A Brief Explanation of the Triple Constraint in Project Management - nTask - Deepstash
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The triple constraint factor

The triple constraint factor

The triple constraint theory tells us that every project operates within the boundaries set by three constraints:

  1. Time (the deadlines)
  2. Scope ( the features)
  3. Cost (the budget)

These constraints are inter-connected. If you change something about one of them, the other two will be impacted as well. A manager has to find the best combination of these three constraints.

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Time constraints in project management

Each task and process in the project have a scheduled time allocated for their completion.

Steps for managing the schedule of the project development process:

  1. Plan schedule management.
  2. Sequence all of the different activities.
  3. Define all of the activities that will be performed in the project.
  4. Estimate the usage of all of the resources that are going to be used in the project.
  5. Estimate the time durations related to each activity.
  6. Develop a proper schedule after analyzing the first five points.
  7. After creating the schedule, control/manage the schedule to ensure that your project is on track.

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Cost constraints in project management

The budget processes related to the project include estimating the cost of all the little parts.

Methods to estimate the cost of the project.

  • Use historical data. Track and analyze a project similar to yours, which have been developed in the market over the past years.
  • Determine the resource costs. Track the costs of the goods and labor that are going to be used on a per-unit basis.
  • Use different parameters. Measure different stats from the old and new data found in previous and on-going projects.
  • Use bottom-up approach. Track the lowest to highest budgets spent on previous projects.

Other methods for budget estimation are vendor bid, reserve, and quality analysis.

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Scope constraints in project management

The scope of the project is defining the tasks and activities that are being done in the project development process.

The scope document includes:

  • All the details of the project development process from start to finish.
  • A trajectory in which the project will travel.
  • Information about the potential risks and scope creeps.

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Quality, risk and benefit in project management

In recent years, constraints beyond the triple constraint factor have been discovered. They are:

  • Quality. The project should be developed according to the quality agreed in the project scope.
  • Risk. Risk and scope creeps are "silent" killers when the development team and managers are not expecting any threat from them.
  • Benefit. The benefit of the project element is a great motivator to keep the project development process on track.

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