The Project Manager's Personal Golden Triangle

Michael is a project manager in Cork, Ireland.

We’re all familiar (I hope) with the golden triangle/triple constraint of scope, time and cost management—with quality as the fourth constraint to rule them all (or quality may be one of the points of the triangle). These constraints are (typically) laws to regulate your work by and steer it toward success—although we often repeat the refrain that you can't have all three, and must prioritize two.

The Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) has little to say on the personal performance and success of project managers. There are constraints around professional behaviour (like ethics, time keeping, social and cultural norms), and communication and stakeholder management are rightly emphasized as two of the 10 knowledge areas. But is there an equivalent to the golden triangle that can guide us as individuals?

This article proposes one such equivalent. We live in an increasingly fast-paced, threat-filled world that also brings increased opportunity as technology continues to evolve. Building personality traits such as resilience and flexibility for what our projects or wider careers may bring us increases the chances of repeatable success for us personally and professionally.

While the areas of personal performance, self-improvement, work/life balance and the associated mental and emotional states that surround these topics deserve …


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