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Identifying project constraints

From: Managing Small Projects

Video: Identifying project constraints

If you had unlimited amounts of time, money and people, project management wouldn't be so important, for projects come with constraints and limitations, which is why you have to plan and manage your projects. Time, budget and resource constraints are so common that the combo has a formal name, the triple constraint One way to visualize the situation is with a triangle. The inside of the triangle represents the project scope. Each side of the triangle represents a constraint on a component, like time, budget, and resources.

Identifying project constraints

If you had unlimited amounts of time, money and people, project management wouldn't be so important, for projects come with constraints and limitations, which is why you have to plan and manage your projects. Time, budget and resource constraints are so common that the combo has a formal name, the triple constraint One way to visualize the situation is with a triangle. The inside of the triangle represents the project scope. Each side of the triangle represents a constraint on a component, like time, budget, and resources.

You can't specify all four of these variables, even though many customers would like to. At least one has to be flexible. For example, if you have a hard deadline, your project might need more money to outsource work or you might have to reduce the scope. A lot of the time the customer gives you budget and time constraints right off the bat. For example, on the relocation project, the business owner has a budget of $40,000.

She also wants the new location open by the end of August, because the fitness business picks up in September. As you define and plan a project, you'll usually run into resource constraints. People and equipment are often the biggest source of constraints on a project. If you work on a small project within an organization you might even be told which resources you can have. Resource constraints illustrate how one variable can affect the others. Quality can also affect a project.

For example, a high-end house construction project with top-of-the-line components and exquisite craftsmanship will take longer and cost more than a cookie-cutter house. Projects can have other types of constraints, which are as varied as the projects to which they apply. As you identify constraints, add them to your project summary. Later in this course, you'll see how to adjust your plan to take resource, budget, and time constraints into account.

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Managing Small Projects

38 video lessons · 16634 viewers

Bonnie Biafore
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