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“It is only 3 days of work, but it can easily take 2 weeks before we get it checked and approved. So, lets park in 3 weeks in the plan to be sure.” Recognizable?

If that task was essential for the delivery of your project on time, then you have just burned 3 (or perhaps more) weeks on a step that could perhaps have been done in less than a week. In many project organisations, the puck too often stops at that small group of highly skilled experts who need to approve a drawing or a foreman/lead that need to sign off on works before the work can move to the next step. This introduces a lot of unnecessary time waste to your project.

When your company has several mid to smaller sized projects, the check and approval bottleneck usually is the number one reason for delays on your projects!

Project managers try to battle these phenomena by praising the importance of their own check or approval above the ones from other projects with reminders, chasers, coffee and cookies. But since all project managers have by now mastered how to bake their own absolutely delicious chocolate chip cookie, the effectiveness of this approach has largely disappeared.

Extremely large projects like the construction of a new harbour or mega yacht tend to organize themselves in an almost standalone project organisation which should at least give them exclusive access to the expert or manager. But due to the size of the project it usually is split up in multiple discipline or area managers reintroducing the problem via the back door.

In the late nineties Eliyahu Goldratt introduced his view on how we can manage our projects in his second book “the critical chain”. For many this book taught them the principles of the critical path and levelling your resources, but little organisations realize it also holds the key to get rid of our management by home backed chocolate chip cookie problem.

So how do we harvest the power of critical chain to solve our bottleneck and reduce the lead time of our projects significantly?

Lead time reduction of projects is what we do best at Critical Minds. In April and May we host on 3 part online event around solving 3 major time drains in your project. In our first miniseries we will demonstrate the principle approach of harvesting the power of critical chain together with our critical chain partner A-dato Solution.

P.S. Since we in no way take pleasure in depriving anybody of their cookies, we will also provide you with a best practice in how you can set up an alternative supply line of consumable renumerations that does support the flow of work in your organisation.