Guidelines proposed by Ed Walker (1):
1. Recognize the differences between due-date projects and money-making projects.
The network structure may be the same, but a project to make money is started as soon as possible (to make money) and a project that is due by a given date is started as late as possible (to save money) while still providing protection for its completion. The project must be viewed as part of the larger system—what are the goal and objectives of the project with respect to the organization’s goal and objectives?
2. Recognize all of the activities required to achieve the goal of a project and the organization.
In application, the goal of the project is generally a milestone in a much larger system. Ensure that the project scope fully defines the activities necessary to achieve the project goal and is in line with the system (organization) goal.
3. Recognize that 100-percent resource utilization may be counter to the objectives of the project and the organization goal.
Plan resource use within and across projects such that the project is completed on time, on budget, and to full specifications.
4. The rules for constructing project activity times must be known and practiced by all resources, resource managers, and project managers.
A 0.5 probability of completion for the activities and project is required to determine a correct network. Padding (or buffering) should be applied strategically at the project level.
5. Minimize the amount of multitasking by critical resources and the amount of multitasking on activities on the critical path of the project to reduce activity lateness.
Use multitasking cautiously—understanding its impact on project completion. Strategically buffer non-critical paths, resource contention, and project completions to reduce the impact of Murphy’s Law (Murphy).
6. Develop and implement a methodology for prioritizing resource allocation within a project and across projects so that resources know what is most important from the
organizational (system) perspective.
(1) Ed Walker, The Problems with Project Management, from the book Cox III, James F., and Schleier Jr., John G.,eds. Theory of constraints handbook. New York: The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc., 2010. pp. 20-21