“Central to the work of a project manager is balancing competing demands. The term “triple constraint” is a well-known phrase in project management that refers to the competing demands of scope, time, and cost. The manner in which these three demands are balanced affects quality. If one of these factors is affected, at least one other factor will also be affected.
For example, if the scope of the project increases, there will need to be an increase in the amount of time to complete the project, an increase in costs, or both. The new, fourth edition PMBOK® changes the name “time” to “schedule” and changes “cost” to “budget”, plus adds three new constraints.”
Many OSS projects fail to deliver on Time (Schedule), Cost (Budget) or Scope expectations. This is known as the triple constraint of project management.
PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge) evolved this to show the project management star as a representation of six constraints facing a project manager, as follows:
However, I tend to believe that OSS projects that miss their time, budget or scope expectations have failed due to complexity. OSS projects tend to be highly complex projects anyway, but we somehow make them more complex than they need to be. Ruthless simplification should be our objective.
So I thought I’d add an extra factor – the complexity factor – to the PMBOK star. As the diagram below shows, if you can find a way to reduce complexity (the size of the inner white circles), then budget, schedule, risk and resources will also see reductions. Scope will probably shrink to accommodate simplicity also, but not at the expense of key functionality / requirements. The interesting part of the diagram below is that if complexity is reduced, the quality of your OSS should actually improve.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this concept!