Magazine article PM Network

Triple Threat

Magazine article PM Network

Triple Threat

Article excerpt

Focus on a project's challenging aspects to reduce their impact.

The triple constraint is at the root of project success. But while we can plan to control scope, time and cost, we still cannot guarantee success. That's because, during the project s life cycle, roadblocks will get in the way of delivering the value customers expect.

Most of these roadblocks arise from what I like to call "the triad": complexity, uncertainty and changeability. Tackling these three elements should be as top of mind as the triple constraint-during planning and execution Simply put, every stage of a project should include strategies to effectively minimize complexity, uncertainty and changeability.

Here's a start on how to deal with each.

Play by Play

COMPLEXITY: The motto with complexity should be "divide and conquer." The more you use tools, such as the work breakdown structure, to subdivide each major project deliverable into more manageable components, the more you will be able to delegate responsibility of the deliverables and their completion. Assess every decision you make in terms of impact. Beyond looking at time and cost, also examine the repercussions on other deliverables or activities in your plan and all elements of your complex system.

UNCERTAINTY: Risk management is the science of dealing with uncertainty, so it should be an integral part of all planning and controlling efforts. Establish a formal risk planning and controlling process to assess and reduce every risk in the project. …

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