Research & Development
The key to good project development is a careful “needs analysis”; an inquiry of what problems the user is trying to solve, or what new capabilities are desired in an IT application. It is critical in the earliest stages to clearly define what outcomes are desired, with as much specific detail as possible. This scoping of the project, along with a determination of cost and time constraints, help the IT staff work out a plan to fulfill the request with the highest possible level of quality. The factors of scope, cost and time define what is commonly known as the “project management triangle”, or “the iron triangle”. Ignoring any of the three is usually fatal to a project. A radical change in any one of them in the course of a project will usually force a radical change in the other two. A second triangle is considered once the project is underway – that of resources, quality and risk. Again, if any of these three factors is unusually high or low, it will have a strong influence on the other two, and if one of them suffers a radical change in the course of the project it can have ripple effects across both sets of “triple constraints”.
It is also generally understood that it is possible to control for and fulfill requirements on any two of the three attributes of these triple constraints. If a user needs to have a project done very quickly (time) and with a small budget (cost), then the scope of the project and the capabilities of the final product will necessarily have to be relatively limited.
It is a similar situation with resources, quality and risk. A project with very high levels of risk will force a demand for high quality work which in turn demands either a lot of resources, a lot of time, a very high cost, a complex system, or a combination of all four.