As uncertainty in projects increased, the efficacy of the triple constraints decreased. With more uncertainty, the reliance on triple constraints begins to cause, not solve, problems. The first wave of increased uncertainty occurred when project management moved inside the organization and was applied to organization (customer) issues.
• Outcome. Fewer examples were available for internal projects, and these were not repeatable, as the customers always wanted something new. Project managers were still trained not to start without specifications. The result was to force specifications from customers who were not really certain about what they wanted. These specifications gave the illusion of certainty, but the result usually disappointed the customer.
• Cost. With a budget based on forced specifications, more changes were required as the project progressed. The project manager was measured on adherence to budget, so necessary project changes required further consultation with upper management, which slowed things down.
• Schedule. Since the schedule was based on forced specifications, it was highly affected by the many changes and decision delays.
Metrics used to evaluate projects caused suboptimization due to the myth of certainty. Relying on triple constraints caused project managers to chase after the wrong goal, satisfying constraints rather than satisfying the customer. When this occurs, something is delivered by the deadline, but it is not really what the customer wants.
Lower customer acceptance leads to lower market sales and organization profit. However, since something was delivered somewhere near the budget, the project was often considered a success, even if the project outcome was a failure. Obviously change was needed.
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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.