Brad Bigelow, a PRINCE2 V7 author, discusses the fundamental aspects of project management, particularly focusing on the interrelationship of time, scope, and cost, often referred to as the iron triangle in project management. He emphasizes the crucial trade-offs that project managers must consider and navigate. Bigelow highlights that any change in one element of this triangle invariably impacts the others. For example, reducing the time frame of a project often leads to increased costs due to the need for more resources to meet tighter deadlines.
In his explanation, Bigelow stresses the importance of understanding which of these three elements – cost, scope, or time – is the driving factor in a project. This prioritization significantly influences project planning and execution. He underscores that different projects have different priorities: some may be driven by budget constraints, necessitating strict cost control; others might prioritize quality or scope, where achieving certain performance standards or capabilities is paramount, regardless of cost or time.
To illustrate his point, Bigelow refers to the development of COVID-19 vaccines as an example of time-driven projects. The primary objective in these projects was to minimize the time to make vaccines available to the public, showcasing how time can sometimes take precedence over cost and scope in certain project contexts. This example serves to demonstrate the real-world application of the principles he discusses, emphasizing the importance of understanding and managing the interdependencies within the iron triangle for successful project management.