The Project Management Triangle
Because they are temporary, and designed to accomplish a specific goal or set of goals, projects must be performed and delivered under a set of constraints, illustrated in the Project Management Triangle.

Each side of the triangle represents a different constraint: time, cost or scope.

  • Time: Refers to the amount of time available to complete the project.
  • Cost: Every project has a specific budget, and each action costs money. Project managers must be constantly aware of their costs and remaining budget.
  • Scope: This is what must be accomplished to achieve the project objectives; it is often defined as "deliverables." The more project deliverables, the more time and costs required to achieve them.

However, these constraints often compete with each other.

Expanding the scope of the project will tighten the schedule and could impact costs. Likewise, reducing the budget can result in a reduced ability to achieve the goals, so the scope may have to be scaled back.

Project managers balance the ratios to achieve a successful result. The success will be measured in the quality of the deliverable.