Bus697 project management strategy Wk 4 Discussion 1

Triple Constraint and Lessons Learned

The triple constraint in Project Management is known to be time, cost and scope.  The ability to manage these three items very often leads to project success.  Identify two success factors from Chapter 11; then compare them with two components of failure from the same chapter.  Provide an example of a project you led or were a team member where one or more of these factors came into play.  



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Within time 

Within cost 

Within quality limits 

Accepted by the customer


•Follow-on work from this customer 

•Using the customer’s name as a reference on your literature 

•With minimum or mutually agreed uponscope changes 

•Without disturbing the main flow of work 

•Without changing the corporate culture 

•Without violating safety requirements 

•Providing efficiency and effectiveness

of operations 

•Satisfying OSHA/EPA requirements 

•Maintaining ethical conduct 

•Providing a strategic alignment 

•Maintaining a corporate reputation 

•Maintaining regulatory agency relations

Historically, success has been defined as meeting the customer’s expectations, regardless of whether “the customer” was internal or external. Furthermore, success has also meant getting the job done within the constraints of time, cost, and qual- ity. Using this standard definition, success could be visualized as a singular point on a time, cost, quality/performance grid. But how many projects, especially those requiring innovation, can possibly reach this exact point?

Very few projects are ever completed without tradeoffs or scope changes on time, cost, and quality. Therefore, success might still occur without exactly hit- ting this singular point. In this regard, success might be better defined as a cube, such as seen in Figure 11–1. The singular point of time, cost, and quality would be a point within the cube.

Another factor to consider is that there may exist both primary and secondary definitions of success, as shown in Table 11–1. The primary definitions of success are seen through the eyes of the customer. The secondary definitions of success are usually internal benefits. If achieving 86 percent of the specification is ac- ceptable to the customer and follow-on work is received, then the original project might very well be considered as a success.


It is possible for a project management methodology to identify primary and secondary success factors. This could provide guidance to a project manager for the development of a risk management plan, as well as help the project manager decide which risks are worth taking and which are not acceptable