Project Management

Agile approaches are gaining popularity due to the good implementation of work with uncertainty due to the constant delivery of the result. However, almost any Agile process requires a dedicated team for the project and provides almost nothing for strategic planning. The reality of the organization is that they need to fulfill all their obligations on time and in full with available resources. And on the other hand, portfolio management is a separate application book for PMBoK and few people get to it, although in almost any organization there are “directions” and limited resources.

Therefore, I created the Pulse management project management method - the Pulse Method (hereinafter the Method). This is a set of recommendations and Rules based on Theory of Constraints, Agile-approaches and project management, which ensures the fulfillment of obligations by the Organization on time and in full in conditions of limited resources and high uncertainty of the content of projects.


It so happened that I created real-time systems, constantly working in companies with a high scientific component. When you need to do a lot of R&D (research and development work), research and IT projects at the same time, but you can’t hire a dedicated team for each project. At the same time, each division is a separate Product that needs to be developed by participating in several R&D. In other words, there is a high level of project connectivity and each project is carried out for different Customers.

Since 2002 I have been implementing Agile in the eXtreme Programming option in IT companies, as an engineer, as a manager, since 2016 as a consultant. In an attempt to find the best way to manage engineers, I re-read everything there is. But I still could not find the answer to the question "What to do in the face of tight deadlines?" Therefore, when I started the Theory of Constraints in 2011, I received an answer to this question. And the described Method is a generalization of personal experience and best practices that complement each other.

The purpose of this article is to introduce you to the boundaries of the application of the Method and the basic concept. And also invite them to discuss and implement the described approach in their organizations. The pilot application of the Method in full (previously I used only individual elements) over the past six months has shown very good results.

Application boundaries

The most important thing is to determine the boundaries of the application. If you have ideal conditions and you make a B2C Product without external restrictions, then the Method will not help you much. But if your conditions are as described, then using the Method will bring tangible benefits.

The Pulse Method is designed for organizations based on human capital
and those in extreme conditions, when it is necessary to meet all obligations on time and in full and there is no way to “fill in with money” and hire more resources.

How to verify that you are in this situation:

  1. The General Director regularly communicates with Clients, apologizing for not meeting expectations (“holding defense”).
  2. The company has a "torn" delivery rhythm, Customers do not receive the promised and it is not known when they will receive it.
  3. Project managers are in constant stress
  4. Manual task management by the leader is required.
  5. Engineers do not have enough time to complete tasks.

Recognized yourself? Then move on!

What defines a Method

Since we figured out the limits of application, I will immediately discuss what the Method determines and what does not.

The method determines the basic rules of the game:

  1. The method determines the rules for planning projects and work in the sprint
  2. The method defines the Prioritization Rules in the project portfolio
  3. The method defines the Rules for monitoring the performance of work
  4. The method defines the rules for meetings and other necessary events

And some other rules. Rules - Program the Organization.

Method concept

Three Dimensional Organization

The method is built on a three-dimensional model of organization. The organization must grow in three directions at the same time. If there is a bias in any direction, then dysfunctions of the Organization appear.

Three dimensions of organization

The Pulse method covers all 3 vertices of a triangle:

  1. Goals - The organization must continuously set goals in order to fulfill promises and look for new opportunities for market growth. This is a direction of commercial growth, in other words “about money and development”.
  2. Processes and Rules - It is necessary to continuously improve business processes and agree on rules.
  3. Technology and professionalism - it is necessary to continuously improve the qualifications of specialists and improve design and production technologies.

Each vertex of the triangle of the Organization model has a Decision Flow and needs continuous improvement. If some vertex of the triangle begins to dominate, then a gap appears between other parts, because of this, conflicts appear in the Organization. For example:

Decision Streams

All decisions made in the Organization can be divided into Decision Flows. Each decision made at its own level leads to big changes in the Flow of the next level.

Decision Streams

Implementation flow

An implementation stream is a stream of work that needs to be done to get results. It is the results of the Sales Stream that bring income and customer satisfaction.

Control flow

The flow of management is the flow of management decisions affecting the quality of the Stream of Implementation. The control flow can both accelerate the implementation flow and slow it down. The flow of control puts Goals in the stream of Realization. The Control Stream “programs” the Implementation Stream.

Stream of improvements

The stream of improvements is a reflective stream of decisions affecting the quality of the control stream. These are management decisions aimed at improving the decision-making process. Only while in the Stream of Improvements we analyze past events and can evaluate the quality of decisions made, make work on mistakes and make subsequent decisions more qualitative and bring better results.


Work in each Stream represents a separate System. It is impossible to improve the system while inside the (target) system, it is necessary to “rise” to the upper level system (supersystem) in order to make the right decisions in relation to the target system. Streams are the ability to change the focus of attention and the focus of applying efforts to change the target system.

The efforts spent on the transition from one Stream to another are very large compared with the transition to the same, but parallel stream (for example: the transition to completing a task from the stream of implementation of another project). Therefore, clearly set aside time to work on each Thread. Change your state of mind when working in another Stream. Be aware of which Stream you are in and which your employees are in. This will help increase their line efficiency and employee efficiency.

Part conclusion

In this part, I described the basic provisions of the Method. You can find reflections of this concept in any other management framework. Paying attention to Decision Streams and developing the Rules for switching between Streams in accordance with the Organization's development strategy in three directions can serve as a good basis for improving your own management system.

To be continued.

PS: But, if you want everything at once, then there is a manual “Pulse Management: Management of a project organization”.


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