Stop with the Buy-In!

Posted by Rob Newbold in Agree-Align-Advance,Behaviors,Buy-In on August 12th, 2015.

I’ve scheduled a new TOCICO webinar for Saturday, August 29, 2015 at 12:00 EDT, entitled Stop with the Buy-In. I try to avoid hyperbolic claims, but I truly believe that you’ll find what you’ll learn here to be important. Among other things, I will give my answers to the following questions:

  • Why is critical chain (and Theory of Constraints) hard to sell? (Or: why isn’t everyone doing it?)
  • Why is critical chain (and TOC) hard to implement? (Or: why don’t implementations start faster and last longer?)
  • What paradigm shift will help you to become better at selling and implementing?
  • Is TOC really all about constraints? (Hint: that would be impossible.)

I’ll be talking about a different way to think about buy-in and relationship, and describing a process to help reinforce that. Come to learn, come to heckle, either way I believe it will end up being worth your time. And your $40, if you’re not a TOCICO member.

For what it’s worth, here is the webinar description I’ve given to TOCICO:
TOC is hard to sell. And when we do sell TOC, it’s hard to get the benefits and lifespan we expect. Rob shows why “How do we get buy-in” is the wrong question and explains the right questions to achieve TOC implementations that work for everyone.

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ProChain Video Series

Posted by Rob Newbold in Agree-Align-Advance,ProChain Operating System,Project Management on July 14th, 2015.

One of the most popular posts on one of the most popular Linked-In groups consists of the following exhortation: “Describe Project Management in three words!”

It seems to trivialize the profession, and yet … sometimes I feel like I do in fact have to describe project management in three words. When I do, those words are “Agree, Align, Advance.”

  1. Agree with key decision makers on the objectives of the project and how you’ll be able to tell when those objectives have been met.
  2. Align everyone with how you’re going to achieve the objectives.
  3. Advance the project forward, while maintaining Agreement and Alignment.

I can’t tell you how many projects – including improvement initiatives – I’ve seen fail to achieve what they should due to lack of ongoing agreement and alignment. That’s why these three steps are a cornerstone to our ProChain Operating System and to our associated critical chain implementation processes.

In order to help describe our operating system, we’ve made the as-yet-unpublished ProChain Video Series available to you on our Manifesto Resources page, along with a summary document that contains links to each of the videos. The videos are my attempt to explain how the Agree, Align, and Advance steps work and why they’re important. Have I succeeded? I’d be interested in your feedback; please feel free to post comments here, or on YouTube with the videos.

Please stay tuned for more on this important topic.


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The ProChain Approach

It has been some time since I last published a blog post. One reason is that I’ve been very focused on our critical chain methodology. Our team has worked through a number of changes that make it both simpler and more effective. I’ve created a video that describes our approach at a high level. Click here to see the video and get a special offer; click here if you don’t like special offers, and just want to see the video on YouTube. We also have some new documents on our “manifesto resources” page, including a summary of our new video series and a link to the first episode.

I plan on following up with more posts on the “agree, align, advance” process, because I think it fills some important  holes in current management practices. Please let me know what you think!

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Sign the Project Manifesto!

Posted by Rob Newbold in Project Management,Project Manifesto on July 10th, 2014.

At the 2014 TOCICO conference in Baltimore in early June, I gave a talk entitled “The Project Manifesto: Explaining TOC through Values.” It was well received and provoked some worthwhile discussions, I’ll write further posts on the subject matter. Sanjeev Gupta suggested a Project Manifesto web site, along the same lines as the Agile Manifesto site. It was a great idea, so we made an announcement at the conference, enlisted a number of initial signatories, and created the site at We want it to be non-denominational: those who sign up are expressing support for the values, but in doing so they’re not expressing support for any particular methodology or scheduling approach — or for the Project Manifesto book. The site was just opened for business. Be sure to check it out, add your name, and pass it on to your colleagues!

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