ArticlePDF Available

Re-imagining the Iron Triangle: Embedding Sustainability into Project Constraints.

Authors:

Abstract and Figures

Since the emergence of the formal discipline of project management, academics and practitioners have sought to define criteria against which project success can be measured. Perhaps the most well known criteria are encapsulated in the ?Iron Triangle? that places Cost Time and Quality at the center of project success. However it has been suggested that whilst this triple constraint is important, it can also narrow the focus away from other crucial project success factors. One area that is gaining prominence within the field of project management is the consideration of sustainability principles and there is an increasing understanding of the need to develop methods, tools and techniques to integrate sustainability criteria into the management of projects. This paper presents the results of an empirical study in which project managers were asked to re-draw the traditional Iron Triangle with the inclusion of sustainability. The results of the study indicate that whist sustainability is seen by practitioners as a key factor to be included in project planning and implementation, there is disagreement as to where the issue sits in relation to traditional time, cost, quality constraints and how sustainability principles should be integrated into projects.
Content may be subject to copyright.
PM World Journal Re-imagining the Iron Triange: Embedding Sustainability
Vol. II, Issue III – March 2013 by Jonas Balshoej Ebbesen &
www.pmworldjournal.net Featured Paper Alexander J Hope
© 2013 Jonas Balshoej Ebbesen & Alexander J Hope www.pmworldlibrary.net Page 1 of 13
Re-imagining the Iron Triangle: Embedding Sustainability
into Project Constraints.
Jonas Balshoej Ebbesen
and
Alexander J Hope
Northumbria University
Abstract
Since the emergence of the formal discipline of project management, academics and
practitioners have sought to define criteria against which project success can be
measured. Perhaps the most well known criteria are encapsulated in the ‘Iron Triangle’
that places Cost Time and Quality at the center of project success. However it has been
suggested that whilst this triple constraint is important, it can also narrow the focus
away from other crucial project success factors. One area that is gaining prominence
within the field of project management is the consideration of sustainability principles
and there is an increasing understanding of the need to develop methods, tools and
techniques to integrate sustainability criteria into the management of projects. This
paper presents the results of an empirical study in which project managers were asked
to re-draw the traditional Iron Triangle with the inclusion of sustainability. The results of
the study indicate that whist sustainability is seen by practitioners as a key factor to be
included in project planning and implementation, there is disagreement as to where the
issue sits in relation to traditional time, cost, quality constraints and how sustainability
principles should be integrated into projects.
Keywords: Project constraints, Sustainability, Iron Triangle, Project Management,
Success factors, Sustainable Project Management
Introduction
Since its introduction in the early 1950’s the discipline of project management has
sought to define criteria against which projects can be measured. Perhaps the most well
known measure of success criteria is the ‘Iron Triangle’ that places Cost Time and
Quality at the center of project success (Atkinson, 1999). It has been suggested that
while this triple constraint model is important, it can also narrow the focus away from
other crucial factors that lead to project success as project managers see their role as
restricted to achieving the predefined time, cost and quality objectives (Crawford and
Earl, n.d.). Furthermore, projects that are delivered on time, within budget and meet
scope specifications may not necessarily perceived to be successful by key
stakeholders (Shenhar and Dvir, 2007; Turner and Bredillet, 2009). One area that is
gaining prominence within the field of project management is the consideration of
sustainability principles (Gareis et al., 2011; Silvius and Schipper, 2011). Accordingly
PM World Journal Re-imagining the Iron Triange: Embedding Sustainability
Vol. II, Issue III – March 2013 by Jonas Balshoej Ebbesen &
www.pmworldjournal.net Featured Paper Alexander J Hope
© 2013 Jonas Balshoej Ebbesen & Alexander J Hope www.pmworldlibrary.net Page 2 of 13
there is increasing understanding of the need to develop methods, tools and techniques
to integrate sustainability criteria into the management of projects. As one of the
foundations of projects and project management, the Iron Triangle, or Triple Constraint
is perhaps an ideal starting point for leveraging sustainability into the management of
projects.
This paper presents the results of a questionnaire in which project managers were
questioned on their knowledge of the Iron Triangle, their understanding of the concept
of sustainability, and whether they considered sustainability principles in the
management of their projects. Participants were also asked to re-present the traditional
Iron Triangle with the inclusion of sustainability as one of the criteria. It begins by
introducing the concept of the triple constraint and its place at the heart of project
management theory and practice. This is followed by an outline of sustainable
development and the importance of incorporating sustainability principles into business
and project management to create ‘sustainable project management’. The paper then
briefly reviews previous attempts to re-define the model of project constraints before
introducing the study in which project managers were asked to re-consider the Iron
Triangle with sustainability in mind.
The Iron Triangle
The Iron Triangle was originally conceived as a framework to enable project managers
to evaluate and balance the competing demands of Cost, Time and Quality within their
projects (Atkinson, 1999). Subsequently it has become the de-facto method to define
and measure project success, with the general perception amongst project managers
that a successful project is based upon these three criteria alone (Shenhar and Dvir,
2007; Duggal, 2011). Any attempt to deviate from, or supplement the three criteria that
make up the Iron Triangle is often considered a problem that must be either corrected or
prevented in the first place (Shenhar and Dvir, 2007; Turner and Bredillet, 2009).
Fig. 1. The Iron Triangle
Centre to the concept of the Iron Triangle is the mutual dependency between the three
constraints: increasing quality will increase the amount of time needed, which also will
lead to an increase in cost. A tight time schedule could lead to a decrease in quality and
PM World Journal Re-imagining the Iron Triange: Embedding Sustainability
Vol. II, Issue III – March 2013 by Jonas Balshoej Ebbesen &
www.pmworldjournal.net Featured Paper Alexander J Hope
© 2013 Jonas Balshoej Ebbesen & Alexander J Hope www.pmworldlibrary.net Page 3 of 13
subsequent increase in cost (Morris and Sember, 2008). However, the validity of the
iron triangle and the traditional triple constraints of time, cost and quality, have been
debated throughout the academic and industry literature on project management.
Shenhar & Dvir (2007) questions the validity of the Iron Triangle. Furthermore, Garrett
(2008) quoting Shenhar at a PMI meeting, suggests that the three traditional time, cost,
quality factors are strictly efficiency based, whereas the focus should be shifted to more
business oriented results and customer satisfaction (Garrett, 2008). This opens for the
question whether sustainability can be seen as a new concept to consider in connection
with the Iron Triangle as a planning tool since with project management comes
changes. Research suggests that current standards for project management fail to
seriously address the sustainability issues, or equip project managers with the tools
necessary for them to integrate sustainability principles into the project planning, and
operation (Eid, 2011; Silvius and Schipper, 2011).
The use of the Iron Triangle in Project Management
When implementing the Iron Triangle into practice it is crucial to ask the project team to
rank the three constraints (Morris and Sember, 2008). This is one of the fundamental
ideas that cannot be neglected. When changes occur it is important for the project
manager to assess the impact of the given event or decision and create a range of
options. In addition, it is the project manager’s role to show the impact on the three
constraints and thereafter create the necessary balance between them (Morris and
Sember, 2008). Besides, the Iron Triangle is an excellent tool for a project manager to
discover the priorities and motivation for the various stakeholders and how well the
project is understood. This gives the foundation for good dialogues but also view on
whether stakeholders are aligned or not (Morris and Sember, 2008). What is important
is for the team to prioritise the constraints so the project manager knows where to be
aware and where to put the focus. Yet, as many other theoretical concepts,
environments are changing rapidly, which therefore require some concepts e.g. the Iron
Triangle to be re-shaped or adjusted thereto. Organizations are finding that they can
meet all three constraints of the Iron Triangle, yet they still fail overall.
What is essential for the use of the Iron Triangle in project management independent of
the constraints used is that it helps showing the effect that the various parts of a project
have on each other (Morris and Sember, 2008). Furthermore, a user contributing to the
article by Garrett (2008) argues that the job of a project manager is to ensure that a
concept is implemented to meet the expectations of the stakeholders. Another
commenter argues that the fundamental problem is that the Iron Triangle is not used
effectively (Garrett, 2008). The reason being, that the experience has shown that only
other project managers have understood the value of the concept. Does it then help to
develop or modify the Iron Triangle? Not if this argument is proven to be correct.
Sustainable Development
The concepts of sustainability still maintain openness to reinterpretation and adaptation
to different social and ecological contexts (Kates et al., 2005). The first formal definition
PM World Journal Re-imagining the Iron Triange: Embedding Sustainability
Vol. II, Issue III – March 2013 by Jonas Balshoej Ebbesen &
www.pmworldjournal.net Featured Paper Alexander J Hope
© 2013 Jonas Balshoej Ebbesen & Alexander J Hope www.pmworldlibrary.net Page 4 of 13
of the concept and most commonly quoted appears in the 1987 World Commission on
Environment and Development (WECD) report (later published as a book “Our Common
Future”). Here sustainability is defined as: “Development that meets the needs of the
present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”
(WCED, 1987). This definition contains two key concepts - the concept of needs, in
particular the essential needs of the world’s poor to which priority should be given, and
the idea of limitations, imposed by the state of technology and social organization on the
environments ability to meet present and future needs (WCED, 1987). This definition,
whilst useful, does not seek to present solutions to the problem of how to reconcile the
fundamental aim of business, to create profit, with the principles of sustainable
development.
Sustainability in Business
When placing sustainable development in an organizational or business context, the
concept of the “triple bottom line” becomes relevant. The term, coined by Elkington
(1999), suggests that sustainability is about integrating economic, environmental, and
social aspects in a ‘triple bottom line’ or three-P concept as shown in Figure 2.
Increasingly Organizations are increasing seeking to align their business and project
activities with the principles of sustainable development (Keeble et al., 2003). Perhaps
the main driver for such an initiative is one of economic value creation for the business
in terms of both product performance and production costs. In addition value may be
created by improvements to the company’s reputation and image not only externally
important but also internally as the motivation of personnel is influenced. Similarly, value
can be created by increasing the coherence of various parts of the company and
increasing their effectiveness and flexibility (Mulder, 2006). Another driver may be
willingness to address global environmental issues such as climate change and
resource depletion. Here it has been suggested that the discipline of project
management is ideally placed to deal with these challenges (Lock, 2007). Despite
Lock’s assertion, research suggests that current standards for project management fail
to seriously address the sustainability issues, or equip project managers with the tools
necessary for them to integrate sustainability principles into the project planning, and
operation (Eid, 2011; Silvius and Schipper, 2011).
Fig. 2. Triple Bottom Line
Environment
Economy Society
Sustainability
PM World Journal Re-imagining the Iron Triange: Embedding Sustainability
Vol. II, Issue III – March 2013 by Jonas Balshoej Ebbesen &
www.pmworldjournal.net Featured Paper Alexander J Hope
© 2013 Jonas Balshoej Ebbesen & Alexander J Hope www.pmworldlibrary.net Page 5 of 13
Sustainable Project Management
The concept of ‘Sustainable project management’ is a response to the realisation that
many of the current project management frameworks do not effectively address the
three goals of sustainable development, i.e., social equity, economic efficiency and
environmental performance. Sustainable project management seeks to ensure that
projects incorporate sustainability principles throughout the project lifecycle and beyond.
Such a definition should not be confused with some literature which refers to
sustainability in projects in a different context, i.e. sustaining the project over time, or
sustaining management processes or changes (Melton, 2007). The responsibility for
sustainability within projects rests amongst all stakeholders, but is of particular
importance to the project manager, and project team as it is they who are charged with
planning and implementing project activities (Silvius and Schipper, 2011). In theory,
project managers are already equipped to manage sustainability principles, as the
discipline of project management has long extolled the virtues of predictability and
controllability in managing project constraints. In many ways embracing sustainability
into projects necessitates a leap of faith alongside the acknowledgement that a more
flexible approach may be required. Project managers need to learn how to manage
social, environmental and economic sustainability issues in addition to the more
classical constraints of time, cost and quality (Silvius and Schipper, 2011).
Re Imagining the Iron Triangle
The validity of the iron triangle and the traditional triple constraints of time, cost and
quality, have been debated throughout the academic and industry literature on project
management. Some authors (see for example: Schwalbe, 2009; Norman et al., 2011)
and researchers such as Bourne and Walker (2004) use the constraint “scope” instead
of “quality” and argue that quality is one of the major components of the scope
constraint. Other researchers use “schedule” instead of “time” such as (Chan et al.,
2002; Jha and Iyer, 2007) and authors such as (Morris and Sember, 2008). However it
should be recognised that within these criteria there is some discussion as to their exact
definitions. For example, Turner and Bredillet (2009) discuss the definition of “quality” -
Does it mean meet specifications, performance or functionality? They suggest that only
the various stakeholders can define what quality actually means in the context of a
specific project (Turner and Bredillet, 2009). Stevens (1996) argues that there is a hard
and soft side to project success with time and cost being ‘hard’ and satisfaction being
‘soft’. Similarly Jha & Iyer (2007) argue that success criteria can be categorized as
either objective or subjective. The objective evaluation criteria are considered to be
time, cost and quality since they are tangible and measureable. On the other hand,
many newly proposed success criteria such as customer satisfaction or sustainability
could be considered subjective and intangible. However issues such as sustainability
can in fact be measured; however the measurement criteria itself can be subjective. In
addition the assumption that ‘quality’ is objective is contested.
PM World Journal Re-imagining the Iron Triange: Embedding Sustainability
Vol. II, Issue III – March 2013 by Jonas Balshoej Ebbesen &
www.pmworldjournal.net Featured Paper Alexander J Hope
© 2013 Jonas Balshoej Ebbesen & Alexander J Hope www.pmworldlibrary.net Page 6 of 13
Chan et al., (2002) categorize project success within three trends. The first being that
project success is achieved by meeting client’s objectives. The traditional measure of
this was the Iron Triangle (time, cost & quality), however, it is increasing understood that
project success is in fact far more complex. The second trend is described by Chan et
al., (2002) as the global approach, and the third project success beyond the project.
These are factors that go beyond the Iron Triangle and contain issues such as customer
satisfaction, business success, health & safety, technical performance and
sustainability. Attempts have previously been made to introduce additional constraints
to the traditional model of the ‘Iron Triangle’. The Project Management Institute (PMI)
(PMI, 2009) introduced Figure 3 (a) based on the original triple constraint. Here the
traditional constraints of time, cost (budget) and quality have been supplemented with
risk, schedule and resources in an attempt to distinguish between project inputs and
project processes. The issue of project constraints and the Iron Triangle has also been
discussed amongst project management practitioners. This is evident through the use of
blog comments such as the responses to an article written by Garrett (2008).
Comments suggest that the Iron Triangle does indeed need to be updated to consider a
broader range of critical constraints. One commenter argues that the Iron triangle
should be broken up and a 360-degree understanding of what project success should
be created instead. Another example is put forward by (Haughey, 2008) who describes
the ‘Project Management Diamond’ (see Figure 3 (b)). Here quality is seen as a critical
constraint that cannot be neglected and should be given equal importance alongside
time, cost and scope.
Fig. 3. (a) ‘Triple Constraint’ in Project Management (PMI, 2009);
(b) The Project Management Diamond
Another discussion of success criteria in relation to the Iron Triangle took place on a
blog hosted Duggal (Duggal, 2011). Many commentators agree that project managers
need to adapt to the project environment in which they are operating and broaden their
PM World Journal Re-imagining the Iron Triange: Embedding Sustainability
Vol. II, Issue III – March 2013 by Jonas Balshoej Ebbesen &
www.pmworldjournal.net Featured Paper Alexander J Hope
© 2013 Jonas Balshoej Ebbesen & Alexander J Hope www.pmworldlibrary.net Page 7 of 13
perspectives to include other criteria than those presented by the Iron Triangle in
combination with business outcomes such as customer satisfaction.
Finally some attempts have been made to align sustainability and project management
by combining the three pillars and the Iron Triangle with sustainability principles
Grevelman & Kluiwstra (2010). The idea behind the model shown in Figure 4 is that in
order to integrate sustainability successfully into the project management process there
has to be a balance between all 5 aspects, if not the project is considered to be at risk
(Grevelman and Kluiwstra, 2010). It is interesting to notice the factor ‘cost’ from the Iron
Triangle has been consumed by the ‘economical’ factor from the three pillars as the
authors consider that these are synonymous.
Fig. 4. The Sustainable Project Management Star Methodology
(Grevelman and Kluiwstra, 2010).
The research project upon which this paper is based conducted a qualitative
questionnaire supplemented with interviews with practicing project managers. The
questionnaire was administered electronically and distributed to project managers via
the Association for Project Management (APM) website (the research section), and the
APM and Project Management Institute (PMI) groups on LinkedIn. The questionnaire
gathered contextual information about participants’ knowledge of the iron triangle and
sustainable development before asking them to re-draw the iron triangle whilst
considering where they would place the issue of sustainability.
Results
The study surveyed 17 project managers in total 64.7% with 1-5years experience, 5.9
with 6-10 years experience and 17.6% reporting 15 or more years experience in the
industry. Just over half of respondents were from an engineering background, whilst
PM World Journal Re-imagining the Iron Triange: Embedding Sustainability
Vol. II, Issue III – March 2013 by Jonas Balshoej Ebbesen &
www.pmworldjournal.net Featured Paper Alexander J Hope
© 2013 Jonas Balshoej Ebbesen & Alexander J Hope www.pmworldlibrary.net Page 8 of 13
17.6% reported a business/management accounting focus. 11.8%. Other participants’
backgrounds included constructing architect and value chain management account.
Understanding the Iron Triangle
All of the questionnaire participants indicated that they had heard of the Iron Triangle,
and understood the concept of the triple constraint. The majority also referred to the
three constraints in the common way – time, cost and scope. However three of the
participants referred instead to scope, time and resources instead. The majority of the
participants suggested that the three common factors are interrelated and critical in
managing any project. However, one participant pointed out that “They are inextricably
linked, but meeting the time, cost, quality criteria of a project doesn’t guarantee its
success”. Furthermore, one participant argues that the Iron Triangle is an outdated
concept, which echoing the assertion of Shenhar & Dvir’s (2007) that other factors need
to be considered when defining project success. For example, Participant D who is
working for a leading renewable energy company sees functionality as a fourth factor
that needs to be considered when delivering a successful project. This view
corresponds to that of Duggal (2011)who suggests that over-reliance on the traditional
three factors of the Iron Triangle can narrow the focus away from other crucial factors.
Understanding of sustainability
In contrast to the understanding of the Iron Triangle among the questionnaire
participants, there was little common understanding of the issue of sustainability. Whilst
some participants did appear to be aware of the most widely accepted Brundtland
definition, and referred to the issue in relation to economic, environmental and social
responsibility, others offered more diverse and fuzzy interpretations, for example: “It is
when you are creating – producing something and the materials you use, somehow are
giving back to nature.” and “Organic, re-cycling of garbage.” Or “I would define
sustainability as being careful with the environment and not harming it. I think that in
your case sustainability should be defined as the power to endure and overcome the
frustration/loss of a project management.” In some ways such responses indicate that,
for project mangers at least, sustainability is poorly defined. Such a lack of common
understanding may in turn make it more difficult to integrate the principles of
sustainability into project management and to re-imagine project management models
such as the Iron Triangle.
Sustainability in Project Management?
Despite the apparent lack of understanding as to what sustainability actually is, or
means, the majority of participants indicated that they were actively considering
sustainability in project management. However, one participant who indicated this to be
the case suggested that they “do not think this is true for the vast majority of PM.” It
would appear that whilst many project managers state that they are considering
sustainability in their projects, in reality they might consider the term ‘sustainability’ to
PM World Journal Re-imagining the Iron Triange: Embedding Sustainability
Vol. II, Issue III – March 2013 by Jonas Balshoej Ebbesen &
www.pmworldjournal.net Featured Paper Alexander J Hope
© 2013 Jonas Balshoej Ebbesen & Alexander J Hope www.pmworldlibrary.net Page 9 of 13
refer to some other activity they are undertaking. Alternatively, project managers
consider sustainability from a single dimension, such as the environmental aspect,
rather than taking a more holistic triple bottom line approach. This is demonstrated by
one participant’s suggestion that they consider sustainability within projects “to fulfil the
requirements from different standards such as ISO14001 (environment)”. Another
response suggested that to them, sustainability was considered so that they must be
able to reproduce their product 20 years from now regardless of environmental
constraints. However some participants did report that social and/or economic issues
were a consideration with one suggesting that the social aspects of project are
becoming more important. It would appear that there is some understanding amongst
project managers as to the benefits of incorporating sustainability principles into
projects. One participant reported that consideration of Corporate Social Responsibility
(CSR) is an essential consideration of project managers that can help define a project
and thereby achieve better results. Another participant stated “today it is almost
impossible to make a project without making a business case, which shows the direct
impact of the investment on the bottom line. I therefore argue that you achieve
economical sustainability for the company).”
Re-imagining the Iron Triangle
Participants were asked to re-draw the Iron Triangle whilst considering sustainability as
a constraint. Whilst not all participants chose to do this, those who did presented a wide
range of interpretations. Participant A, a project manager from a leading international
industrial company created the diagram presented in Figure 5 (a). Here they stated that
they viewed sustainability as an issue that surrounds the project rather than being an
additional dimension. They also suggested they considered it possible to undertake a
project that is on time, within budget and of the desired quality, that can be considered
sustainable. Participant B produced Figure 5 (b) labeled ‘Iron Box’. No further
information or explanation was offered in respect of this.
Fig. 5. (a) Participant A; (b) Participant B ‘Iron Box’
PM World Journal Re-imagining the Iron Triange: Embedding Sustainability
Vol. II, Issue III – March 2013 by Jonas Balshoej Ebbesen &
www.pmworldjournal.net Featured Paper Alexander J Hope
© 2013 Jonas Balshoej Ebbesen & Alexander J Hope www.pmworldlibrary.net Page 10 of 13
Participant C, a project manager at a leading renewable energy company presented
Figure 6. Here the respondent seeks to replace the constraint of ‘quality’ as an equal to
time and cost, with functionality. Sustainability and quality are placed within the center
of the triangle suggesting that both sustainability and quality are issues central to project
management. The participant argues that the issues of time, cost and functionality are
key determinants of quality and sustainability.
Fig. 6. (a) Participant C; (b) Participant D
Finally Participant D sought to depict the Iron Triangle as the same, but enlarged. They
explain that when considering sustainability, resources used within a project must be
‘returned to nature’ which will increase the cost, time and quality components.
Conclusion
The results of the study indicate that whist sustainability is seen by practitioners as a
key factor to be included in project planning and implementation, there is disagreement
as to where the issue sits in relation to traditional time, cost, quality constraints and how
sustainability principles should be integrated into projects. Participants agreed that there
is a good understanding of the concept of the Iron Triangle amongst project managers,
but many questioned its continued relevance. That being said the consensus appears to
be that as a concept the triple constraint is valuable, but requires some modification to
meet the challenges of managing modern day projects. When it comes to sustainability
the understanding of the concept among the participants are not clear, however, the
majority sees the concept as the future tool in order to stay in business. Yet, it is not
quite clear if the participants are thinking in terms of sustainability when working on
projects, which will need to be researched further. There are a number of
recommendations that arise from the study presented here. First it is clear that the
project management profession needs to adopt a definition of sustainability to enable
project managers to fully understand sustainability issues. Secondly the reliance on the
triple constraint model of the Iron Triangle need to be questioned and updated in light of
21st century project management challenges, of which sustainability is one.
PM World Journal Re-imagining the Iron Triange: Embedding Sustainability
Vol. II, Issue III – March 2013 by Jonas Balshoej Ebbesen &
www.pmworldjournal.net Featured Paper Alexander J Hope
© 2013 Jonas Balshoej Ebbesen & Alexander J Hope www.pmworldlibrary.net Page 11 of 13
References
Atkinson, R., 1999. Project management: cost, time and quality, two best guesses and a
phenomenon, its time to accept other success criteria. International Journal of Project
Management 17, 337–342.
Bourne, L., Walker, D.H.T., 2004. Advancing project management in learning
organizations. Learning Organization, The 11, 226-243.
Chan, A.P.C., Scott, D., Lam, E.W.M., 2002. Framework of success criteria for
design/build projects. Journal of Management in Engineering 18, 120.
Crawford, L., Earl, G., n.d. Project Leadership for Sustainability.
Duggal, J., 2011. Rethinking the Triple Constraint. Let’s think critically about...
Eid, M., 2011. Integrating Sustainable Development into Project management
Processes.
Elkington, J., 1999. Cannibals with forks: the triple bottom line of 21st century business.
Capstone, Oxford.
Gareis, R., Huemann, M., Martinuzzi, R.., 2011. What can project management learn
from considering sustainability principles? Project Perspectives 33.
Garrett, D., 2008. Is the Triple Constraint the WRONG way to Define Success? Gantt
Head.
Grevelman, L., Kluiwstra, M., 2010. Sustainability in Project Management A case study
on Enexis. PM World Today.
Haughey, D., 2008. An Introduction to Project Management. Project Smart.
Jha, K.N., Iyer, K.C., 2007. Commitment, coordination, competence and the iron
triangle. International Journal of Project Management 25, 527-540.
Kates, R.W., Parris, T.M., Leiserowitz, A.A., 2005. What is sustainable development?
Goals, indicators, values, and practice. Environment(Washington DC) 47, 8–21.
Keeble, J.J., Topiol, S., Berkeley, S., 2003. Using indicators to measure sustainability
performance at a corporate and project level. Journal of Business Ethics 44, 149–158.
Lock, D., 2007. Project Management. Gower Publishing, Ltd.
Melton, T., 2007. Project Management Toolkit: The Basics for Project Success.
Butterworth-Heinemann.
PM World Journal Re-imagining the Iron Triange: Embedding Sustainability
Vol. II, Issue III – March 2013 by Jonas Balshoej Ebbesen &
www.pmworldjournal.net Featured Paper Alexander J Hope
© 2013 Jonas Balshoej Ebbesen & Alexander J Hope www.pmworldlibrary.net Page 12 of 13
Morris, R.A., Sember, B.M., 2008. Project Management That Works: Real-World Advice
on Communicating, Problem-Solving, and Everything Else You Need to Know to Get the
Job Done. AMACOM.
Mulder, K. (Ed.), 2006. Sustainable Development for Engineers: A Handbook and
Resource Guide. Greenleaf Publishing.
Norman, E.S., Brotherton, S.A., Fried, R.T., 2011. Work Breakdown Structures: The
Foundation for Project Management Excellence. John Wiley and Sons.
PMI, 2009. A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge: PMBOK Guide, 4th
ed. Project Management Institute.
Schwalbe, K., 2009. Information Technology Project Management. Cengage Learning.
Shenhar, A.J., Dvir, D., 2007. Reinventing Project Management: The Diamond
Approach To Successful Growth And Innovation, 1st ed. Harvard Business School
Press.
Silvius, G.A.J., Schipper, R., 2011. Taking Responsibility: The integration of
Sustainability and Project Management. PM World Today 13.
Stevens, J.D., 1996. Blueprint for Measuring Project Quality. Journal of Management in
Engineering 12, 34-39.
Turner, R., Bredillet, C., 2009. Perpsectives on Projects. Taylor & Francis.
WCED, 1987. Our Common Future. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
PM World Journal Re-imagining the Iron Triange: Embedding Sustainability
Vol. II, Issue III – March 2013 by Jonas Balshoej Ebbesen &
www.pmworldjournal.net Featured Paper Alexander J Hope
© 2013 Jonas Balshoej Ebbesen & Alexander J Hope www.pmworldlibrary.net Page 13 of 13
About the Authors
Jonas Ebbesen
Jonas Balshoej Ebbesen is currently Project Manager at Quedro, a company that
develops IT platforms and infrastructure specifically for the real estate industry. He
holds a BSc in Global Business Engineering from VIA University College in Denmark, a
MSc in Project Management from Northumbria University and has spent time studying
in the United States and Australia. He is interested in Sustainability in Project
Management, Project Team Dynamics and Global Relationship Management. He can
be contacted at jonasebbe2000@yahoo.dk
Alexander Hope
Dr. Alex Hope is Lecturer in Sustainable Development and Project Management in the
School of Built and Natural Environment, Northumbria University, UK where he teaches
on a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. Previous to this he has
worked in operational and project management roles in both the private and public
sector. He holds a degree in Environmental Management, diploma in Leadership and
Management and a PhD in Sustainable Development. Dr. Hope’s main research
interests include Sustainability in Project Management, Sustainable Construction,
PPP/PFI procurement, and Environmental Assessment Methodologies. He can be
contacted at alex.hope@northumbria.ac.uk.
... Roger [1] defines project management as the application of a class of tools and techniques like the Critical Path Method (CPM) and matrix organization to channel the utilization of diverse resources toward the accomplishment of a unique, complex, on-time task within time, cost and quality constraints which are known as the project constraints. These project constraints have over time been categorized into a conceptual figure known as the "Iron Triangle" as illustrated in Figure 1 [2] [3] [4] [5]. It is called the iron triangle because, if there is a malfunctioning in all or any one of these constraints, there is the possibility of an emergence of a risk that may affect the cost, time and quality of the project [6] [7] [8] [9] [10]. ...
Article
Full-text available
This paper explores the concept of project management and applies two knowledge areas of project management: project time management and project resource management to a typical Blended Wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (BWB UAV) model design and development project. After several literature studies on this concept, it was observed to the best of research knowledge that few studies exist concerning the practical application of these two techniques on an aerial vehicle. This paper therefore practically applies these two concepts to a novel designed BWB UAV project to investigate how project time and resource management can be applied to any UAV project step by step and its usefulness to the aviation project management world. Three tools (Critical Path Method, Gantt Chart, and Resource Leveling and Smoothing) are introduced and applied to the design project of the BWB UAV. After the application of these two techniques, it was observed that the techniques and result pattern agree well with the available literature. The project time and quality factors in the "iron triangle" were also examined however, the cost was not analyzed due to its broad scope of application. Design analysis steps are outlined, and the results are displayed with regards to the pressure distribution on the wing. It was observed that, the pressure is estimated to range between 900.0-110.0 kPa. A pressure difference is created at the bottom and top surface of the wing, and this will help produce lift agreeing with existing literature. For future applications, other techniques in the project management body of knowledge (PMBOK) like cost analysis, scope, risk, and quality among others could be studied.
... Jobban megvizsgálva ezt a listát két megállapítást lehet tenni. Az egyik az, hogy megjelenik a kezdetekben beintegrált projekt szemléletből a preferencia háromszög (Ebbesen & Hope, 2013). Vagyis az üzletmenetre gyakorolt hatások értelmezési tartománya kifejezhető időben, pénzben, és kibocsájtásban. ...
Experiment Findings
Full-text available
Az üzletmenet-folytonosság Magyarországon egy kevésbé ismert menedzsment szemlélet, rendszer és módszertan, noha már az 1990-es években történt ez irányba kezdeményezés. Ez a nagyjából 50 év alatt kialakult menedzsment rendszer annyiban egészíti ki a már ismerteket, hogy a fókusza a gazdasági társulás fenntartható működésére és a váratlan helyzetekre, veszélyekre való felkészültségre, és ellenállóképességre tevődik. Logikailag szükségszerű volt egy ilyen szemlélet és a köré kiépült menedzsment módszertan, hiszen a nemzetgazdaságok ereje és biztonságosan stabil létének a kulcsa a gazdasági társulások biztonságos és stabil működésén, fennmaradásán múlik. Ebből a menedzsment módszertanból az üzletmenetre gyakorolt hatások azok a jelenségek, tényezők, rendszerek, helyzetek, adottságok, értékek, egyéb, melyek mind kívülről, mind belülről befolyásolják a folyamatos pénz-, információ-, és anyagáramlást értelemszerűen a Fenntarthatósági törekvésekkel összhangban. A módszertani ajánlások alapján az üzletmenetre gyakorolt hatásokat az ismert preferencia háromszög mentén kell vizsgálni és értékelni, azonban arra, hogy milyen perspektívából, milyen megközelítésből, miből kiindulva, milyen vállalatirányítási keretrendszerre alapozva valósuljon meg ez a vizsgálat, az ajánlások nem egyértelműek. A nemzetközi szakirodalomban lelhetők fel kísérletek, kutatások, gyakorlati tapasztalatok eredményei, melyek az üzletmenetre gyakorolt hatások eredőjét keresik és értékelés szempontjából a legjobb kiindulópontot adhatják. A jelen kutatás, elsősorban elméleti alapokra helyezve a hangsúlyt, arra keresi a választ, hogy hol, mely területeken koncentrálódnak azok az üzletmenetre gyakorolt hatások, amelyek megfelelőségeesetén a gazdasági társulás akár nem normális működési környezetben is képes egy elvárt teljesítményt hozni; az üzleti áramlásait képes folyamatosan fenntartani, illetve a válságos időszakot követően visszaállva a normális működési pályára valódi jövőképpel, hosszútávon képes prosperálni. A kutatás kiindulópontja a nemzetközi szakirodalom által azonosítható „kollektív tudat”, melyből topik modell eljárással határoztam meg azokat a kritikus területeket, ahol az üzletmenetre gyakorolt hatások nagy valószínűséggel, akár koncentráltan is megjelennek az elemzés során. Az eredményeket három fő szempont szerint vizsgáltam a Magyarországon működő gazdasági társulások körében: a kritikus területekhez való általános hozzáállás fontosságára, megvalósíthatóságára és érettség szintjére vonatkoztatva, illetve a Covid19 tavaszi időszakát alapul véve, mint egyfajta koherencia vizsgálatként történő megközelítése az általános hozzáállásnak. A szövegelemzés eredményeképpen a nemzetközi szakirodalom alapján inkább vállalati értékeket, rendszereket azonosító 19 kritikus terület állapítható meg, melyek tovább szűkíthetők hálózatokra, kockázatokra, humán tényezőkre és üzleti menedzsment elemekre. A megkérdezés eredményeképpen kijelenthető az, hogy a Magyarországon működő gazdasági társulások 3, nagyjából azonos méretű, csoportot alkotnak a kritikus területek működési teljesítményeit illetően. Azonban több mint a fele komoly, de reaktív változásokon ment át azért, hogy az őszi időszakra felkészültnek érezhessék magukat. A gazdasági társulások többsége elégedett volt a tavaszi időszak alatt nyújtott teljesítményükkel, de közel a felük beismeri azt, hogy lehettek volna preventívebbek is, vagyis, hogy nem voltak megfelelő mértékben felkészültek a váratlan válsághelyzet gördülékeny kezelésére, ugyanakkor tisztában voltak azzal, hogy mely területeik instabilak. Mindezek okán pedig egyértelműen kijelenthető az, hogy a Covid19 egészében felkeltette az igényt Magyarországon az üzletmenet-folytonosság menedzsment, a gazdasági társulás védelmét megcélzó szemlélet és program iránt.
... When an organization has a contract for a COTS product that requires an interface with another COTS product, how are the design decisions made with consideration for human factors made? This involves consideration for the Iron Triangle of project management; scope, cost, and schedule (Ebbesen and Hope, 2013, Pinto, 2010, Pollack et al. 2018. This interaction describes the trade-off between the constraints. ...
Conference Paper
While theoretical and applied research findings recommend methods to optimize human-computer interaction, using them in a real-world scenario requires understanding and accommodation of constraints not normally included in experiments. This study describes steps to include research findings to incorporate interoperability requirements in the use of commercial-off-the-shelf products. This study focuses on a satisfactory and productive user experience while meeting organizational goals for the project.
... The approach to assessing project success has evolved substantially over the past three decades (Davis, 2014) from the primary iron triangle of cost, time, and scope/quality (PMI, 2013). Ebbesen and Hope (2013) argued that although the iron triangle is a traditional method, it is still important in evaluating project success. Therefore,the project success will be measured using the iron triangle of time, cost, and quality. ...
Chapter
Full-text available
The issue of sustainability is the most pressing issue facing the world today. Companies are incorporating sustainability concepts into their marketing, corporate communication, annual reports, and other aspects of their operations. Projects are critical in the implementation of more sustainable business practices, and the notion of sustainability has increasingly been associated with project management in recent years. The growing body of research on this subject offers compelling evidence that taking sustainability into account has an influence on project management procedures and practices. The requirements for project management, on the other hand, do not take into consideration the sustainability agenda. The purpose of this chapter is to give a comprehensive overview of the relationship between sustainability and project management. Following the publication of these results, it will be possible to further enhance project management techniques and standards in order to address the role that projects play in the creation of sustainable development.
Article
Dalam lingkungan yang kompetitif seperti sekarang ini, pengetahuan tentang kebutuhan konsumen sangat penting bagi suatu perusahaan agar dapat bertahan. Quality Function Deployment (QFD) merupakan metode yang cocok untuk menganalisis kebutuhan konsumen karena QFD dapat menterjemahkan kebutuhan konsumen ke dalam suatu deskripsi teknis dan memastikan setiap hal yang penting dapat diprioritaskan dalam rekomendasi perancangan perumahan tersebut. Belum ada yang melakukan analisis kebutuhan konsumen dan menterjemahkannya kedalam suatu deskripsi teknis pada perumahan dengan luas bangunan 36-70 m2 di Surabaya, sehingga hal ini mendorong peneliti untuk menerapkan metode QFD pada perumahan dengan luas bangunan 36-70 m2 di Surabaya. Pada penelitian ini didapatkan 10 hal yang dapat dilakuan untuk perbaikan perumahan A di Surabaya timur yaitu CCTV, one gate system, kebijakan rumah hanya untuk hunian, tulangan sesuai SNI, sistem keamanan terpadu (patroli setiap 2 jam), lampu jalan setiap 30-40 m, perbaikan kekuatan tanah, saluran drainase tertutup, pengecekan bak kontrol drainase setiap 1 bulan, komplain ditanggapi maksimum 1-2 minggu.
Article
This research examines perceptions of failure at the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and NASA's “faster, better, cheaper” movement of the 1990s, identifying how subsequent perceptions, policies, and practices reflect and react to this former ideology in regards to perceptions of failure. Thirty-one NASA participants were surveyed regarding their definitions of failure and perceptions of causes of failure. Regarding failure, participants believed optimistic schedule and budget planning leads to failures and also believed that NASA was neutral on prioritizing prevention of budget overruns and schedule delays. Participants often defined and perceived failures in three areas of schedule, performance, and cost objectives, which are similar to the terms “faster, better, cheaper.” Associated NASA documentation, including strategic plans, is investigated, identifying that language regarding failure and success at NASA often involves these three areas. The examination of NASA documentation suggests potential evolution in policy, subsequent to the faster, better, cheaper era. Potential impacts in NASA policy and practice resulting from the FBC ideology are introduced: an absence and return to language of risk acceptance, a continued emphasis on science mission funding, and a gradual reduction in NASA civil servant workforce. The findings of this research provide insight into the operationalization of the three areas emphasized in the faster, better, cheaper ideology, their use in NASA documentation, and acknowledgment by NASA participants.
Article
Full-text available
Citation: Din, A.u.; Shah, S.M.A.; El-Gohary, H.; Ur Rahman, R.; Haleem, M.; Jehangir, M.; Khalil, S.H.; Sayyam A Mixed-Method Study of Programme Management Resources and Social Enterprise Sustainability: A Developing-Country Context.
Article
Full-text available
Az üzletmenetre gyakorolt hatások elemzése, mint az üzletmenet-folytonosság menedzsment egyik legfontosabb sarokköve a menedzsment területen újszerű szemléletre épül, azonban a módszertan maga a mai napon is folyamatos fejlődés alatt áll. Nemzetközi szakértői kör keresi és modellezi azt a hatékony és jobban célzó megközelítést, mely segítségével hozzá lehet járulni a gazdasági társulásokra ható váratlan veszélyekkel szemben ellenálló képesség növeléséhez. A szükségesnél lassabb ütemben, de Magyarországon is növekvő érdeklődés mutatkozik a téma iránt, ezért egy tanulmány nemzetközi szakirodalom szövegelemzésével próbálta meg azonosítani azokat a kritikus területeket, ahol koncentráltan és nagy valószínűséggel jelenhet meg az üzleti áramlásokra ható akadály, vagy zavar. Ezt követően empirikus vizsgálattal arra kereste a választ, hogy a Magyarországon működő gazdasági társulások milyen viszonyban állnak ezzel a szemlélettel, illetve az üzletmenetre gyakorolt hatások kritikus területeivel.
Article
Full-text available
Although it remains one of the most significant challenges in recent years, companies are beginning to integrate the ideas of sustainability into organized projects such as marketing, corporate communications, and annual reports. In this case, sustainability remains an important influence on the initiation of project management. Sustainability Integration for Effective Project Management provides a comprehensive understanding of the most important issues, concepts, trends, methodologies, and good practices in sustainability to project management. The research and concepts discussed in this publication are developed by professionals and academics aiming to provide the latest knowledge related to sustainability principles for prospective professionals, academics, and researchers in this area of expertise.
Article
Full-text available
Since the term "sustainable development" was coined, a core set of guiding principles and values has evolved around it. However, its definition remains fluid, allowing institutions, programs of environment and development, and places from local to global to project their own aspirations onto the banner of sustainable development.
Article
The relationship between Project Management (PM) and Sustainable Development (SD) is tested in this chapter through its application on the construction industry. When PM is embedded in construction projects, it has the capacity to be a significant leverage point of great influence, and it becomes one of the cornerstones for rethinking the relationships between PM, SD, and the Construction Industry. The work presented discusses the need for integrating sustainable development into project management processes to ensure a better outcome for the construction industry, which is directly related to the degradation of our quality of life on the economic, social, and environmental levels. The author explores the origins and philosophies behind sustainability, the core of project management processes, the strategic implications of the construction industry practices, and puts forward the "systems thinking and points of leverage" approach to facilitate an efficient environment of integration. Thinking and acting sustainably requires not only incremental change but also a revolution in approach, a shift of perspective; sustainable project management processes are possible to achieve.
Chapter
Understand and apply new concepts regarding Work Breakdown Structures. The Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) has emerged as a foundational concept and tool in Project Management. It is an enabler that ensures clear definition and communication of project scope while performing a critical role as a monitoring and controlling tool. Created by the three experts who led the development of PMI's Practice Standard for Work Breakdown Structures, Second Edition, this much-needed text expands on what the standard covers and describes how to go about successfully implementing the WBS within the project life cycle, from initiation and planning through project closeout. Filling the gap in the literature on the WBS, Work Breakdown Structures: The Foundation for Project Management Excellence gives the reader an understanding of: The background and key concepts of the WBS. WBS core characteristics, decomposition, representations, and tools. Project initiation and the WBS, including contracts, agreements, and Statements of Work (SOW). Deliverable-based and activity-based management. Using the WBS as a basis for procurement and financial planning. Quality, risk, resource, and communication planning with the WBS. The WBS in the executing, monitoring, and controlling phases. New concepts regarding the representation of project and program scope. Verifying project closeout with the WBS. Using a real-life project as an example throughout the book, the authors show how the WBS first serves to document and collect information during the initiating and planning phases of a project. Then, during the executing phase, the authors demonstrate how the WBS transitions to an active role of project decision-support, serving as a reference and a source for control and measurement.
Article
One of the functions of construction project management is to ensure success of the construction project. However achieving success in a construction project is not a small task. Moreover, measurement of performance of a construction project itself is considered to be a debatable issue as there are no universally accepted criteria for it. Traditionally schedule, cost and quality compliances commonly referred to as ‘iron triangle’ have been accepted as the most widely used criteria to measure performance. Further assuming that the project success is repeatable, researches have indicated certain attributes/factors which when present or absent in a project are likely to make the project successful. In the present study, 55 project performance attributes are identified and a two-stage questionnaire survey is conducted. While 11 success and nine failure factors are identified from the analysis of the first stage questionnaire responses, the second stage questionnaire survey has helped in evaluation of the extent of criticality of these factors with respect to a given performance rating of the project. It is found that extent of contribution of various success or failure factors varies with current level performance ratings of the project. The crux of the findings of this study has been the emergence of commitment, coordination, and competence as the key factors for achievement of schedule, cost, and quality objectives respectively. The results may be of a great help to construction professionals and researchers since it helps to identify value adding factors, fewer in number and allow them to focus on these select factors rather than attending to numerous factors that do not yield any commensurate returns.