Month: December 2021

The Tale of the Project Management Triangle and Why Sad Susie Sodermeyer Can’t Have it All? Or Can she?

It was a crisp fall day and Sad Susie Sodermeyer was newly appointed to manage her office renovation and was under time and budget constraints and needed this project done efficiently and yesterday! She quickly realized that she needed to find a contractor that could deliver a quick, quality project for a lot less.

I interrupt this riveting adaptation of Sad Susie Sodermeyer to introduce…

“The Project Triangle”

“What is The Project Triangle and how does it work?”

The project management triangle is a model of the constraints of project management.  While its origins are unclear, it has been used since at least the 1950s.


  1. The QUALITY of work is constrained by the project’s budget, deadlines and scope (features of what is included in your project).
  2. The project manager can trade between constraints. The Keyword here is Trade.
  3. Changes in one constraint involves changes in others to compensate or quality will suffer. Susie did not like the word suffer!

In a nutshell, a project can be completed FASTER by increasing budget ($$) or by removing SCOPE. Similarly, increasing SCOPE may require increases in budget and TIME added to your schedule. Cutting the budget without adjusting the schedule or scope will lead to Dun Dun Dunnnnnn LOWER QUALITY. Sad Susie just got a little sadder.

Some Say, “Good, fast, cheap. Choose two.” and similar statements are often used to encapsulate the triangle’s constraints concisely.

In practice, however, trading between constraints is not always possible. For example, throwing money (and people) at a fully staffed project can slow it down. Especially in small spaces. In poorly run projects, it is often impossible to improve the budget, schedule or scope without adversely affecting quality.

A Solution for Susie!! – A knowledgeable seasoned Contractor will Value Engineer your Scope. Value engineering refers to a systematic process aimed at increasing the value of a product. It focuses on improving functionality while keeping costs low. Sometimes referred to as “value analysis,” they will analyze every step of a project to ensure maximum value.

Sad Susie Sodermeyer made smart choices, worked with her General Contractor and got the maximum value in her project. She met her deadlines and budgets and was an office hero! She is happy now, confident, and more knowledgeable. She has changed her name to Sassy Susie Sodermeyer. Yeah, she sassy.