Verticals

We talk about the general problems and solutions for project management, but the truth is that everyone is different. Different projects, not just between industries but often within the same company, can have dramatically different costs, value, resource requirements, and regulatory obligations. Company culture and attitudes can also have a huge impact on the chances of success for a Critical Chain initiative. There are high stakes involved in minimizing the risks and building success.

We have many years of experience helping companies of all sizes in numerous verticals improve their project management performance. Contact us to find out how we can help you.

Aerospace & Defense

The ProChain Operating System helps you to construct and execute to schedules in a way that provides phenomenal visibility, control, and value. ProChain Enterprise ties the schedules to end users, from workers to senior managers, enabling true enterprise-wide program management.The Defense and Aerospace industries have a unique set of program management challenges. The programs are typically very large in scope and are under very stringent time and price controls – in many cases using a mandatory Earned Value management system. Many industries may find that increasing capacity to accomplish the project work is a viable option; in aerospace and defense this can be impossible. Even if the funds are available to hire more people, the skill sets required are very specialized; and when a security clearance is needed, lead times for additional help make increased capacity a strategic rather than a tactical option. For this reason, it’s a high priority for companies in these industries to use the resources they have as effectively as possible.

Better Visibility and Control

In many cases, programs are so large that any individual only sees and interacts with a small section of the program. Even with the hard work of trained schedulers, it can be impossible get a good, high-level picture. This limited visibility results in skewed opinions of actual project status. With unclear project status, the potential for poor resource and capital decisions or late responses to problems increases, resulting in millions of dollars in unnecessary costs. The ProChain Operating System helps you to construct and maintain schedules in a way that provides phenomenal visibility and control. ProChain Pipeline allows you to link tasks and subprojects, creating tiered schedules that give immediate visibility at all organizational levels. ProChain Enterprise ties the schedules to end users, from workers to senior managers, enabling true enterprise-wide program management.

Improved Resource Utilization

Improved decision-making and clear, credible, communicated priorities lead to increased the productivity throughout an organization. PPM implementations have led to productivity increases averaging 20%. Meanwhile, far from requiring more management time and support staff, PPM actually reduces by up to 90% the time program managers must spend tracking program status.

High Tech

In high-tech industries, few things are valued as highly as delivering your products when you promise them to your market. Of course, that delivery has to include the most competitive feature set possible. Meanwhile, due to the complex and innovative nature of these products, various specialized resources are in short supply. Companies find themselves with more product ideas – and often more active projects – than they have resources available to complete them all.

Productivity

The key to superior productivity is focus. The organization must focus only on those projects they can complete, and as far as possible individual workers must focus on one task at a time. ProChain schedules help in both areas. Individual ProChain schedules help pinpoint key tasks and clarify worker priorities. ProChain Pipeline helps you to prioritize work across many projects and programs.

On-time Delivery

By scheduling your projects with ProChain Pipeline, you can prioritize your project and program work, determining what is and isn’t feasible and when projects should start. This has consistently helped high-tech companies to increase their on-time delivery to the high 90% range.

Decision Support

If there are insufficient resources, or if features must be dropped, ProChain helps you create a rational basis for those decisions. The impact of changes to features and resources can quickly be evaluated, giving you confidence that you are making excellent and timely decisions; without putting an undue burden on project personnel.

Information Technology

IT departments must keep their customers satisfied by exceeding expectations with high-quality products while simultaneously lowering costs. More and more IT departments are under threat due to chronic problems with late, over-budget, or under-scoped deliveries. ProChain’s integrated system of schedule and resource management provides you with increased efficiency and better predictability to ensure that your customers are happy to keep coming back.

Predictability

Last minute surprises are the nemesis of consumer product development. Problems surface—after launch commitments have been made—and there is a mad scramble to recover. Too often the results are lost features, poor quality, or insufficient initial supplies. The buffering system inherent in Critical Chain schedules provides an unprecedented early warning system. Problems are surfaced months or even years earlier, in plenty of time to take corrective actions.

Credible Reporting

ProChain scheduling, with its system of key tasks and buffers, helps you to to identify problems early. The schedules provide a basis for evaluating alternative solutions so you can keep projects on track for a timely launch. In addition, the team knows every week which task is driving project progress and where they can apply focused work to protect their launch date. These capabilities have allowed our IT clients to increase overall on-time delivery rates to over 90%.

Critical Resource Identification

One common shortcoming of traditional critical path scheduling is that resource limitations are ignored. Anyone with experience in consumer product development knows that resources are not always available when needed. Even in companies that try to create dedicated project teams, key resources are matrixed to projects. Projects compete for these shared resources and traditional schedules don’t identify the resulting conflicts. ProChain schedules highlight the bottlenecks and allow you to adjust delivery dates to account for the impact of resource contention within and between projects.

Medical Devices

ProChain has worked with many medical products companies to apply the ProChain Operating System to their projects. These are often complex projects, combining hardware, software, chemistry and biophysics with high company and government requirements for precision and quality. Their efforts with ProChain have paid off over and over.

Predictability

The product complexity of this industry demands systems that can absorb uncertainty. Even if critical path schedules are developed properly, they are almost impossible to maintain and use effectively in this constantly changing environment. Critical chain systems are inherently different. Explicit allowances for uncertainty provide the shock absorbers necessary to accommodate the realities of medical device product development. Instead of becoming useless wallpaper, schedules remain current and provide teams the information they need to know where to focus their efforts. The result is dramatic improvements in on-time performance.

Improved Project Execution

One key to success with complex projects is the ability to identify key tasks and resources within individual projects or groups of projects. The need to “focus” everywhere typically leads to no focus; with ProChain, this chaos is replaced by targeted information that enables management to focus attention where – and only where – it is needed. This, in turn, results in significant improvements to both productivity and predictability.

Improved Visibility

In regulated industries, process and design control are critical to success. The discipline inherent in ProChain schedules helps project teams incorporate external and internal requirements easily and reliably. ProChain’s tracking and analysis capabilities give teams and management a powerful vehicle for transparency and traceability throughout the life of the development effort.

Pharmaceuticals

Speed and productivity are mission-critical in Pharmaceutical product development. Long-term success in the drug development space will go to those players who figure out how to bring promising new products to market quickly while simultaneously controlling development costs, without compromising patient safety or regulatory requirements. Critical chain provides pieces to the solution not found in traditional project management.

Discipline and Focus

In the heavily regulated pharma industry, execution discipline is an absolute requirement. With many complex products under development and the constant need for both speed and quality, superior discipline is extremely difficult to achieve. The ProChain Operating System provides the stable priorities and clear, logical procedures that help you to maintain or improve quality while dramatically increasing speed.

In late-stage development, for example, teams have literally hundreds of tasks going on in parallel. The problem is that only a few are driving the filing date. Traditional milestone-based approaches obscure work and hide priorities. Critical chain and ProChain fix that. We have seen tremendous gains in speed and productivity come from a combination of the ProChain methodology with its emphasis on practicing focused work, and our software’s ability to identify key tasks and resource areas.

Decision Support

In order to file earlier with the FDA, there are hundreds of potential actions the team can take that might possibly result in acceleration. But which ones should be followed? The trick is in knowing where the leverage is—what changes are really going to make a difference. By applying ProChain, teams know which handful of actions is truly leveraged.

Improved Communication

When it comes to managing the project pipeline, we have found that pharma companies often have a tremendous amount of data but little real information. This results in a lack of both vertical alignment and horizontal synchronization regarding the true status of a project and what schedule outcomes are most likely. Despite all the data, senior leadership and functional lines are often not as well informed as they need to be with respect to the true status of projects. The ProChain Operating System and ProChain Enterprise introduce an unprecedented level of transparency and visibility to the organization.