The company CEO announced that the headquarters would be moving to a different city and state. The location was selected, the date nailed down, a budget prepared, and the project team was hard at work. No layoffs were planned but it quickly became clear that some key employees were unable or unwilling to move. Some people felt like they were on a cliff, not knowing what might happen.
In traditional project management, we often hear the term triple constraint – the notion that scope, costs, and schedule compete for attention and that management cannot have it all. So, it’s important to nail down what is most important to management.
There are two other constraints that occasionally rise to the top. In this case – risks. More important than the scope, cost, or schedule of this particular move were two huge risks:
1. Institutional knowledge. Would the company lose too much institutional knowledge because key members of the team were unwilling to locate?
2. System reliability. What would it take to ensure that all systems remained in place during the days before, during and after the move, since online reliability was a crucial piece of this company’s brand?
What is most important to management — scope, costs, schedule, risks, or quality? Pick what’s most important because there will be trade-offs. Speed costs money. Higher quality costs money. Risks can derail your project entirely. Understanding what is most important will inform the decisions that you make as you manage projects.
Photo Credit: Fear of Falling Photo by epSos.de; CC BY 2.0 License; https://ow.ly/LI4Ji