The inflexibility of project constraints

Dave Levy
1 min readApr 17, 2024
Photo by Startaê Team on Unsplash

I was reminded of a presentation given a long time ago, the speaker argued that project management was like threading a triangular needle, ensuring that one delivered on time, budget and quality. I have learnt some things since.

by dfl1955, background by Nastya Dulhiier on unsplash

The flexibility of the three constraints varies by project.

On software projects, time and money are basically the same.

During my time at Sun Professional Services, quality comprises unless agreed under change control were unacceptable to both sides and whenever I have tried to cut and run on quality to meet a time deadline, it has led to problems.

Most project managers measure time and money. Measuring “Earned Value” in a software project is methodologically hard but not impossible, and so often not done; thus it often comes as a surprise when a project discovers it’s late and behind schedule, despite budgeting for an “estimation variance”.

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Dave Levy

Brit, Londoner, economist, Labour, privacy, cybersecurity, traveller, father - mainly writing about UK politics & IT,