In our FLOW Project Management approach, we talk about critical chain which is the longest task sequence inside a project without conflict of resources.
It means that the critical chain represents the sum of tasks that create the project lead time. It also means that all the time saved on tasks of this chain is a time saver for the project.
As a result, it becomes very important to find a way to gather teams on those specific tasks.
Poulpy* takes action here:
Poulpy is a little octopus who unlike its counterpart Paul (cf football world cup) does not predict the future but lead you to it. Indeed, his purpose is to go from one resource to another when tasks from the critical chain are over.
Beyond the color code linked to it, there are many management rules around Poulpy
- When you have Poulpy on your desk you send the signal to your colleagues to leave you alone.
- When someone has Poulpy, he can decide not to go to a meeting or leave a nonattendance note to Poulpy. (here, you are starting to like Poulpy who allows you not to come to meetings don’t you?)
The interest of those two last points is to show that he enables the team to focus on tasks and finish them.
Well, does having a stuffed toy works to make projects go forward?
Imagine: You just started a project and you already know it’s critical to meet the due date.
This need to focus is even more important than usual. By using Poulpy, this real project had the following progress:
The horizontal axis represents the project progress and the vertical axis the buffer consumption.
As you can see, the project had a quick advancement until it reached 70%. This phenomenon is due to team’s work but also to Poulpy’s capacity to bring together the team around very critical tasks.
In this way, the team focuses on tasks that matters and benefit of a focus renewal from this mascot.
At this point, not only the due date is not a problem, but also the project could finish earlier… Unfortunately, it won’t happen.
You will see in the next article why doing critical chain could be harmful when we use it to save a project in an interconnected multi project environment.
* We opted here for Poulpy, the octopus from Avène, but you can choose the mascot that fits you best!