Monday, February 15, 2010

The Iron Triangle, Cost, Time and Scope?

Just read a great post on Federico Zuppa blog Agile Booknote about the differences in creation and measurement of value in Agile and Waterfall projects.  For those considering Agile I would recommend reading the entire post however I thought I'd pick out a powerful twist on the oldest project management rule in book.

"Value is so important that Jim Highsmith suggests replacing the traditional iron triangle for one that includes value.

This is his proposition:

In the old triangle, if "scope" grows either the project will take longer (time is modified) or the cost will be higher (cost is modified). This triangle was used to take management decisions, and to measure the success of the project. Using this triangle, a project is successful if it delivers the scope, on time and within the required budget. The new triangle has value, quality and constraints in its vertices. A successful project in the new triangle is one that delivers value with the expected quality and conforming to the constraints.

Performance measurements, processes and activities are designed to optimise value a project that sticks to an outdated plan that doesn't provide any value won't be successful, even if it finishes on time and with the required cost. Processes should support the delivery of value in a sustainable way, even in changing conditions."

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