Project Management has long been a fact of life. It is a discipline that has been around almost as long as humans, and although its techniques are constantly evolving, the foundations that ensure its success have changed very little.
Project Management is a seemingly very simple discipline.
- First, plan your scope and objectives.
- Second, define your deliverables.
- Third, plan your project and communicate expectations.
- Fourth, follow its execution closely and thoroughly.
- Finally, close it out.
Like any human undertaking, however, projects need to be performed and delivered under certain constraints. One of the most popular sets of constraints often used illustrates that project management success is measured by the project team's ability to manage the project so that the expected results are produced while managing time and cost. These are typically referred to as the "Project Management Triple Constraint" or "Project Management Triangle".
Each side of the triangle represents a constraint, whereby one side cannot be changed without affecting the others. The three vertices are called "Scope", "Time" and "Cost". In the middle of the triangle is a fourth constraint called "Quality", which sits as the central theme.
As Project Management evolves into industry specialization, so does the triangle. At Eze Castle Integration, for example, the demanding needs of financial vertical clients are such that the typical triangle has given way to a Project Management Diamond, with Time, Cost, Scope and Quality the four vertices and Customer Expectations as a central theme.
During a recent discussion, I was asked by a client why customer requirements don't appear as the central theme of our Eze Castle diamond rather than expectations. It was a great question. The answer is that expectations are deeper and broader than requirements.
In Project Management, expectations are a critical measure of success. In fact, a client's expectations are their very vision of a future state which is critical to success. These expectations are the central driving factor for client actions and decisions.
A Project Manager's ability to influence expectations and make them manageable measurements is the key to controlling the diamond.
Be sure to read our other Project Management articles including:
- The Power of Project Momentum: Building a Project Wave
- Learning to Navigate Project Management Politics: Part 1 & 2
- Eze Castle's Project Management Services
Demetrios Gianniris is Director of Startups, Relocations and Projects (SRP) at Eze Castle Integration. He is responsible for overseeing the daily administration and operations of the Project Management team, including project design development, construction management, professional services and information technology consulting. Follow Demetrios on Twitter at www.twitter.com/dgianniris.
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