In Part X, I argued that digital knowledge work was fundamentally different than other kinds of work, because its structure, features, and purpose could be added or changed after it was built.

Principle #4 of Digital Knowledge Work is therefore to “Start everything as late as possible.”

This practice is known as “late starts,” and is taken directly from Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM), a methodology developed by business management guru Eliyahu Goldratt, based on his Theory of Constraints.

CCPM proposes that attention and people are now the most important constraints in projects, instead of time, machines, or raw materials. It is one of the first PM methodologies to put human psychology at the center of its recommendations.

To understand why and how, we first need to understand the concept of “critical path.”

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