Project triangle


Project triangle

The Project Triangle

Commonly referred to in engineering is the project triangle, shown here:

You are given the options of "Fast", "Good" and "Cheap", and told to pick any two. Here "Fast" refers to the time required to deliver the product, "Good" is the quality of the final product, and "Cheap" refers to the total cost of designing and building the product. This triangle reflects the fact that the three properties of a project are interrelated, and it is not possible to optimise all three – one will always suffer. In other words you have three options:
* Design something quickly and to a high standard, but then it will not be cheap.
* Design something quickly and cheaply, but it will not be of high quality.
* Design something with high quality and cheaply, but it will take a long time.

This constraint may apply to creative human activity, such as software, movies, books etc where quality is subjective. This is a false dichotomy when comparing technologies such as digital to analog in media formats.Fact|date=October 2007

There are also numerous spinoffs to this triangle, the most common including:
*College: Work, Sleep, or Play – Pick two.
*Girls: Single, Sane, Attractive – Pick two.
*Men: Handsome, High-Earner, Faithful – Pick two.
*Choose two: (A) Fast, (B) Efficient, (C) Stable, (D) Windows (counts as two)

Schedule, scope, resources and time software quality triangular pyramid – pick all four.

ee also

Project management

This article describes a graphic aid where the three attributes show on the corners of the triangle to show opposition. It is useful to help with intentionally choosing project biases. This graphic can be confused with the project management triangle.

As a project management graphic aid, a triangle can show time, resources, and technical objective as the sides of a triangle, instead of the corners. John Storck, a former instructor of the American Management Association's "Basic Project Management" course, used a pair of triangles called triangle outer and triangle inner to represent the concept that the intent of a project is to complete on or before the allowed time, on or under budget, and to meet or exceed the required scope. The distance between the inner and outer triangles illustrated the hedge or contingency for each of the three elements. Bias could be shown by the distance. His example of a project with a strong time bias was the Alaska pipeline which essentially had to be done on time no matter the cost. After years of development, oil flowed out the end of the pipe within four minutes of schedule. In this illustration, the time side of triangle inner was effectively on top of the triangle outer line. This was true of the technical objective line also. The cost line of triangle inner, however, was outside since the project ran significantly over budget.

cope as area

James P. Lewis cite book |last=Lewis |first=James P. |title=Project Planning, Scheduling & Control, 4E |year=2005 |publisher=McGraw Hill |isbn=978-0071460378 ] suggests that project scope represents the area of the triangle, and can be chosen as a variable to achieve project success. He calls this relationship PCTS (Performance, Cost, Time, Scope), and suggests that you can pick any three.

References


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