The Project Management Triangle

The Project Management Triangle graphically highlights three competing constraints all projects face. Time, quality and cost.

Projects are performed and delivered under these rival forces. The conundrum: changing one affects the others. You can only benefit in two areas at the expense of the third.

The Project Management Triangle

So how does this effect you and your business?

Choose 2: Time, Quality, Cost

When taking on any project you are presented with three options. You can either have:

  1. Faster Turnaround -> Higher Quality Solution -> More Expense
  2. Faster Turnaround -> Less Expense -> Lower Quality Solution
  3. Higher Quality Solution -> Less Expense -> Slower Turnaround

I’m sure you can agree that you and your business face this conundrum daily. With every project there is a trade-off in either execution, turnaround time or expense. You can only ever have two of the three.

To put this into context, let’s take a look at content generation. This is because all facets of projects focus on content generation in one way or another. Specifically, I’m going to look at article writing.

An Example: Content Creation

For one person to create a good 1000-word article it might take a whole day (~8 hours). That’s accounting for research, creating visuals, editing and succinctly getting everything together.

What if you had two people doing this, splitting the workload evenly? One person handling the content writing whilst the other was complementing the written work with further research and visuals.

If two people of equal pay, skill and experience wrote the article it would be completed in three quarters of the time. It would NOT take half the time, even though twice as many people are working on the project.

Coordination Takes Time

Team members communicating together adds time. Efforts must be coordinated. Decisions have to be made on the appropriate approach required – who does what and how.

Resources needed for team management increase with the team’s size.

Social Loafers

People also tend to exert less effort to achieve a goal when they work in a group than when they work alone. Generally, members become less productive as their team size increases.

This phenomenon is known as ‘social loafing’.  Different to the coordination problems outlined above, social loafing stems from individuals feeling their effort matters less in a group.

Time is Money

Time is money because your workers are getting paid on an hourly rate. What might have taken one person 8 hours, takes two people 12 hours combined (6 hours each). You will have more expense.

In this example you have faster turnaround to get the same higher quality solution. The job will be delivered 25% faster overall – in 6 hours instead of 8. BUT, the article will take 4 more paid hours from your two employees combined (50% increase in overall cost).

Fast + Cheap = Lesser Quality

What if you wanted your article fast and cheap? Content producer(s) will be rushed. The output of their effort: a poorly written and researched, unpolished article.

Wrapping Up the Project Management Triangle

Time, quality and cost are three competing constraints all projects face. You can only ever benefit in two, at the expense of the third.

Individuals are limited in their output (hours they can work). But, teams present problems too. Good project management plans accordingly to best meet task constraints. This shapes the scope of your project.

Recognise what you are trying to achieve and need the most. Equally, recognise limitations that effect you achieving your subsequent goal. Greed, in the end, fails even the greedy.

So what will it be? Time, cost, quality – choose two.

And hey, two out of three ain’t bad.

Why is Branding So Important?

Learn What All the Fuss is About

I’m sure you can agree, that branding is an important part of your business.

But just how important is it? How much time and thought should you be devoting to your business’ branding?

In this post I’m going to show you exactly how important branding is for your business. I’ve included links to relevant research and statistics to back up my argument.

First-Up, What is Branding?

Branding is your business’ unique personality. It’s how people both experience and perceive you and your business. This goes way beyond your logo, imagery and tagline.

Everything your business does and says shapes your brand. Have you ever thought about the way you answer the phone? The way your customers experience your staff? This all feeds into your branding.

When you open your mind to this broader definition of branding, its importance becomes clear.

Let’s take a look at what good brands do, and why they do it.

Good Brands Connect with Consumers

Published in the Harvard Business Review, research shows that 64% of consumers cite shared values as the primary reason for having a brand relationship. This was by far the largest driver in consumer motivation found. Comparatively, only 13% cited frequent interactions with the brand as a reason for having a relationship.

Good brands connect with people at an emotional level. People feel good when they buy the brand. Purchasing is an emotional experience. Having a strong brand helps people feel good at an emotional level when they engage with the company.

Great Brands are Truthful and Honest

Your brand tells people about you and your business. 45% of your brand image is attributed to what you say, how you say it, and if you deliver. Your brand is your promise, communication and delivery.

Say what you have to say, be simple and direct. Engage your target-market. If this means that you offend those that aren’t in your target-market, that’s fine because they aren’t your audience and they won’t be your buyers!

Consistent Branding Promotes Recognition

Slightly different to “branding”, brand awareness is the probability that consumers are familiar about the availability and accessibility of your company’s product and service.

There’s a strong positive association between brand awareness and purchase intentions. Consistent and recognisable branding makes people feel more at ease when purchasing your products or services. This is why people tend to do business with companies they are familiar with.

Brand recognition is increased by up to 80% through colour use. This is one way you can easily and significantly increase your brand awareness.

Strong Branding Helps Customers Know What to Expect

Great brands are consistent and place customers at ease. Customers know what to expect each time they experience a strong brand. Exemplifying this, 80% of consumers say “authenticity of content” is the most influential factor in their decision to become a follower of a brand.

Consistency in branding is essential. 60% of US millennials expect consistent experiences when dealing with brands online, in-store, or by phone. Is your branding consistent across all channels?

Brand Motivates and Directs Your Staff

It’s easy to wander across ideas when nothing is guiding you. Clear branding helps you and your staff stay focused on your mission and vision as an organisation. It tells you and your staff how to act, what you’re driving toward, and how to meet company goals.

The market changes and so do aspects of your business. Promotional material comes and goes. However, the definition of who you are and what you stand for should remain stable. This should guide you when an option presents.

A Strong Brand Generates Referrals

People love to tell others about the brands they like. People wear brands, eat brands, listen to brands, and they’re constantly telling others about the brands they love. On the flip side, you can’t tell someone about a brand you can’t remember, nor communicate.

Strong brands clearly articulate how they should be referred. Think about your tagline. Is it memorable, catchy, to the point? Do you clearly articulate to naive consumers who you are and what you do? Can people remember and communicate this easily with their friends?

Give your followers the resources needed to spread the word about you and your business. Package your brand succinctly to make it as powerful as it can be. Find the simplest way to express yourself and more people will understand you.

Wrapping Up

Customers make conscious consideration of brands when making purchasing decisions. Your brand is a large part of what distinguishes you from your competition. It’s your promise to consumers that tells them what to expect from you and your business.

Are you the innovative maverick in your industry? Or the experienced, reliable one? Is your product the high-cost, high-quality option, or the low-cost, high-value option? You can’t be both, and you can’t be all things to all people.

Good brands are earned. They are built up over time and supported with a well thought out strategic plan. If you’d like guidance with your own brand contact me for a free consultation. Identify and proclaim your story!

Share your brand in the comments below.