Titolo articolo

Beyond The Iron Triangle: Year Zero
Originally published as a part of 2012 PMI Global Congress Proceedings – Marseilles, France

Gli autori Andrea CACCAMESE, Damiano Bragantini


Success in Project Management has been traditionally associated with the ability of the Project Manager to deliver in scope, time, cost and quality. The “iron triangle” is a very popular metaphor pointing out that the Project Manager is asked to reach a reasonable trade-off among various concurrent, heterogeneous and visible constraints.
At the same time, “soft skills” for the Project Manager have been traditionally identified as a set of cross-cutting skills that should complement the core job of establishing and maintaining reasonable tradeoffs among the elements of the iron triangle. This paper postulates that this is not enough.
The Project Manager is challenged by constraints other than the “measureable” scope, cost, time and quality. Individuals need motivation, but the available motivational space is not infinite. Ground rules for behaviour and communication should be established, but the performing organization could influence and limit the choices. Lastly, individuals should be facilitated in exploiting their own prominent assertive or holistic attitudes, but the nature of the project and the context at-large may be in contrast.
There is more than the “iron triangle”: there is a “soft pyramid”, a metaphor for concurrent constraints related to the “internal satisfaction” of the individuals working in the project.
To be successful, the Project Manager should also reach a reasonable trade-off among various concurrent heterogeneous factors that constitute the “soft pyramid”: this is much more than “making usage of soft skills in Project Management”, and should be made explicit in Project Management best practices.
Few extensions to PMBOK® are proposed in the HR knowledge area, and practical suggestions are provided for the “year zero” of this new awareness.