A good project management plan is crucial to your project’s success and good leadership enables team members to stay focused and do their best work. A concise project management plan is essential to navigating through any problems that might come up and if required, it allows the leadership to refocus on their objectives to meet all (or most) of the expectations. A good project management plan ensures all the people involved are on the same page and stay true to the project’s objectives; this provides the groundwork for success. Project management techniques are always evolving as they need to factor in changing industry needs and global best practices and despite all the changes, the one thing that remains clear is that clear-cut project management techniques and implementation are linked to increased business value. Essentially, project management has a direct impact on our ability to make or break profit margins, and due to this reason, it is important to find balance in the expectations around what kind of product can be completed, by when, and for how much.
Project Management Triangle
The project management triangle is made up of three factors: scope, time, and cost. It visualizes the problem of the three constraints and the need to balance these factors to maintain a superior-quality final product. If you are a project manager, you must be familiar with the frustration of attempting to keep your team productive with time constraints, insufficient budget, and an impossibly large scope and have experienced the project management factors in action then. The visualization of the project management triangle shows how the three variables are linked and if one of the variables is altered, the other two must be adjusted to keep the triangle linked. If the triangle is broken, such as if one point is moved without modifying one or both of the other variables with it, then the quality of the final product will suffer.
At the end of the day, all businesses want to provide their customers with high-quality products. Scope, time, and cost are well-known features of the project management triangle and it might seem like an easy task to manage all three factors but in reality, a good project management plan will shape the best solution for moving forward with any project at hand and a lot more thought and planning is involved than meets the eye. The Project Management Triangle is also known as the triple constraint for a good reason as time, money, and skills are all factors that could potentially impede the types of projects that we can accomplish.
In the simplest of terms, scope refers to what the client wants. If the scope of the project is simple, there is no extensive thought required and you can deliver the result quickly and inexpensively. The scope also refers to the extent of the project in terms of the quality, detail, and magnitude of the project’s output. If the scope of the project increases, according to the Project Management Triangle, it will require more time and money to complete. Some elements of product scope may include project complexity, quality and quantity of deliverables, and the level of complexity and detail of the product’s features. According to the Project Management Triangle, the scope constraint refers to what needs to be done to deliver the project’s result.
In the Project Management Triangle, the cost constraint refers to the budgeted amount available for the project. The cost variable refers to more than just money and includes all resources such as tools, equipment, and support needed to complete the project and can be tied back to financial value. Hiring more staff to complete a project requires a revised budget, and taking an opportunity to keep workstations open for longer requires additional budget and resources like electricity usage for example. Other elements of cost can also include equipment, facilities, financial budget, and the number of staff. With an unlimited budget, we can hire more staff, purchase better materials, and recruit experts in the required field to utilize their hard-earned experience.
If we have enough time, we can achieve anything and everything. The time constraint of the Project Management Triangle refers to the amount of time available to complete a project. When making adjustments for the time variable, it is important to consider the importance of the amount of time as well as the type of time you are measuring. Elements of time can include the overall project timeline, hours spent on the project or product, internal calendars, time spent on planning and strategy, and the number of project phases. When making tradeoffs in time, this can require that you make extensions to timelines and eliminate planning phases for example.
How Are Scope, Time, And Cost Related?
The Project Management Triangle shows how the three variables are linked, and if one of the variables is altered then the other two must be adjusted. Scope, time, and money are known to be competing constraints. For example, if the project scope is increased, this will also mean increased time and increased cost to finish the project. A tight time frame for a project will mean you will have to increase your cost and resources and reduce the scope to finish the project on time. For example, a project can be completed faster by increasing resources such as adding more machines and hiring staff, or cutting the scope such as reducing the complexity and finer features of a product. Along the same lines, increasing a project’s scope can require an increased budget and schedule. Reducing the cost variable for a project without adjusting the time variable or scope will result in a lower-quality product.
Changes in one constraint or variable in the Project Management Triangle will necessitate making changes in other variables or else the quality of the product will suffer. Not a single variable of the Project Management Triangle can be altered without making tradeoffs with the other two variables of the triangle. If the cost is decreased or the scope is increased, as a project manager you will need to find ways to compensate for this by increasing your project’s time variable and you can either do this by extending deadlines or making other schedule adjustments. To find the right balance, you will need to pick the variables that will help you achieve your project’s goals within reasonable tradeoffs.
Project Management Triangle: Why Is It Important?
The Project Management Triangle is a useful approach for project managers as it helps them to understand the limitations of a project and this enables project managers to make the best possible decisions. The triangle helps to picture how altering one project variable will affect the other variables. The following are some benefits of using the Project Management Triangle:
- Reduce risks: If you need to follow a hard deadline and you are worried that your staff will fall behind, you can consider a contingency budget in case you need to arrange for more resources such as tools or staff to complete the project
- Set priorities: Does your project have a hard deadline? Are you on a strict budget? Do you need to fulfill very specific requirements? Having answers to these questions can give you a better sense of what a successful project will look like.
- Make readjustments: The triangle validates the concern that you can’t achieve good, cheap, and timely projects simultaneously. This allows project managers to know where to make changes.
- Evaluate variables: Project managers can evaluate the cost, scope, and time of the projects and this model can be altered to meet the requirements of almost any project
Find Your Balance With Streamline Automation’s FROG3D® System Components
Consider the following client testimonial that is reviewing a company’s product: “Thanks to ABC Sign Company, I received my order in less than 24 hours! They clearly put a lot of time into making it perfect, and it was the best-priced product that I could find.” This is not realistic, since it is not possible for a company to earn profits and simultaneously provide this type of service in the long run.
Traditional and manual work practices are gradually being replaced as new users are taught how to use the equipment and software that supports the new changes in the industry. For example, the use of automated processes helps to cut back on time spent doing work manually and allows you to use your time efficiently. This is important because when you have time you can create more products and increase turnover which is essential to your business growth. Using automated equipment is cost-effective and efficient in that automated workflows enable maximum productivity and offer unparalleled precision to facilitate your projects. Streamline Automation can help you integrate state-of-the-art automated production capabilities, facilitate repeatability, and accelerate production tasks with its FROG3D® fabrication system components.
FROGMill™: FROG3D® Fabrication System For 3D Projects
FROGMill™ is the industry’s most powerful 4-axis CNC foam carving router available and will offer you a range of capabilities that are usually impossible with traditional processes or lesser machines. The industrial CNC milling machine includes all the frills like software and dust collection setup. This machine creates production efficiencies all the while providing the accuracy and detail that is required to create stunningly detailed projects with consistency each time. The FROGMill™ ‘s control center runs easy-to-use Windows-based software as the interface between the operator and FROGMill™. A user-friendly interface allows machining possible with little to no experience. This system is built to handle large projects, professional industrial production lines, and is designed for bigger process areas to produce larger 3D jobs quickly and efficiently. The FROGMill™ is a great addition for companies looking to take advantage of the automation side of the industry when it concerns 3D projects.
Projects will always take time, but you can decide where most of that time should be spent and that is generally a reflection of your in-house skills sets. Spending more time on the design can assist with the later steps, but if you don’t have a massive amount of design experience, it might be faster or more efficient to work out the finer details and assembly steps manually. Supposing the work is not intended for up-close display, many fine details can be skipped entirely in the initial steps- this includes design to milling and sculpting of details that can be picked up in paint instead.
If the goal is to produce something faster you can use a larger tool on the FROGMill™ but this will be at the cost of the detail of your project (the scope). Supposing that you have talented sculptors at your disposal, many times it could be faster to work the very small details by hand and let the FROGMill™ quickly produce the general shapes that sculptors start with. If the primary goal is a quick turnaround, you will most likely skip focusing on the scope. Concerning a 3D project, this would mean providing less complexity and details, providing only base coat painting, and not including delivery time in the quote or charging significantly more money to facilitate the timeline.
When we add new production systems, capabilities, training, and staff, the project management plan needs to be reviewed since it alters the tools that are available to us.
To make the most of your time and money, it is important to design an efficient plan for your projects because a good project management plan will determine the optimal solution for moving forward.
In the competitive world of custom fabrication, Streamline Automation will find the best balance between creativity and technology and will offer you everything we know from 3D scanning, processing advice, software training, skills training, or finishing techniques. Streamline Automation has the tools and tricks of the trade that will ease your workload. Love what you do, do what you love! Let automation do the rest. Contact us today- our experienced team will help you to select the best FROG3D® systems for your needs!