should increase
Throughput should be much more than the Budget (the budget under the control of the
managers-as defined earlier).
74
Visual Budgeting

• Examine the reports shown


Budgeted Department XX Chart Many Department Chart

100%
100%
Extra Budget Consumed

Extra Budget Consumed


Dept XX

Dept W
Dept ZZ

Dept V

Dept TT
0%

0%
Dept BB

0% 100%
0% 100%
Department Increased Throughput Achieved Department Increased Throughput Achieved

• On the left, we see the Department XX Managers increasing their budget expenditures (to increase T) and,
though in the Red Zone for a while, Department XX moved their department Throughput upward.
(Unlike projects, this line can move all over and doesn’t just end at the top right.)
• On the right fever chart, we see departments who spent more than their planned budget and
improved T. This is a snap shot view (a moment in time) showing the status of all the departments. When
in the Red, the Department should show specific data/details of the situation. (For example, “Dept ZZ Reports a
Technical problem with the new equipment should be resolved in the next two weeks.”)
• To ‘look good’ on the chart on the right, budget groups should have a planned budget as small as
possible.
• If a department wants more budget, all they need to do is increase Throughput. If they increase
Throughput at twice the rate of increasing budget, they stay in the Green Zone.
• Both things encourage the right behavior.
• The Company wide Budget would look like the Fever Chart on the left.

75
Anomaly Budget Status
Many Department Chart
Dept CC eliminated

100%
a constraining
process. Dept XX

Extra Budget Consumed


Dept LL had major Dept ZZ
Dept W

unplanned Dept V
maintenance and
two weeks shut Dept TT
down.
0%

Dept BB

0% 100%
Department Increased Throughput Achieved
Dept LL
Dept CC

Here we see Department CC is way below the Green Zone. Department CC has generated a lot of
unexpected Throughput and reduced it budget at the same time. This is good, Right? This is a sign
that Department CC has either made radical changes or did not have a good budget plan to start with.
Management should examine this department. They may need help with planning. Or, they may find
ideas that can be used in other parts of the organization. Either one will be a positive result.
Department LL hasn’t produced its planned Throughput, but has a reduced budget. It may also need
help.
76
Anomaly Budget Status
Many Department Chart

100%
Dept AA is Dept XX
purchasing

Extra Budget Consumed


outside parts Dept ZZ
Dept W

and working Dept V

over time to
make up for Dept TT
Dept AA
Dept LL’s
delayed Dept BB
0%

production.
0% 100%
Department Increased Throughput Achieved
Dept LL
Dept CC

Here we see Department AA is in the Black Zone. Department AA is not achieving its planned
Throughput AND it is exceeding its Planned Budget. This Department either has some very difficult
problems that don’t seem to be easily solved, there is some problem with another member of the
supply chain connected to Department AA or there is a problem with the accounting procedure. This
department needs focused, additional help to put them back on track. Drastic action is required.
77
Anticipated Benefits of Visual
Budgeting
• Budgets make sense (a manager’s budget is
based on the things they control).
• Budgets are aggressive (overall budget reduction
of 5 to 20%).
• Budgets are quickly and readily increased for
works that increase Throughput.
• The Emphasis on Throughput is clear and
obvious. “Request for Funds” applications are
clear.

78
Additional Insights for Resources
• With the Resource Loading Chart available,
management can perform “What if” analysis to
decide which projects to delay (freeze and restart
later).
• Also, “What if” analysis can be used to decide
which projects should be unfrozen or new project
started and “When”.
• The Resource Loading Chart is like a moving
average of resource loading. It gives a long range
view of the organization. It does not eliminate
occasional spikes of overload. Such spikes should
be handled with the Resource Bench or other
actions as dictated by the Buffer Chart.
79
The Visual Project Management
Solution
• Management knows what is going on!
• Management can assess Project Capacity!
• Management can correctly support projects!
• Management can grow Capacity wisely! Management
and
• Projects get projects Going!
• Projects keep projects Flowing! Workers
• The system Culture Changes!
• The system gets better and better! and

Customers
are All Happy!
Keep Thinking!
Dr Holt
80