Of time and timing
“If time is money, shouldn’t we count those
The triple constraint model as introduced in the previous chapter
represents an approach to managing a project as an integrated effort.
Assuch, each parameter of the project model interacts with the others.
Thus everyone involved in the investment needs to be concerned with all
of its key aspects.
Each side of the triangle has special relevance to different functions
within the project. Whenever something is relevant to someone, surely
they have a vested interest in ensuring that appropriate techniques and
metrics are in place.
• SCOPE is of primary relevance to the customer(s) or the sponsor(s).
• COST is of primary relevance to nance and accounting. And,
because it is the amount of money that the sponsor must invest to
generate the project’s value, it clearly is also important to both the
sponsor and the project team in terms of working within the target
• TIME, the third side of the triangle, is where the project team has the
most autonomy in terms of management.
The project management discipline has developed numerous
techniques and metrics for planning and managing project duration.
However, most of those who work outside of project management have
little knowledge of the requirements for and implications of these tech-
niques. These methods include critical path analysis, resource schedul-
ing and leveling, and even awed earned-value-based techniques such
as the schedule performance index (SPI) and earned schedule track-
ing (more on this later). Sad to say, those nance departments which
frequently wield great power over project performance are seldom
adequately trained even in such basics as critical path scheduling. For
example, the fact that Activity X, which has a resource cost of $5,000, can
actually be far more costly to perform than Activity Y with a resource
cost of $200,000, seems absurd to a nance department, but perhaps not
to a savvy project manager who knows that Activity X is on the project’s