Skip to 0 minutes and 9 secondsThe iron triangle represents the three project parameters that must be managed by Project Managers in project delivery. Success in the management of a project has been traditionally associated with the ability of the Project Manager to deliver in time, cost and quality. These three factors, commonly called the triple constraint, are represented as a triangle. Each constraint forms the vertices with quality as the central theme. Projects must be delivered within cost. Projects must be delivered on time. Projects must also meet customer quality requirements. Time represents the date that the project needs to be completed by. Cost is defined by the overall budget and quality ensures the project is completed to its agreed specifications.

Skip to 1 minute and 10 secondsThe three constraints are linked together, meaning you cannot change one without the other. The Project Manager must overcome these constraints whilst the project is underway, striking a balance between the parameters to ensure the quality of the project isn't compromised. This requires a trade-off. For example, if you were delivering student accommodation to a deadline for the next academic year and your project was running behind schedule, you could spend more money and reduce the quality specifications to hit the deadline. Each project is unique and will often need to have the three project parameters adjusted over time. This will all depend on the client and their priority of objectives.

Skip to 1 minute and 59 secondsWhether its more important to finish on time, on budget, or achieve the right quality. To overcome the restraints of the iron triangle, you, as a Project Manager have many tools and techniques at your disposal to supervise and control the project from the start to the completion.

The three project parameters

Now we’ve looked at the initiation stage, we’ll move on to explore the key factors that must be considered by a project manager.

Watch the video, which examines the three parameters used to evaluate the challenges, risks and dependencies of a project.


Your task

Having watched the video, consider the question we posed at the beginning of the course: ‘Why do projects fail?’

Do some online research (no more than 5-10 minutes) to look up a project that may have compromised on one or more of the parameters.

Think about how this may have affected the project and what you would have done as a project manager in this situation.

Share your thoughts with your fellow learners.


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This video is from the free online course:

The Importance of Project Management in the Global Construction Industry

Coventry University