What is Project Management Triangle ?

Posted in Operations & IT Articles, Total Reads: 1575 , Published on 29 August 2014

For managing any system we need to analyze the areas or factors on which managing skills or practices should be applied to achieve the set target within the constrained operating environment. Project management is similar system where we have to figure out the factors where we can use the management techniques to get the project done within the available resources.

Project management generally consists of management practices like planning, coordinating, executing, controlling, streamlining or improving. The practice depends on the nature of project work also.

What is Project Management Triangle?

There are three main areas or factors that need to be managed for operating a project. The three factors are interdependent and correlated. The pictorial representation of this correlation results a triangle called "Project management triangle".

Components/factors –

The three components of this triangle are briefly described as below -

1. Time / Schedule -

Time is one of the constraints to any project work. Any project must have start and end time for its activities. So, a project should be completed within the set deadline.

This factor should be managed very cautiously as slippage of a project timeline affects other dependent and related project works.

A project time planning & management is done by considering the duration of all the activities. Following are the important steps involved in project time management -

a. Identifying all activities and their duration

b. Determining the activity dependency & sequence

c. Determining the possible delays for activities

d. Judging the critical path and critical activities

e. Managing the activity durations and dependencies

Some of the scientific tools & techniques being used for time management are -

Task Break down Chart,

Activity Network Diagram,

Critical Path,

Gantt chart,

PERT Chart etc.

To determine the interdependency and priority of the tasks, tools like PARETO chart is used.

2. Scope (Business requirement)-

This involves judging the business requirement and finalizing the breadth and depth of the project work. This also defines the target of the project work in terms of service or product to the end user.

Determining the boundary of the business requirements involves following steps -

a. Defining the requirement

b. Analyzing the requirement for its feasibility

c. Describing the project in terms of activities

d. Stating the assumptions, constraints etc.

There can be scope change or expansion after scope finalization. This type of scene is referred as "Scope Creep". All the scope determination and documentation activities are done to reflect this change.

The tools and techniques used for scope management are -

Various documentations such as -

Project charter

Project Functional Specification Document

Business Requirement Document (BRD)

3. Cost (budget) -

It includes estimation of the budget needed to accomplish the project. Budget is needed for labor, infrastructure and other resources.

Budget estimate counts both fixed and variable costs.

Some of the common approach in project cost estimates are -

Task Break down estimate -

The entire project is broken into task units and cost estimates are done for individual tasks.

This can be termed as "Bottom Up Estimate".

Resource based estimate -

In this cost estimates are done based on resources planned.

Experienced base estimate -

Based on previous experience of working on similar project, estimation can be done. This is generally referred as “Analogous Estimates".

Interdependency of three factors -

The above three factors of project triangle are interdependent. Change in the planning of any factor has corresponding effect on the other.

E.g. - Consider the expansion in the scope due to requirement creep scenario. It will involve more work to be accomplished.

If we do not have increase in the time factor, certainly there will be more resource needed to make that possible. More resource utilization will have increase cost.

Project management practices involve getting the balance and optimum utilization of resources and cost to get the project planned for a defined scope done in the timeframe.

Some of the practices are -

Project time management for Float, Lead & Lags.

Project resource management with Resource loading & Leveling.

The above information forms the base for starting project management practices.

The article has been authored by Avaneesh Tiwari, KJSIMSR


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