Project Management Triangle
Below are images of the Project Management Triangle (PMT). The PMT or “Iron Triangle” is a highly recognized and well used project management tool to quickly illustrate the outcome of your decisions.
The PMT gives the options of Fast, Good and Cheap; you can 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 optimize all three – one will always suffer. In other words, you have three options:
Fast and Good:
Design and build something quickly and to a high standard, but then it will not be cheap. Why? Because quality and durability require better people, products and materials. Over time, this always proves to be the lowest, total overall cost.
A word of caution regarding “quickly”. Quickly is a highly relevant term. Quickly does not mean overnight completion. It means that if the project is properly planned and carefully executed, it will progress along its normal course and be successful.
Fast and Cheap:
Design and build something quickly and cheaply, but it will not be of high quality or durability. Why? Because quick and cheap is a house of playing cards. In other words, success requires well thought out planning, careful execution, using high quality materials and people. Anything else and it will fail.
Cheap and Good:
Design and build something with high quality and cheaply, but it will take a very, very, long time. Why? Because the technology has yet to be developed to get the cost down. In other words, every project would need to be completely and totally identical every time, for every person, for everything, for every environment.
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