The Iron Triangle of Project Management
Balancing Your Budget, Scope and Schedule
(Also Known as The Triple Constraints of Project Management)
Imagine that you're managing the rollout of a new brand logo for your organization. At first, everything's going great. But, after a few weeks, some issues start to crop up that take you down a different path.
First, you realize that you've forgotten to factor in some costs in the printing and manufacturing process. Then, a few other tasks take longer to complete than you predicted.
You could recruit some additional contractors to get the rollout done on time. But, that will mean reducing the budget elsewhere. You consider not spending the extra amount on printing and manufacturing, but this might mean that you have to reduce the scope of your project, or push back the launch date.
This example demonstrates just how closely budget, scope and schedule are linked when you manage a project, and how small changes in one area can affect the other two.
In this article, we'll examine the relationship between these three common constraints, and explore some strategies for overcoming them.
What Is the Iron Triangle of Project Management?
The Iron Triangle refers to the three key constraints that can affect a project. These are budget, scope and schedule (see figure 1).