Project management constraints
A constraint is any restricting factor that can impact or limit the delivery of your project.
The three most significant project management constraints are:
- costs – how much money is available to achieve an outcome
- scope – what exactly is the expected outcome
- schedule – the timescales for delivering the output
Schedule, cost and scope are sometimes known as the triple constraint, or the project management triangle. Impact on either one of them may affect the quality of your project or even delivery.
Other common constraints include:
- quality – does the outcome match your project expectations
- resources – who will carry out the work, with what materials/resources
- risks – potential pitfalls and how to mitigate against them
Projects that do not work within their constraints tend to incur a significant cost and often fail. If you need to change elements of your project, you may need to manage this carefully.
Even if all the constraints are balanced, issues can occur. You can apply some common change management principles to your project to minimize risks and potential for failure.