Iron Triangle or Iron Cross

02/02/20181 Min Read — In Project Management

You've heard of the iron triangle of project management: Budget/Cost, Timeline/Schedule, Scope/Features. Sometimes you will see this with Quality shoved into the middle. Other sources have quality as a fourth point, creating an iron cross. There are countless versions of this.

As a tester who wants high quality and a project manager who wants to ship, I struggle with "good enough" constantly. Let's face it, Quality can have some wiggle room. It needs to work, it doesn't necessarily need to be the most perfect thing ever shipped. Be good, be reasonable.

When they ask you to Pick 2, you know good and well you can't crank up the budget. Always presume the budget is hardcoded.

We already know Quality is flexible because Quality is value to some person. That some person is the stakeholder and perhaps their customer. If they don't care about it, we will do our due diligence, but ultimately do what the customer wants.

“If you don’t care about quality, you can meet any other requirement” – Gerald M. Weinberg