As an architect in practice, I find myself explaining to most prospective clients a simple, yet highly effective project management concept. We normally discuss this when we meet for the initial consultation. We also talk at length about sexier subjects, such as space design, materials, natural lighting, finishes, etc. Most importantly, we cover the project direction in terms of aspirations and motivations.
Why do we keep bringing up this dull concept to the initial consultation, you may ask? This basic principle of the Quality Triangle applies to the fabrication of a car, as much as to the creation of a piece of art or the implementation of a system by a consultant in business also applies to construction projects. I take great delight in seeing how people’s facial expressions change when they understand this concept.
The quality-time-cost triangle principle states; no project can be delivered to provide 100 per cent of these three attributes. Really? Yes, this is a fact. I then invite people to chose the two most important from the three to their particular circumstances and invite them to see how the third one becomes ‘logically’ less relevant. Understanding and positioning a project within this triangle brings all the players together behind the same goal. It is then less likely that there may be misunderstandings or miscommunication during the life of the project. It guarantees the project outcomes are met with ease or at least easier than otherwise had the triangle not been discussed.
The possible combinations are explained in the Triangle of Quality.
The project measure of the Triangle of Quality can and must be identified and shared. If this is done early enough in the project lifetime 99.9 per cent of any future misunderstandings in the long life of the delivery of your project can be avoided. This will put even the less experienced clients in control of the process. If you are new to architecture and construction mastering the Triangle of Quality is the best starting point.