Project Management Triangle : How to Manage Project Constraints?
Constraints may arise anytime along the process of the project. Time, cost and scope are the constraints of a project management triangle which need focus. A triangle is used to illustrate inter relationships of the components and how to deal with the issues that may arise concerning these. These components may not change but any possible decision to be made and modifications will be based on this diagram.
The Three Sides of the Project Management Triangle
The Project management triangle has three elements: the time, cost and scope. Each element affects the whole process and the entire project. These elements are written on the three sides of the triangle while quality is put inside. Time represents the duration as when the project will get started and when it will finish. Time pressure pushes the people involved in the project to push harder. Time constraints may occur due to lack of inability of the people to do the task, meeting the deadlines and looking for resources.
Another factor is the cost. Cost determines the budget that the managers have to allot for each stage of the project. Costs may increase when the management adds more people to meet the deadline. Sometimes, some feature of the product is removed to deliver it on time to the customer.
Last is the scope, where it covers the evaluation of the product. There is list to be counter checked whether the product has quality. These criteria should match the customers’ demands and make sure that these are not compromised.
Meanwhile, quality is the main goal of the project. Most of the times, to be able to achieve high quality product or service, costly resources are being bought. Otherwise, if low quality resources are being used, the quality will be greatly affected.
Overcoming the Constraints
A project manager must be strategic in the delegation of tasks and make sure that this is based on the capabilities of the person or the team to accomplish the task. The project manager has to promote team work and unity and must orient the team members that the project has to successful. The objectives must be set and specified, to make the people motivated to perform. It is also essential that the manager keeps his people updated and well informed of the changes and issues. Apart from monitoring, the manager has to assess the performance of the whole team.
The skills required for a project manager may be innate and some can be developed. These skills include:
- Take the lead. Project managers are expected to be leaders of their own teams and assume responsibilities on making them functional in the company.
- The project managers are expected to manage their people and resolve conflicts to make the project run smoothly.
- Then, project managers have to be mindful of their time. They have to fix their schedules and conduct meetings if necessary.
- Project managers need to be effective communicators to be able to connect with people and transact easier. Good communication skills will also be a great help in negotiations.
- Planning and controlling the project and the whole project team should also be one of the strengths of a project manager. Planning must be systematic and based on facts and research to make the controlling more manageable.
Keeping these constraints balanced needs a careful analysis. For the reason that the project managers are expected to perform their role to handle and manage these constraints, they may use tools that will make it easier to be done.
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