Successful project management is both an art and a science and attempts to control corporate resources within the constraints of time, cost, and performance. Most projects are unique, one-of-kind activities for which there may not have been reasonable standards for forward planning. As a result, the project manager may find it extremely difficult to stay within the time-cost-performance triangle of Figure 16-1.

The time-cost-performance triangle is the "magic combination" that is continuously pursued by the project manager throughout the life cycle of the project. If the project were to flow smoothly, according to plan, there might not be a need for trade-off analysis. unfortunately, this rarely happens.

Trade-offs are illustrated in Figure 16-2, where the As represent deviations from the original estimates. The time and cost deviations are normally overruns, whereas the performance error will be an underrun. No two projects are exactly alike, and trade-off analysis will be an ongoing effort throughout the life of the project, continuously influenced by both the internal and the external environment. Experienced project managers have predetermined trade-offs in reserve, recognizing that trade-offs are part of a continuous thought process.

FIGURE 16-1. Overview of project management.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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