Critical chain project management (CCPM) at Bosch Security Systems (CCTV) Eindhoven: a survey to explore improvement opportunities in the scheduling and monitoring of product development projects

Dilmaghani, Farhad (2008) Critical chain project management (CCPM) at Bosch Security Systems (CCTV) Eindhoven: a survey to explore improvement opportunities in the scheduling and monitoring of product development projects.

Abstract:Bosch Security Systems Eindhoven Co. (Bosch CCTV) is engaged in development projects for advanced digital video security systems, mainly cameras and recorders. Because of market competition, these developing products get increasingly more functions which lead to increasing complexity and uncertainty. To cope with this increasingly uncertainty, to improve protection of projects from delays, and to increase schedule performance and reliability, Bosch CCTV decided to embark on the Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM) system at its development division. For product development organizations, meeting of project due dates is the vital element for successful introduction of a new product on the market. However, despite the promising benefits and many successful stories of CCPM deployment, Bosch CCTV did not achieve the main benefits of Critical Chain approach as presumed in the literature e.g., reducing project duration, gaining more reliability and predictability, and increasing productivity or throughput. This aim of this study is to investigate the CCPM deployment at the Bosch CCTV development site regarding the CCPM rules and prescriptions, CCPM asserting benefits, important aspects for the CCPM implementation and how these are addressed, and finally provide some improvement proposals for the perceived problems. The methods used in this study were interviews, a literature review, and experiences or findings to date at Bosch CCTV development department. The experiences at Bosch CCTV indicate that the Critical-Chain application gives more visibility or transparency in the projects status as it is asserted. CCPM addresses the existing uncertainty in the project schedule through setting aggressive schedules by removing safety time from the individual tasks and aggregating them in time buffers, which are inserted to strategic places in the project network schedule in order to capture the existing variations in the project duration. We perceived, however, that because of incorporated high uncertainty and risks in the development projects, the allocated project buffers do not provide sufficient protection for the original promising project due dates. In the development projects, despite simple monitoring of the critical tasks with high buffer consumption rate, the CCPM prescription for swapping resources from non-critical tasks to the critical tasks for recovery means is difficult to execute. The tasks in these projects often contain non-routine activities that require the resources assigned to them to acquire necessary knowledge during the executing tasks which enables them to complete their task. This makes the flexibility of resource swapping or inter-changing of resources between the chains difficult or almost impossible. Further in this research, the important aspects for the CCPM implementation are explored and usefulness of piloting CCPM deployment is discussed. In addition to the required changes for the CCPM implementation within the organization, we observed that ability and performance of Critical- Chain methodology has also an impact on implementing of these aspects, e.g. the organization support for CCPM deployment and maintaining of implemented changes within the project organization, because CCPM does not address the technological uncertainties and risks which highly incorporated in the development project tasks. To improve coping with uncertainties and risks by CCPM application, we recommend including the risk management activities in the project planning and taking them in the buffer sizing calculations. In case of unrecoverable depletion of project buffer, we further recommend rescheduling the project. Rescheduling, however, provides an update of the developments in the project scope and an update of critical tasks in the course of project execution. To avoid confusion and dissatisfaction in responsibilities and activities included in each role, we suggest reaching and maintaining clear agreements between the project participants. To deal with the substitution and interchangeability 3 problems for human resources, we suggest not assigning all existing resource capacity to the projects. These highly trained and capable resources can then freely support the running-tasks in case of delay or interruptions and substitute the resources in case of absence. Also we suggest that other resources that are temporally idle invest their time in the identified critical tasks to increase the interchangeability of resources working on them. The projects in each portfolio at Bosch CCTV, i.e. Camera or Digital Video Recorder are usually interdependent and share a common resource pool. To deal with these interdependencies and to decrease overloading of resources, finally we propose to separately pipeline each group of interdependent projects, i.e. with technical and resource dependencies. In case of identifying multiple constraining resources between the interdependent projects in each group, the most bottleneck resource should be chosen.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Bosch Security Systems Eindhoven
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Industrial Engineering and Management MSc (60029)
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