Project Management

The New Triple Constraint?

Following 20 years at a large Canadian telecommunications firm, Bruce established the project management consulting firm Solutions Management Inc (SMI). Since 1999, he has provided contract project/program management services, been a source for project management support personnel and created/delivered courses to over 7,000 participants in Canada, the United States and England.

For more than two decades, I have been all about the triple constraint in my project management career. Define the scope. Build a budget. Create a schedule. Change one? Expect to change the others. It has served me well in the corporate world and as an independent project management consultant.

I took the same approach as I migrated to delivering post-secondary project management training. Often participants had minimal project experience, so if I could get them—at a minimum—to understand the importance of fully defining the work to be accomplished and then build out a budget and schedule, they would likely improve their workplace performance.

To a degree, the triple constraint will always be a core baseline from which all projects are managed. Times have changed however, and the Project Management Institute has recognized the need to update the framework by which projects are managed overall, with eight project performance domains critical for the effective delivery of expected project outcomes being identified.

In my role as an elected leader in a municipality, I continue to work with the chief administrative officer to encourage better legacy triple-constraint focus within her team. That said, with respect to the new PMI performance domains, it’s clear to me we need to adjust our thinking. The new triple constraint is now stakeholder, planning and …


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