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Project Management Application Exam

Exam Schedule and Registration

2nd Edition CCPM Terms and Definitions

Project Management Application Exam

    Base-level competency related to Critical Chain Project Management that is evaluated in the Fundamentals Exam (thus presumed to be in place) includes:

    • The ability to identify the critical chain and its length in a single-project network (given padded activity times and (some) resource contention)
      • Recognizes that activity times should be cut by 50% in the beginning – and by a bit less later
      • Buffers should be 50% of reduced durations.
      • Correctly removes resource contention to minimize total project lead time
      • Scheduling via pushing all tasks as late in time as possible and working backwards
    • The ability to correctly size and position the required buffers

    A TOC expert certification in Project Management certifies that the individual has sufficient knowledge and tools (capability) to successfully practice TOC’s Critical Chain application where needed in organizations.

    Upon successful completion of the Applications Exam the applicant must become a fully paid TOCICO Member to receive the full endorsement of the TOCICO, the TOCICO Certificate of Expertise and have their accomplishment recognized on the TOCICO Website.

    There are three elements being evaluated in the project management experts’ certification exam via a mixture of objective and open-ended questions. Those questions will be in the context of an integrated, holistic case for Parts II-III. THIS IS AN 8 HOUR EXAMINATION, broken into two parts.  Each part is allowed 4 hours.

  1. Project Management Fundamentals 
    Demonstrate the ability to compare and contrast the differences between Theory of Constraints’ Critical Chain and traditional project management methodologies and demonstration of base knowledge regarding CCPM beyond that which is evaluated in the Fundamentals Exam.
    1. Can contrast conventional rules and practices for project network building, scheduling and control metrics with those of Critical Chain Project Management beyond those evaluated at the Fundamentals level.
    2. Knows how CCPM addresses each of the following:
      1. Resource Contention that emerges after buffers have been inserted
      2. Gaps that emerge in the Critical Chain due to insertion of feeding buffers
      3. Emergence of an apparently "new” Critical Chain due to the insertion of feeding buffers
    3. Can explain why items B(i) – B(iii) could be a trap of optimization.
    4. Demonstrates understanding re: Project Planning
      1. Defining project scope
      2. Build the project network and work breakdown structure
      3. Correctly identifying the drum or synchronizer
      4. Can address traditional costing, ‘crashing’, and resource leveling, etc. issues
    5. Knows the difference between single-project and multi-project solutions.
  2. TOC Thinking Processes & Project Management
    Demonstrate the ability to analyze any environment and its project management system using the four fundamental questions of the thinking process.
    1. Why change?
      1. Knows the goals of the project function, and
      2. Knows how failure to meet its goals impacts the other entities in the system.
    2. What to change?
      1. Understands the core conflict in single- and multi-project environments,
      2. Knows the fundamental limitation that CCPM enables organizations to overcome,
      3. Able to answer the 4 breakthrough technology questions from Necessary and Sufficient,
      4. Can verbalize the specific key assumptions in the conflict and demonstrate and demonstrate how they cause the specific, common undesirable effects
    3. What to change to?
      1. Is able to create the necessary injections:
        1. that overcome the erroneous assumptions that underlie the core conflicts in project management for any type of organizational system
        2. demonstrates the ability to build the logical connections from the proposed injections to appropriate predicted effects)
      2. Can identify situations when (and can demonstrate ability to use TP tools) to generate appropriate additional injections that are required to create a customized solution to address common concerns and/or to create the necessary buy-in. Sample situations could include:
        1. Vendor problems
        2. Changes to scope
        3. Team, resource manager and project manager conflicts
        4. "Escalation of commitment”
        5. Pressure to cut the buffers
        6. Challenges to staggering projects’ release
    4. How to cause the change?
      1. Has sufficient knowledge to identify and communicate obstacles as well as derive intermediate objectives that predictably arise due to CCPM especially regarding the use of the three primary components of CCPM (staggering, buffering and buffer management)
      2. Can develop IO maps and PRTs
      3. Is knowledgeable about and has the capability to address metrics needed to monitor project status and ensure required control including:
        1. Establishing appropriate buffers and buffer management reporting system
        2. Can distinguish between buffer management and buffer watching (i.e. correctly diagnose when a project is in jeopardy)
  3. Project Management and the logistical solutions
    Demonstrates (a) understanding of the role and (b) sufficient capability to ensure the project management system successfully supports a Process of On-Going Improvement.
    1. Project Management and POOGI
      1. Knows the goals of the project function, and
      2. Knows how failure to meet its goals impacts the other entities in the system
      3. Understands the use of measures to align all levels of the organization with long term corporate goals
    2. Project Selection
      1. Can select projects from a holistic perspective (focused on improving the system’s constraint)
      2. Knows how to balance given market, research and development and finance issues and risk appropriately
    3. Portfolio Management
      1. Knows the appropriate reporting and metrics required to create a portfolio management decision making model to tie their tactics and investments to the organization’s short run and long run strategy.
      2. Knows the roles and information needs of the portfolio (pipeline) manager, master scheduler, and project vs. resource vs. task managers
    4. Can articulate sufficient contrasting details and issues associated with a subset of different project environments such as construction, engineer-to-order manufacturing, software development, high tech new product development, pharmaceutical product development, MRO, consulting projects