Critical Chain and Jelly Belly Jelly Beans

“Critical Chain” by Eliyahu Goldratt is a thought-provoking extension of the concepts and techniques presented in Goldratt’s “The Goal” and “It’s Not Luck.” This book guides the reader, through typical Goldratt-Socratic fiction, to an understanding of how the Theory of Constraints can be successfully applied to project management.

My favorite quote from the book is “It is a mistake to strive for accurate answers when the data is not accurate. Answers that pretend to be more accurate than the uncertainty embedded in the problem are not better answers.” (p. 216)

Does that not echo the intuitive feelings you have experienced when trying to provide project estimates and schedules? “Critical Chain” recognizes uncertainty and recommends an alternative approach to dealing with it in project plans. I do not think the proposed method fits highly creative projects that require rapid learning and course-correction but it may fit well with more predictable domains.

And now for something completely different…


This weekend, while using my kids as an excuse to go to the candy store, I bought a giant bag of Jelly Belly gourmet jelly beans. Just to put everyone’s mind to rest–Buttered Popcorn is the best flavor. Hands down. I’m glad that is settled.