Project Management Professional – Just a Blog

Project Management, Scrum, Agile Methodologies etc etc etc

Understanding Project Management Dimensions

Good project management practices endures that these five key dimensions are managed properly

  1. Features
  2. Quality
  3. Cost
  4. Schedule
  5. Staff

These dimensions are independent of one another. For each project, we need to decide which dimensions are critical and how to balance the others so as to achieve the key project objectives.

Each of the five dimensions can take one of three roles on any given project:

  • Driver: A driver is a key objective of the project.
  • Constraint: A constraint is the limiting factor beyond the control of project team.
  • Degree of Freedom: Any project dimension that is neither a driver nor a constraint becomes a degree of freedom.

From the degree of flexibility perspective, A driver has low flexibility, a constraint virtually has no flexibility. A degree of freedom has high flexibility.

A graphical way to depict the degree of flexibility is with a Kiviat diagram(also called a radar chart or a spider chart). A Kiviat diagram allows us to plot these dimensions as an irregularly shaped polygon on a set of normalised axes. The position of each point on its axis indicates the relative degree of flexibility of that dimension for a particular project. It is plotted on an arbitrary scale of 0 – 10 (where 0 would indicate completely constrained and 10 would indicate completely flexible). The Kiviat graph is a useful tool in project management to compare the relative flexibility of the parameters considered.

kiviat

SAme information of project priorities can also be represented in form of a flexibility table too.

fliexibilityTable

The idea behind knowing the project dimensions and degree of flexibility is to help the project manager and stakeholders to make decisions on how to respond to changing conditions of the project. So understanding the project management dimensions and knowledge of tools like flexibility diagram and flexibility table will greatly help in responding to change and ensure the project success.

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