Managing a project can often feel like trying to tame a lion while performing a high-wire act. But we’re here because we love a good challenge. So, how do you win the game of project management?

One way to master this art is to understand and manage project constraints, often called the project management triangle or iron triangle. Depending on the scale of your project, there can be many constraints, but fundamentally there are six:

  • Scope
  • Time
  • Cost
  • Resources
  • Quality
  • Risks

Let’s take a closer look at these constraints, and make sure your next project doesn’t just survive but thrives.

Project Constraints 1



This is where it all begins. An idea, a dream, a vision. It is the scope of your project. At this stage, you define what needs to be delivered.

But dreams can quickly turn into nightmares if those sneaky little changes creep in and mess up your scope. To win, it’s important to stay on track, and here’s how.


Start with a project scope statement. It has to be crystal-clear, so there’s no room for ambiguity here! Gather all the nitty-gritty details. Then, break it down into digestible pieces:

  • Vision: what your project is about, and how it fits into an overall business strategy
  • Objectives: what you want to achieve (could be feature launch, increased sales, customer acquisition, engagement, receiving certain data, feedback, learnings, etc).
  • Action points: what you need to do to achieve your goals
  • Initiatives: components of your project such as epics, tasks, subtasks

Set boundaries when it comes to change. Every change request should face rigorous scrutiny and get the thumbs-up only if it’s absolutely necessary.

Stay connected with stakeholders all the way through. Regular updates and feedback loops ensure everyone’s on the same page.



Time is the heartbeat of your project. It defines the schedule, milestones, and deadlines. What’s important to remember here is that nothing derails a project faster than slipping timelines. It can significantly impact costs and resource availability. But we have the recipe for your success.


Plan everything. Develop a comprehensive project schedule using Gantt charts, PERT diagrams, or whatever works for you. Be true to yourself and everyone around—set realistic deadlines for tasks.

Prioritize and delegate. Identify critical tasks that directly impact your project’s completion date. Focus on these tasks to ensure they stay on track. Delegate everything else to have a consistently sharp eye for the core activities.

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Track time. There’s no place for wishful thinking. You want to reflect reality, so you need convenient project management tools to track progress. We recommend keeping it simple and having all your tasks and details in one place.

Incorporate buffer time. It will act as a little cushion between tasks, absorbing unexpected delays without derailing your entire timeline.

Project Constraints 2



Cost constraint refers to the dollars and cents that make everything possible. It’s the budget you have for a project. Managing costs effectively is crucial to avoid budget overruns and ensure financial feasibility.


Plan your budget from the start and make it as detailed as you can. Cover all possible expenses. As with the “cushions” of time, don’t forget to include a contingency fund to handle surprise costs.

Monitor costs like a hawk! Use cost management tools and techniques to track spending in real time and compare them against your budget. Conduct regular audits to ensure every penny spent is justified.

Explore cost-saving opportunities without compromising on quality. Negotiate better rates with suppliers or find more efficient ways to complete tasks—every little bit helps.



Resources are the lifeblood of your project. They’re the human, physical, and technical capabilities you need for a project. Effective resource management is critical to keeping everything running smoothly and meeting project goals.


Allocate resources wisely. Identify what you need and use your project management tools to the fullest extent. They can help you track availability and the utilization of resources, which, again, is important to stay on track with your budget. Especially if you can save on software your team doesn’t really use that much.

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Know your limits! Assess the capacity of your resources and plan accordingly. Be realistic and avoid overloading your team to keep morale and productivity high.

Stay flexible and adaptable in managing resources. Think through the tiniest details and come up with a backup plan for critical resources in case of unexpected change.

Keep stakeholders in the loop to secure necessary resources. Be quick and transparent when it comes to addressing any concerns.

Project Constraints 3



Quality is the promise you make with your project. It ensures that project deliverables meet the required standards and make your stakeholders happy. Balancing quality with time and cost? That’s where things might get tricky, but it’s essential for project success.


To keep your quality high, define your standards and criteria right from the start. Researching competitors might help you with that. Remember to align your quality criteria with stakeholder expectations.

Control and improve continuously. Establish quality control measures to monitor project outputs against defined standards. Implement regular testing, reviews, and audits. Tackle any issues immediately to oversee the quality of your project from start to finish.

Invest in your team’s skills and training. Having all the necessary skills is crucial to meet high quality standards.



Even after mapping everything out, don’t jump to conclusions too fast. Uncertainty always lurks around every corner—and it’s what usually keeps project managers up at night. Risk constraint involves identifying, assessing, and mitigating potential hiccups that could impact your project. But with the right approach, you can turn risks into strengths.


Well, first, assess your risks. Identify all of them, even the tiniest, and note them down. Define their potential impact and how likely they are to actually happen. What if your team misses deadlines? What if one of your core tools crashes or becomes more expensive? Answer all the questions your stakeholders could potentially ask you. Or actually have a meeting with them and gather tricky questions.

Then, make a solid plan. Outline what you will do if any of the listed risks occur. Have contingency plans for high-impact scenarios if you don’t want to be caught off guard.

Double-check and communicate regularly. Keep an eye out for new risks throughout the project lifecycle and come up with mitigation strategies. Talk to your team and stakeholders again. Regular updates will help everyone prepare for whatever comes their way.

Making it all work together

For sustainable project management, it’s not enough just to tackle each constraint in isolation. You need to learn how to balance them all together. Having a cohesive strategy is what will keep your project humming along smoothly.

Project Constraints 4


Integrate all constraints into your project plan. Use methodologies like Agile or Waterfall to give your planning a clear structure. With this holistic approach, you can be sure that changes in one constraint are evaluated for their impact on others, allowing for balanced decision-making.

Streamline constraint management with the help of tools like Asana, Trello, Notion, or any other technology you find convenient for your team. Track progress, manage resources, and contact teammates in real time.

Invest in your team’s training and growth. Equip them with everything necessary to handle constraints effectively. Make sure learning is not a one-time wonder in your routine—continuous learning opportunities enhance a team’s capability to manage complex projects.

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Build cross-functional teams with diverse backgrounds, skills, and perspectives. This diversity enhances problem-solving and helps you make sure all constraints are considered in every decision. If you don’t notice something off, one of your team members might, and this is great!

As much as you want to complete everything and only show the polished result to stakeholders, it’s still important to sync along the way. Their input and feedback are valuable for understanding priorities and seeing the bigger picture. Plus, sometimes they help lower your sky-high expectations.

Project Constraints 5


Assess your project’s progress by regularly reviewing every process. Make necessary adjustments as you go, but don’t forget about the risks. Evaluate how change impacts every constraint before actually doing anything.

The project landscape can change rapidly, so it’s important to stay nimble. Encourage a culture of agility within your team to stay productive and timely pivot your strategies.

Wrapping it up

You can manage project constraints effectively! It’s all about finding the balance. With detailed planning, continuous monitoring, and proactive adjustments, you’ll achieve zen. Remember, it’s not just about surviving the project—it’s about thriving on it. Embrace the challenge and use our tips to achieve your goals.

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Project Constraints 6

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