The project triangle

“You can have it good, fast, or cheap. Pick two.”

Engineers have been saying this to project managers for decades.

In slightly different terms, every project balances a “triangle” of time, money, and scope — you can’t change one without affecting at least one of the others. The project manager’s job is to keep the whole triangle from falling apart.

How? First, when a problem comes up, locate it on the project triangle — is it about time (schedule), money (budget), or scope? Second, figure out which sides of the triangle you can change and which are “fixed” in place. Third, adjust what you can to fix the problem and optimize the project. Fourth, finish the project and celebrate!

In this article

Effort Driven Explained



Remember 2 things :

  1. Effort Driven concept involves a task that has:

a. Duration hours

b. Assigned Resource (At least one).

c. Work hours (Calculated from the assigned Resources).

 2.. MS Project code relates the factors Work, Duration and Units by using the equation:

W=D*U (Work = Duration * Units).

The effort driven concept has an influence to Task values once we change the assigned resources (add or remove). Every time you click the effort driven check box at your “Task Information Box” then you inform Ms Project code that you want to keep the “work value” constant.

This work value was created once you have assigned a specific number of resources at your Task.


  1. You have a Task with one day duration and you assign 2 people Mr A1 &A2. Then Ms Project assigns 8+8 =16 hours of work for this Task.
  2. You want to keep the work constant for this task and every time you change the number of resources you want MS PROJECT to recalculate the other 2 factors of the equation (Duration or Units assignment)


  1. Open the MS Project File “Effort Driven Start”.
  2. Make sure that the columns “Effort Driven”, “Task Type” and “ID” are in your Task sheet.

The Tasks we will initially have 2 resources assigned. We will use the Task 1 with ID 1 and Task 2 with ID 4 as a reference point. Then we will change the data at ID 2,3 and ID 5,6 to see how the tasks are affected once they are effort driven.


  1. We will add and remove one resource.

ACTION: At the Effort Driven Column select “yes” for Tasks 2 and 3 and then 5 and 6.

Once you do that, you inform MS PROJECT that it needs to react every time that a resource is added or removed.

Use CASE A and B below and monitor how this will affect the Task Duration and Work Hours.

FD Case: (Overtime-Work Split)

CASE A: Remove a resource: When we remove a resource the one left will work Overtime (200%).

CASE B: Add a Resource: When we add a Resource the 16 hours will split to 5,33 hours each.

NOTE: To see the effects you better use the “Task Usage” view and watch the changes at the “Peak Units” column.


Effort Driven Task Usage

FU Case: (Increase-Decrease Duration)

CASE A: Remove a resource: When we remove a resource the Duration will change.

CASE B: Add a Resource: When we add a resource the Duration will decrease to 0,67 days.

Compare the results with the File “Effort Driven used” .

Efford Driven Used


Status Date and Current Date Concept Explained

1.     Status Date and Current Date theory

Status Date and Current Date concept can be very tricky if you don’t realize the way they are used at MS Project.

Please read carefully the next lines and perform the actions in the sentences starting with a Red word.

a. Format Status Date : Double Click at the Gantt Chart and use the Gridline option.

SD 0 Gridlines menuSD1

Scroll to the Status Date option and set the settings you prefer. (Red color is my Favorite).

b. Current Date and Status Date:

When Project sets a Task then the Start date begins at 8:00 pm and the Finish Date ends at 16: 00 or 4:00 am at the afternoon.

At this time the Current date and the Status Date (April 23, 2014) are the same and even if you choose different colors the one of the current date will prevail.


Navigate to the Project Tab Status date box and change it to show (April 24, 2014).



Now you see that the Status Date starts at 8:00 pm of 24 April.

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Project Dependencies Explained

2 Tasks – Project Dependencies Explained

Part of the process of building a project schedule involves breaking down the work into smaller activities (the Work Breakdown Structure) and then sequencing the activities. When you sequence the activities you should make sure that every activity is related to at least one other activity. In many cases, the relationships will involve two or more activities.

Continue reading Project Dependencies Explained