Re-imagining the Iron Triangle: Embedding Sustainability into Project Constraints

Ebbesen, Jonas Balshoej and Hope, Alex (2013) Re-imagining the Iron Triangle: Embedding Sustainability into Project Constraints. PM World Journal, II (III). ISSN 2330-4480

PDF (Article)
pmwj8-mar2013-ebbesen-hope-reimagining-iron-triangle-FeaturedPaper.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike.

Download (245kB) | Preview
Official URL:


Since the emergence of the formal discipline of project management, academics and practitioners have sought to define criteria against which project success can be measured. Perhaps the most well known criteria are encapsulated in the ‘Iron Triangle’ that places Cost Time and Quality at the center of project success. However it has been suggested that whilst this triple constraint is important, it can also narrow the focus away from other crucial project success factors. One area that is gaining prominence within the field of project management is the consideration of sustainability principles and there is an increasing understanding of the need to develop methods, tools and techniques to integrate sustainability criteria into the management of projects. This paper presents the results of an empirical study in which project managers were asked to re-draw the traditional Iron Triangle with the inclusion of sustainability. The results of the study indicate that whist sustainability is seen by practitioners as a key factor to be included in project planning and implementation, there is disagreement as to where the issue sits in relation to traditional time, cost, quality constraints and how sustainability principles should be integrated into projects.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Project constraints, sustainability, Iron Triangle, project management, success factors, sustainable project management
Subjects: K200 Building
N100 Business studies
N200 Management studies
N900 Others in Business and Administrative studies
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Architecture and Built Environment
Depositing User: Alex Hope
Date Deposited: 04 Mar 2013 11:58
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2023 14:03

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics