In any project, you can only control 3 basic variables:
- Time (schedule)
- Cost (budget)
- Scope (what we deliverable)
This is the “Golden Triangle” of Project management. These constraints are in tension with each other and we are responsible for each of them. They fight for our attention, and always want to dominate the project discussions.
The lesson today is this – you can be successful at one or two of them in a project, but you can never win all 3 constraints at the same time. In other words, I can:
- Design something quickly and to a high standard, but then it will not be cheap.
- Design something quickly and cheaply, but it will not be of high quality.
- Design something with high quality and cheaply, but it will take a long time.
Everyone wants us to win at all 3. Customers want more features in the final product than we are ready to deliver. Management wants to spend less money on the design team. The marketplace tells us to deliver by next month or we loose our window of opportunity.
Pick which one you are willing to be flexible with. Then go win the other two.
Thanks for listening.