When it comes to WordPress design, WordPress theme customisation, website design and web development, there’s an awful lot to cover. But we’re more than a web design agency. We’re also a social media agency, SEO agency and branding agency. As such we’re very well aware of the potential perils of the time, cost and scope triangle.

With so much going on in every project we tackle, it’s vital to keep control of all three key aspects of project management. That’s what we do. Here’s what you need to know.

What is the project management triangle?

Every project comes with constraints. Most of the time they involve the scope – AKA the features and quality of a site design – plus the time and cost. If any of them get out of control, a web development project can easily spiral into chaos.

When they’re expressed graphically as a Project Management Triangle, it’s easy to see why. Each side represents a constraint. It’s impossible to change one side without affecting the other two. Which inevitably means that while you can achieve two of them – good and cheap, cheap and fast, or fast and good – it’s more or less impossible to achieve all three within a single project.

  • A good, cheap project is unlikely to be achieved quickly
  • A good, quick project isn’t likely to be achieved cheaply
  • A quick, cheap project is unlikely to deliver good results

The three constraints compete with each other. A broadened scope means increased time and cost. A tricky time constraint usually results in more expense and less scope. A tiny budget often means increased time and reduced scope.

Look at it another way. You could, say, see the three constraints as finance, time and people. If you need to complete a job fast you’d throw more people-power at it. But that’d increase the cost. Unless, of course, you managed to cleverly shave the same amount of £££s off elsewhere in the project.

How to balance the triangle

Good, cheap and fast are your options. While you can have two, you can’t have all three. So how do you balance them to ensure the best possible results? It’s a project management thing, and it means using a few simple techniques to help the entire project team organise themselves and their work.

On the bright side, the project management triangle clearly reveals all the complexities of a project. An infinite multitude of things that could affect the three competing values sit in the empty space in the centre of the triangle. It’s a hard nut to crack, but simply being aware of these challenges, the sheer number of unpredictable things that could happen, makes it easier to make better decisions, do better planning and make sure the people concerned are all working in line with each other.

A practical way to keep the balance right

How do we keep your website design project under control and achieve that essential balance? We use past projects to help us estimating the cost of current projects, then we double check by doing all this:

  • Plan how to schedule the work
  • Define the various activities
  • Put the activities into the right sequence
  • Estimate how long the various activities will take
  • Estimate the resources we’ll need
  • Develop a realistic schedule
  • Keep the schedule under control on an ongoing basis, tweaking it if necessary

Plate spinning to bring a project home on time, on spec, on budget

The perfect balance is a project that comes in on time, on spec, to budget, something that’s a whole lot easier to achieve when you’ve gone through the stages above, breaking things down and formalising each aspect. In a way it’s a lot like spinning plates. We make sure every plate is spinning equally, which means we can deal with any stray inequalities before they become issues.

If that sounds like good sense to you, let’s talk about your website design and development project and how we’ll blend time, cost and speed to perfection for the best possible results.