The Triple Constraints of Project Management Explained

The Triple Constraints of Project Management Explained

There are many ways to visualize projects and their management, the triple constraints of project management is another way to view them. Project management instructors use multiple ways of describing project management since everyone learns differently. The triple constraints is another way of describing the challenges that project managers face when working on a project.

 

triple constraints of project management

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Project Management

 

Triple constraints of project management are project management jargon. It’s the same as the project management triangle, the project triangle, and the iron triangle. The project management triangle is the three major points that project managers must keep in mind while working on a project. The points are usually scope, time, and budget, or scope, schedule, and cost. They are similar but every three works together in a different enough way that depending on the project stage, or the type of project, managers are liable to face one. Project managers must know all three points to have a productive project.

 

How The Triple Constraints of Project Management Work in Construction

 

In construction, the triple constraints of project management will fall into either scope, time, budget, or scope schedule and cost. The triangle is a push-pull series that project managers can use to better improve projects. If a deadline for a specific stage is moved up, then there will be effects on the other two sides to make up for the constraints. So there could be a higher cost because of the decreased timeline. The triple constraints of project management are things that project managers must work within. However, they can sometimes budge depending on what else moves. Here are ways that project managers can work to create better projects.

 

triple constraint of project management

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Scope

 

Scope management can help reduce changes to the scope and an overall better scope. A good scope outlines the entirety of the project. Scope describes what work must be done on a project. Project managers use the scope to determine how many people are needed, and budget. The scope is the plan. And scope management works to ensure that the project goes according to plan. This is how project managers enforce the project scope. And it is also how project managers prevent scope creep. However, when the stakeholders wish to change the scope, scope management provides the appropriate path for that to occur.

 

Scope management includes a method of changing the scope through change orders. Project managers use change orders to make changes to the scope, budget and timeline. By updating the budget and timeline with the change orders, it ensures that the project will work within the triple constraints of project management.

 

Schedule

 

Schedule is often one of the legs in the triple constraints of project management. Project managers use the scope to set the project schedule. Every project manager wants the project to go according to schedule, but sometimes things happen that make it difficult. The result is a living schedule that moves with the project when need be. If there are hard deadlines, then a project manager might have to move people or equipment from one project to another. Along with scope, project managers manage the schedule to keep the project on time.

 

triple constraint of project management

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Budget and Cost

 

Budget is typically the third segment in the triple constraints of project management. Using the scope, a project manager develops the budget. Project managers put together the budget using data in the estimation process as well as personal experience. However, the budget only counts for so much. Of course, a project manager needs it to be able to determine the cost. And they approve purchases and staff based on it. Project managers use the budget, when a project starts, to help manage project costs. Again, when there is a potential cost overrun, a change order is added to the scope to adjust the scope or schedule to accommodate for the cost.

 

The Four Constraints of Project Management

 

Not everyone agrees with whether there are only three or four constraints in project management. The traditional model is the triangle model; however, the square model is increasing in popularity. The four constraints of project management are still scope, budget, and schedule; however, it adds quality. So if the budget decreases while schedule decreases then the scope should narrow. But more importantly, the quality often decreases within these projects. Within construction, there are clear metrics to determine the quality of a project. Adding quality to the triple constraints of project management benefits construction projects and overall benefits the project management process.

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