The Traditional Project Management Model of the Triple Constraints

Project management professionals use different types of metrics to monitor their projects. In addition to tracking project progress, it is also important to track other important areas such as time, scope and cost. The three project parameters; time, scope and cost, is known as the triple constraints or popularly known as the “Iron Triangle”

Even though the Project Management Institute’s (PMI) Project Management Book of Knowledge (PMBOK) 5th edition stated that there are six types of constraints that you should look out for; that is time, scope, cost, quality, resource and risk. Although the traditional project management model only consists of time, scope and cost but it is still important for project professionals to be aware of the traditional model too PMP certification cost. The triple constraints model is still being widely used by many companies globally for the purpose of tracking projects. In fact, job interviewers still test project management professionals during interviews about the triple constraints or the iron triangle.

Time refers to the deadline that the project manager has to keep to, in order to deliver the project on time. The project could also be broken down into several phases to improve the workability of the project. Once a phase is completed, it is equivalent to achieving a milestone. The main idea is to gear the team towards a single deadline by designing an easy-to-follow structure and have the team to follow a logical sequence of checkpoints that can lead to the final result.

Scope of a project is the result that the senior management, stakeholders and project sponsors have initially agreed on and want to see it delivered by the project team. Details of the scope are normally covered in the project charter. The project charter authorises the project manager to take charge of the assigned project. It is an important piece of document that helps the manager to steer the project on track whenever it deviates from the original path. To do that, project manager need to keep a tight watch on possible scope creep. Scope creep is the expansion of project deliverables after the scope was decided earlier. Scope creep can cause negative effects such as decrease in team morale, tightening of budget, disarray in coordination, etc. Any changes in the scope will ultimately affect the project deliverables which might derail a project.

Cost is a major business element that companies have to manage daily. Mismanagement of business cost can break a company, even if it is netting considerable profits. A project left unchecked can easily consume additional resources that could have been channelled to other business functions. It can be quite a challenge to manage the budget for projects, therefore project managers have to keep a close watch to prevent projects from turning into budget mines.