#23 The project trinity

Hello friends,

There’s a tension in every project which shapes the outcome. It’s a delicate balance between three factors that are intimately interdependent. These factors are budget, scope and timeline.

I’m sure you’ve heard the old axiom: “you can have it cheap, fast or good–pick two”. While this is an appropriate rule of thumb, I’d like to go a step further with what I’ve been calling The Project Trinity Theory.

It states:

If your project has a fixed timeline, your budget and/or scope need to be flexible. If your budget is fixed, your timeline and/or scope need to be flexible. If your scope is fixed, your budget and/or timeline need to be flexible.

Most projects have at least one of these factors that, due to business objectives, resources or other variables, is rigid. It’s rare to a work on a product or campaign where scope, budget, and timeline are all open-ended. In fact, I’d make a case that constraints around one of these are a good thing as the constraints help you prioritize your plan and strategy.

What are your thoughts on this hypothesis? If I were to dive deeper on the subject, would that be an essay you'd be interested in reading?

Until next time.


- David

P.S. Listening to the new Half-Noise record. It's a good one.
P.P.S. Need a good waste time? Check out Office Snapshots.
P.P.P.S. This old Steve Jobs clip is a good reminder of how to sell benefits.

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