The idea for my newest book Be Fast or Be Gone came to me while working on a contribution for my blog “The Point”. I have posted a number of contributions talking about the reasons why Critical Chain is a very effective approach. I explained how it works. I elaborated on the impact that I have seen in varous industries such as large Fortune 500 pharmaceuticals. I thought, “Wouldn’t it be nice to tell the entire story of a Critical Chain rollout?”
Up to this point I have used various methods to educate people on Critical Chain: presentations, group exercises, case studies and blogs – just to name a few. Still, at the end of the day, it is not simple for people to fully grasp the Critical Chain concepts and their impact if they haven’t seen them at work first hand. People need to experience the power of planning, the relentless focus on project execution to understand what is possible. Typically it takes eight to twelve months observing an implemenation to fully understand what I had talked about in all the discussions leading up to an engagement. Very often, executives come to me a year into a rollout and tell me that now they understand what I was talking about when we started our relationship.
Hence, this book.
With Be Fast Or Be Gone I wanted to give an insight into the dynamics of a Critical Chain rollout. I wanted to tell the story about the road blocks that typically need to be overcome. I wanted to talk about the possibilities that are opening up. I wanted to talk about the behaviors that are changing. In short, I wanted to talk about everything that goes on beyond the technicalities of the scheduling software.
This book is about a father, Mike Knight, who learns that his eight-year-old son Tim has a rare form of brain cancer. He makes the agonizing decision to quit his job and go to work for Altus Labs, a pharmaceutical company developing a possible treatment. Mike is in for the challenge of his life as he races against time to implement Critical Chain Project Management at Altus Labs. Critical Chain Project Management is an enterprise solution that incorporates methodology and software tools to help organizations move to a relay-race “faster and better” paradigm. Companies that implement the Critical Chain approach routinely experience off-the-chart returns on investment.
A few of my peers and colleagues were so kind to publicly comment on the book. I am humbled by their testimony.
Be Fast or Be Gone is a fascinating treatment of the power of focus, applied to the often complex world of project and strategy management. The answers to increased productivity, though simple, are often subtle and hidden beneath old and accepted practices, requiring an incisive and radically rational viewpoint. Scherer’s book (and the ProChain process it reflects) beautifully illumines such a process.
— David Allen, Author, Getting Things Done: the Art of Stress-Free Productivity
Andreas Scherer provides a highly engaging explanation of Critical Chain and describes its application to development projects. Every R&D director should read this book and every project manager should become a Critical Chain expert. Be Fast or Be Gone will open your eyes to the possibilities of realistic schedules and on-time project completion.
— Dr. Steven D. Eppinger, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management
Using the principles espoused in Andreas Scherer’s book Be Fast or Be Gone, pharmaceutical companies can substantially shorten their research and development timelines, allowing drugs to be available to patients much more quickly.
— Dr. Hugh Davis, Vice President, Centocor – a Johnson and Johnson company
I found this heartfelt tale to be a grabber. What a powerful way to illuminate that racing the clock is of vital import, not only to a company’s leadership posture, but ultimately to the huge impact it can have on customers’ and patients’ well-being!
— Dr. Fred Wiersema, Customer Strategist and Author, The Discipline of Market Leaders
Be Fast or Be Gone puts “meaning” into accelerating projects. Better yet, it puts METHOD into achieving Dramatic, Reliable improvements in speed and quality content in any project management environment. A gripping , understandable, helpful novel for every person wanting to get things done!
— Professor James R. Holt, Engineering & Technology Management, Washington State University
Riveting. Finally, a book that shows us in a practical and engaging way the real impact project management and Critical Chain concepts can have. This story of a father’s quest to save his little boy is extremely real; you will easily identify with the book’s characters. A must read.
— Eric Morfin, Ph.D., PMP; Founder, BioPharmaPM; Partner, Critical Skills Inc.
- On March 14, 2011