Saturday, 10 September 2011

Time, cost, quality variations in Project Management

The traditional project management mantra has related to the time, cost, quality triangle where the project manager controls these variables as well as possible according to the defined scope of the project. But there are variations as we've noted where quality can equal 'scope', 'cost' can be substituted by 'assets/resources' or an extra consideration of 'customer satisfaction' is added.

Are there other variations that have crept in now? Well, you may come across 'quality' being swapped for 'functionality' – that would make sense to us in the iMedia arena. See Spottydog's Project Management web site for more on this approach.

Then the Project Management Blog March 2011 expands the core 3 to 8! Scope, time, cost, quality, human resources, risk, procurement and communication. That certainly should make us think carefully as to whether we should expand our thinking.

Then, although a bit dated in our terms, as the paper is 2007, Roger Atkinson covers interesting ground in his plea for a re-assessment of what he calls the iron triangle to take account of other factors such as 'stakeholder benefits'.

So although the core terms may change the principles remain the same. A project manager will be held responsible for the successful outcome of a project not just in terms of delivering the project on time and within budget but also the satisfaction of the client and (for us particularly), the users. What terms does your company use? Do they cover all these aspects? It seems that we did in our last Managing Interactive Media book, and that the trends we projected still remain true.

Happy project management!