How to Handle Time, Cost & Quality in Project Management


Our PM expert offers advice to project managers about determining project priorities. Watch this project management training video to learn more about managing the triple constraint – project scope, cost and time, plus quality.

In Review: Which is Best – Managing Time, Cost or Quality?

Jennifer relayed the project manager’s Triple Constraint: managing time, cost and quality when you’re running your project. How do you prioritize one over the other in the midst of a busy project?

Ideally, Jennifer notes, you’ll set up a change control process on your project. In large projects, there will often be a formal change review board, a group of people whose responsibilities are to review any change requests, study the impacts of change on the overall project scope, and determine which changes will be approved or not.

Then, the true impacts of prioritizing time over cost or cost over quality, are better understood and decisions thoughtfully made.

If you’re running a smaller project with limited resources, you’re not likely going to have a formal board. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a change process in place.

At a minimum, make sure changes aren’t made to the project without review. They can be reviewed by you or by a senior member of a department, but changes should not be made without communicating the change.

Then you can take the next step and develop an approval process. Not every change requested should be made! With a minor process in place, you can make sure priorities are taken into account before changes are implemented.

Pro Tip: Use a dashboard tool to show visually any changes being made to the project and their impact on the schedule, budget and quality controls. It’s easier to prioritize when you can measure the performance of each of these elements of the triple constraint.

We hope you came away with some useful, practical strategies to put in place on your projects. Thanks for watching!


Hello. I’m Jennifer Bridges, Director of ProjectManager. Welcome to our whiteboard session today on managing time, cost, quality. Which one wins?

Well, that’s always a question and thing that project managers struggle with because there are so many things always changing on the project and it’s hard to determine which has the priority. Well, the answer to this question is, it really depends. So, let’s take a look and reminding that we’re actually managing the triple constraint throughout the project from beginning to end, and that encompasses the scope or the deliverables that we’re producing. It also has to do with the cost, the expenses in the budget, the time, the schedules, the milestones as well as the quality. So no wonder it’s hard to determine which one wins because there are a lot of things going on, typically moving parts and things changing.

So, how do we know? How do we know? How do we know which one? How do we know how to determine it? Well, it depends on the industry that one is in. It could depend on federal regulations or mandates that we’re required to meet. It could depend on the business drivers, depending upon what the company is trying to do, and, also, may depend on standards.

So, where do we find out this information? So there are different pieces of the project management plan. As we know, the project management plan also has sub-plans. So, within that, we have the time management plan, the cost management plan, quality management plan, and then the changes that are continuing to occur are dictated by the change management plan. So, all of these things are documented within these plans of the overarching project management plan. So, we want to be sure to reference those and document that based on, again, the industry any regulations, business drivers, and standards.

Who decides which one of these wins, based on this information? So, as things change throughout the project, we take these changes through the change management process, and then through that the change control board for our project are the people who go through different factors. They are the ones who are representing the business units, any other stakeholders on the project. So, they have the authority to make these decisions. So, it takes the pressure off of the project manager so that they don’t have to decide which one of these wins.

If you’re looking for a tool that can help you manage your time, cost and quality, then sign up for our software now at ProjectManager.