It has been given many names – the Project Management Triangle, Iron Triangle and Project Triangle, we shall be referring to it as the three pillars of Project management. If the number of names they go by doesn’t give you the impression of how important they are then let’s begin to breakdown how these three pillars are the most important concepts in Project management.
When used in combination with effective project management software, the three pillars can give you the ability to drive your projects to success. It also means that the success or failure of your organizations projects will depend on the deadlines, features and the budget set by the stakeholders and upper-management.
As a project manager you have to juggle between all three pillars and try to find the best combination of them for your specific project development process needs.
All three pillars are connected and if you want to change something with one of them the other two pillars would be affected.
Understanding that the three pillars must be kept in mind throughout a projects lifecycle to assist the team to adapt to all changing conditions that project would face in the day-to-day. A team lead by a project manager utilizing this strategy will be able to face numerous obstacles that come their way and their performance will remain consistent.
Now let’s take a closer look at the pillars individually:
Time – One of the most important elements that project managers have to consider is keeping track of time a project is taking and will continue to run for. As each task and process that is performed by the team has to be part of the overall schedule.
Wondering what the process of setting this timeframe and schedule here’s an outline:
- Plan schedule management
- Sequence all of the different activities
- Outline each of the activities that will be performed in the project
- Decide what resources will be needed in the project
- Estimate the time it will take to complete each activity
- Develop a full project schedule after analysing the previous steps.
- After creating the schedule, you’ll need to manage the schedule to make sure that your project remains on track and as a result will succeed
The schedule is the time allocated by the project manager in relation to the requirements set by the stake-holders or upper-management. If a project is unable to keep to its schedule and deadlines then it can be in a lot of trouble.
During the Project planning phase a project manager will outline the time required for various tasks, the time planned is dependent on the market requirements of the project and how fast the project is needed to complete to launch, meet the demands of a customer or to begin a new phase of operations.
Cost – Another important element related to the Project management. This is the cost and budget of all tasks related to task/project at hand. What’s most important is cost estimation of the various components.
Some methods of estimating the cost of your project:
- Using Historic Data: Managers can estimate the budget of the project by measuring different stats from the old and new data that they get from the external market and previous completed projects.
- Use Bottom-Up Approach: Managers can also use the bottom-up approach to estimate the budget of the project by tracking the lowest to highest budgets spent on previous projects.
Scope – The third pillar is arguably the most important part of the process. This is because all other planning and cost estimation
Towards the end goal set.
You can see the scope as a project manuscript that includes each small detail of the project and how it will run from start to finish. It will also include various risks and threats to the project in terms of completing it within time and budget.
Now having identified and discussed the three pillars we can see that they are vital to the process of a project manager and the importance of controlling them to ensure the success of the project.