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Critical Chain: Project Management and the Theory of Constraints Audio CD – Audiobook, CD

3.8 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product details

  • Audio CD: 450 pages
  • Publisher: HighBridge Audio; Unabridged edition (18 Mar. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 162231400X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1622314003
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.2 x 14.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,564,772 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'Anyone who doesn't snap up a copy is missing a wonderful opportunity for professional and personal development.' - Assembly 'This book is valuable to two main audiences: project managers and senior managers...useful for dealing with one of the most difficult and pressing management challenges: developing highly innovated new products.' - Harvard Business Review 'Eli Goldratt's first novel,The Goal, shook up the factory floor...Goldratt essentially adds a discipline for understanding what drives project performance and therefore what the focus of a project manager's attention should be." - Harvard Business Review 'Critical Chain will revolutionize project management.' - World Aero-Engine Review '... would be of use to project managers who require more sensitive project management methods than those they currently employ ... would also be useful for those who are not convinced of the benefit of project management methods.' - British Journal of Healthcare, Computing & Information Management --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Dr Eliyahu M Goldratt was an internationally recognized leader in the development of new business management concepts and systems, originator of the Theory of Constraints (TOC), and author of The Goal, It’s Not Luck, and several other successful books explaining the Thinking Process at the heart of TOC. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
There is an old saying: To a carpenter, every problem looks like a nail.
Having now read two of Mr. Goldratt's books, it appears that to him every management issue is a scheduling and coordination problem. While that's true, product development management of difficult tasks is also sensitive to many other things like getting competent resources, having the right amount of input from each function early in the process, and developing the ability to produce the finished product efficiently and effectively. Those other issues are essentially untouched in this book.
Think of this book as applying the system coordination and optimization concepts of Mr. Goldratt's famous novel, The Goal, to project management.
If you have already read The Goal, this book will be much easier to understand than if you have not. Although many of the same concepts are explained here as in The Goal, the explanations in this book are not nearly as thorough and clear. Also, the plot and plot line in this book will probably not be as enjoyable to you as The Goal. I rated the book down two stars for these kinds of weaknesses.
If you have read The Goal, Mr. Goldratt basically substitutes scheduling safety margins for work-in-progress inventory, and then applies the same debottlenecking concepts as in The Goal.
If you have not read The Goal, Mr. Goldratt's argument is that schedules are put together with too much slack. Everyone wants to be almost sure they can meet a deadline. The deadkube date they pick usually relates to the most they can get away with. Usually, that much time is not needed and people start late. If they end early, they never tell anyone. So any delay puts the whole project back because there is no project scheduling slack.
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Format: Paperback
I enjoyed reading it - and learnt a lot from it. There are some real nuggets and it changes the way you think about constraints on improving performance. It's set in a project management context, yet the potential application of the thinking is much wider than that. Not many books you can read this easily and yet get so much from. At times it's a little patronising, but you get more than enough out of it to forgive this.
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Format: Paperback
Unlike other project management guides or BoKs, it uses real life like examples to introduce Critical Chain (Theory of Constraints) approach to project management.

Storyline is around an executive MBA Project Management class, where the professor (Richard Silver, main character) discusses and tries to address issues in project management using real life example from the class. In the process, they evolve "Critical Chain" approach to project management by applying principles of Theory of Constraints.

The book is written very much like a fast paced novel with quite a few plots; struggle of a professor at work and home, shortcomings of teaching methodologies, project management using theory of constraints and few more.

good: fast-paced, like novel not a guide, challenges thinking process
bad: bit difficult to follow without understanding of Theory of Constraints, not as good as The Goal.

Must read for all project managers, as it gives another perspective or approach to project management, and can be applied to their existing framework.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I first read Critical Chain when I heard the news that the author, Dr Eliyahu Goldratt died. The Theory of Constraints guru focuses his attention on project management in this book after looking at constraints in the production process in "The Goal" and in the marketing strategy in "It's Not Luck".

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. The hero is offered a chance to teach on project management course on the executive MBA program. It's a subject he doesn't know much about so he has to learn as he goes and his ideas clashes with traditional project management theory.

Projects are measured on three criteria - Time, Quality and Budget. As a general rule, projects are delivered late, not up to the original standard and over budget. They cost you more, give you back less and what you get is much later than expected.

Eli Goldratt is pushing against an open door - there's huge demand for a new way to manage projects that delivers on the original promises and commitments... and according to Goldratt, that means managing the critical chain.

If you've done any project management, you'll know of the critical path - the longest sequence of dependent activities which must be done for the project to be completed. The critical chain takes the critical path and also assumes that one resource will be the constraint or bottleneck and activities by this resource are likely to be delayed.

The author makes some interesting points about why project performance is so bad.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If targeted at managers, the book suffers from dilluting every sign of useful information with pages and pages of cringeworthy fluff. If targeted at readers fancying a good corporate drama, the novel doesn't deliver either - the writing is poor and lacking any sense of tension, relatability or reasons why would one care for the protagonists.
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