Project Management Triangle (Iron Triangle)


One of the first project management concepts that I learned was the Time, Cost, Scope, also known as the Iron Triangle. The triangle demonstrates that quality cost and time are interrelated. Any project is expected to finish at time cost and scope. We manage it in a way that we get maximum quality for same. If we change any side of this triangle, other side will also get impacted. If we fasten the progress (time) we may have to spend more (cost) or achieve lesser work completion (scope). In this way rather, something is fixed and we change it.
For example, a project can be completed faster by increasing cost or reducing scope. Similarly, increasing scope may require equivalent increases in cost and time. Cutting cost without adjusting time or scope will lead to lower quality.

The time constraint refers to the amount of time available to complete a project. The cost constraint refers to the budgeted amount available for the project. The scope constraint refers to what must be done to produce the project’s end result. These three constraints are often competing constraints: increased scope typically means increased time and increased cost, a tight time constraint could mean increased costs and reduced scope, and a tight budget could mean increased time and reduced scope. The discipline of project management is about providing the tools and techniques that enable the project team to organize their work to meet these constraints. Another approach to project management is to consider the three constraints as finance, time and human resources. If you need to finish a job in a shorter time, you can throw more people at the problem, which in turn will raise the cost of the project, unless by doing this task quicker we will reduce costs elsewhere in the project by an equal amount. The real value of the project triangle is to show the complexity that is present in any project. The plane area of the triangle represents the near infinite variations of priorities that could exist between the three competing values. By acknowledging the limitless variety, possible within the triangle, using this graphic aid can facilitate better project decisions and planning and ensure alignment among team members and the project owners.



For analytical purposes, the time required to produce a deliverable is estimated using several techniques. One method is to identify tasks needed to produce the deliverables documented in a work breakdown structure or WBS. The work effort for each task is estimated and those estimates are rolled up into the final deliverable estimate. The tasks are also prioritized, dependencies between tasks are identified, and this information is documented in a project schedule. Time is different from all other resources and cost categories. Using actual cost of previous, similar projects as the basis for estimating the cost of current project.

According to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) the Project Time Management processes include:

  1. Plan Schedule Management
  2. Define Activities
  3. Sequence Activities
  4. Estimate Activity Resources
  5. Estimate Activity Durations
  6. Develop Schedule
  7. Control Schedule



To develop an approximation of a project cost depends on several variables including: resources, work packages such as labour rates and mitigating or controlling influencing factors that create cost variances. Tools used in cost are, risk managementcost contingencycost escalation, and indirect costs . But beyond this basic accounting approach to fixed and variable costs, the economic cost that must be considered includes worker skill and productivity which is calculated using various project cost estimate tools. This is important when companies hire temporary or contract employees or outsource work.

  • Cost Estimating is an approximation of the cost of all resources needed to complete activities.
  • Cost budgeting aggregating the estimated costs of resources, work packages and activities to establish a cost baseline.
  • Cost Control – factors that create cost fluctuation and variance can be influenced and controlled using various cost management tools.



Requirements specified to achieve the end result. The overall definition of what the project is supposed to accomplish, and a specific description of what the end result should be or accomplish. A major component of scope is the quality of the final product. The amount of time put into individual tasks determines the overall quality of the project. Some tasks may require a given amount of time to complete adequately, but given more time could be completed exceptionally. Over the course of a large project, quality can have a significant impact on time and cost (or vice versa).


Together, these three constraints have given rise to the phrase “On Time, On Spec, On Cost.”



How to use the triangle?

Decide at the start of a project which version of the triangle you will use and agree with the project stakeholders which of the three or four objectives are most important. Assess all changes, risks and issues against the triangle and weigh up your course of action against the impact on your critical objective.

For example, if the key project constraint is cost, only the most business critical change requests are likely to be approved. However, if quality is the biggest goal time and cost might move to accommodate enhancement requests.


Need of Project Management Consulting on Building Construction

                 “Everyone has a plan: until they get punched in the face”
                                                                                                                  ~Mike Tyson

‘Why is project management important?’ is an interesting question that clients sometimes pose.  They’ll ask: “Can’t we just brief the team doing the work and manage them ourselves? It’ll be loads cheaper.”

They wonder if they really need project management because on paper it looks like an unnecessary tax and overhead as project managers don’t really deliver anything and often get in the way of what they want the team to do! So, if all that’s true, why is project management important?

The truth is, running projects without good project management is a false economy. It’s often thought to be an unnecessary burden on the budget, and there’s no doubt it can be expensive – as much as 20% of the overall project budget. But can you afford to not have project management? Without it, what holds the team and client together? And without it, who is left to navigate through the ups and downs, clashes and catastrophes of projects?

Great project management means much more than keeping project management’s iron triangle in check, delivering on time, cost, and scope; it unites clients and teams, creates a vision for success and gets everyone on the same page of what’s needed to stay on track for success. When projects are managed properly, there’s a positive impact that reflect beyond delivery of ‘the stuff’.

Project management is important for several reasons:

  1. Communication

Projects are naturally chaotic. The primary business function of project management is organizing & planning projects to tame this chaos.
It’s hard to think of any complex business endeavour that was ever achieved without organization & planning. Project management is the organization, planning and control of projects.

  1. Managing Risk

Any good project has plenty of risk. After all, the nature of business is taking risks. Risk is a fundamental part of business strategy. However, risk needs to be managed. Risk is that chance of a negative event or loss. Uncontrolled risk-taking ends in asset destruction and compliance issues. Project management identifies, manages and controls risk.

  1. Managing Quality

Quality is the value of what you produce. There’s not much sense producing something that has no value. Leaving quality to chance is analogous to producing something of random value. Project management identifies, manages and controls quality.

  1. Managing Integration

Projects don’t happen in a vacuum. They need to be integrated with business processes, systems and organizations. You can’t build a sales system that doesn’t integrate with your sales process and sales organization. It wouldn’t add much value. Integration is often key to project value. Project management identifies and manages integration.

5. Coordination

Projects always happen in an environment in which nothing is constant except change. Projects are always a moving target. Managing change is a complex and daunting task. It’s not optional. Unless you can put your business universe on pause, change happens whether you manage it or not. Project management manages change.

  1. Issues

Business initiatives typically encounter regular issues that must be managed to achieve objectives. Project management plays a critical role in identifying and clearing issues.


Projects generate knowledge — or at least they should. Scope represents a significant asset for most businesses. Left un-managed, Scope tends to quickly fade. Project management ensures that project scope is captured and managed.

  1. Learning from Failure

Projects fail. When they do, it’s important to learn from the process. Learning from failure is key to business innovation and quality improvement. Project management ensures that lessons are learned from project success and failure.


  1. Cost Management

Cost management is the process of planning and controlling the budget of a business. Cost management is a form of management accounting that allows a business to predict impending expenditures to help reduce the chance of going over budget. The cost manager/quantity surveyor plays a pivotal role in the financial and Contract management of construction projects, although the exact nature of the service they provide depends on the project employer’s terms of engagement.

Adopting an iterative and incremental development approach is a fundamental change in working practices for the management team and everyone else involved in the project. Successful iterative and incremental development requires a progressive and adaptive approach to be taken to the management of the project and requires the whole team to embrace change and the continual improvement that this change will hopefully produce. In any change effort, it is essential to demonstrate the value of the change as soon as possible to overcome resistance and build support for the change. The only way that can be done is by achieving the desired technical and business results quickly and efficiently. The fastest way to reach these results is to introduce compatible project Management Consultants to increase the chances of on time and minimal cost delivery of project.


World of concrete exhibition at pragati maidan, New delhi.

Representatives of Manomav engineers pvt ltd. Visited the exhibition to understand latest technology involved in various construction material. Exhibition hall were closer from gate no.10 of pragati maidan and was having a registration desk at entry. Around 50 exhibitors have displayed their products from different categories which include engineering, software, equipment, concrete institute, chemicals and testing laboratories.

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