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project triangle

What is the Project Management Triangle?

Adeel Qayyum

Grokking Modern System Design Interview for Engineers & Managers

Ace your System Design Interview and take your career to the next level. Learn to handle the design of applications like Netflix, Quora, Facebook, Uber, and many more in a 45-min interview. Learn the RESHADED framework for architecting web-scale applications by determining requirements, constraints, and assumptions before diving into a step-by-step design process.

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When a company decides to develop software, there are three significant factors to consider:

  • Scope
  • Time
  • Cost
Project Management Triangle

Scope

Everything starts with a question:

What problem does the company need to solve or address?

The reasons to build the software might include:

  • Automating some inefficient manual activity
  • Optimizing the business processes
  • Gaining some competitive advantage by building a new product
  • Providing clients with better service
  • Reducing costs or increasing profits

Time

The real question is:

How much time does it take to build the software?

If the answer is 20 years, you have a problem. Many things can change in 20 years, including markets, clients, and legal restrictions, as well as the problem itself.

The software must be ready to use in a reasonable period of time.

Cost

We must also address the question:

How much does this cost?

The software might be beneficial. However, it has to be created within a budget. A business does not have unlimited funds.

If money is spent on a costly program, it cannot be utilized for anything else that might benefit the company even more than the new software.

Common practice: how to use the Project Management Triangle

Clients expect a high-quality product with a lot of features. They want it cheap and they want it immediately.

Most people pick two of these priorities. It’s possible to address all three, but it is a matter of differing quantities.

The rules are represented as a triangle to affirm that they are interlinked. If time-to-market is essential, for example, you may need to put more resources into the project in order to launch sooner. In exchange, you may have to accept a higher price.

If you want to prioritize saving money, you may utilize a smaller team. As a result, you may end up with a longer timeline.

Another option might be to give up some of the application’s functionality to save both money and time.

Note: If it takes too long or costs too much to address it completely, remember that solving 80% of the problem is usually preferable to not solving it at all.

Conclusion

When a company decides to take on a new project, it must answer three questions.

  • What problem do we want to address?
  • How much work and time will it take?
  • How much will it cost?

RELATED TAGS

project management
project triangle

CONTRIBUTOR

Adeel Qayyum
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Grokking Modern System Design Interview for Engineers & Managers

Ace your System Design Interview and take your career to the next level. Learn to handle the design of applications like Netflix, Quora, Facebook, Uber, and many more in a 45-min interview. Learn the RESHADED framework for architecting web-scale applications by determining requirements, constraints, and assumptions before diving into a step-by-step design process.

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