We have previously shared our thoughts about the meaning of two sides of the project management triangle, cost and time. Now we’ll tackle the third, scope.
Yes, scope, not quality. If you thought you memorized the triangle differently in school, you’re probably right. But that was school. This is the real world.
If your product or service doesn’t live up to someone’s definition of quality, you shouldn’t be in business. Game over. Turn out the lights and go home. Conversely, if your quality is so much better than your competitors that only a special few can experience it, you may not be successful either.
The difference is scope.
In the context of business taxation, you can file the best tax return in the world, but if you’re losing millions, who cares? You can have the best economic studies in connection with your transfer pricing agreements, but if you can’t get anyone to buy your product, again… who cares?
It’s about carving up your project into its components and evaluating risk/reward at both the overall project level and the individual task level. If the risk/reward is high, greater focus is required at the task level. If the risk/reward is low, maybe you don’t sweat the small stuff.
Does this mean you’ve compromised quality? No, you’ve made a decision with regard to scope.
Stop thinking in absolutes. It’s really about starting with the answer and establishing your own definition of quality. In my book, quality is what best accomplishes my objective.
See all posts in the Project Management Triangle series.