Applications Of The Project Management Triangle
In my work there is a concept called the project management triangle, it deals with four main qualities you try to balance.
- Time - The total number of hours it is going to take and over how many days/weeks/months/years.
- Cost - What it is going to cost in dollars and cents
- Scope - What features are included
- Quality - How well put together the product is.
There is a tradeoff with this so we typically say as the client you can pick two, but then those doing the work get to set the other two.
If you want something fast and cheap, it is not going to have a lot of features and it likely won't be the best quality. If you want something fully featured really fast, it is going to cost you.
It is a pretty simple concept, but not one many people probably talk about except maybe a handful of times in their life. I work in software development and it is a common conversation had almost every day. The interesting thing about it though is how much it applies to almost any area of our lives.
If you ever built a house or done home renovations you had these conversations without even knowing it. You may want the granite countertops but the cost is a lot higher. However the laminate countertops just aren't as durable and will have to be replaced.
You want to go to your absolutely favorite Broadway musical that is touring near you. It costs more but you love the story and the quality of the show is outstanding. Alternatively you could go to the local high schools fall musical. It isn't your favorite musical, the singing won't be as good, but it costs a lot less.
Every day you make choices and often we think only of choices in terms of money. But if we see the other areas that we can trade off it opens us up to new possibilities. If you are looking to buy a new tablet you might want to get a new iPad. When you realize the only features you really need is to be able to watch Netflix and stream music on it, you will realize that an Amazon Kindle will do exactly that for 80% less. You might need a new vehicle, and while the 4x4 heavy duty pickup is really cool, but if you realize the vast majority of the time you are driving 15 miles to work on the highway the maintenance costs alone would be worth it.
As my kids are getting older and fast approaching the age where they are going to have to start making more of these types of decisions on their own they more I hope they keep this concept top of mind because it can make all the difference in the world when it comes to your happiness and financial stability.