continuation of The Three Elephants in the Room (Time, Cost, and Scope)


Believe it or not the solution to your elephants is so simple you will wonder why people spend so much time on even thinking about it.


At the beginning of the project, ask your project sponsor (boss, organization chair, whoever is the big wig that asked for this whole thing) to prioritize the triple constraint components. Key word here is “beginning” ask questions before the problem arises.


Frequently, he or she will say, “They are ALL important.” They are, indeed, all important, but they should not be treated equally! Undoubtedly one of the elements of the triple constraint is more important than the others. For example, is the end date non-moveable due to other business commitments, regulatory considerations or mandatory stipulations? Or, is the budget fixed and your project absolutely cannot exceed the approved budget? Or, is scope critical because you are attempting to obtain a competitive edge and your company wants to be the first in the marketplace with a given product? Find out from your sponsor which element of the triple constraint is most important and why, which is second most important and, finally, which is least important.


This will help you when you have to make those critical choices between A and B in the scenarios above.