IPMA Education & Training Board’s Series for the PMWJ: The Iron Triangle Under Threat!


By Ed Naughton

IPMA Education & Training Board Member

Dublin, Ireland

For over forty years the discipline of project management has been characterised by the icon of the Iron Triangle showing the triple constraint  of time, cost and scope. Dr. Martin Barnes, IPMA Fellow and legend in the project management community was the individual accredited with coining this term in 1969.

Project managers operating under this construct were primarily seen as implementers of solutions with a focus on technical, budget, schedule and specification issues.

It would appear that we are now at a stage to consider new paradigms similar to the iron triangle but representing the changing face of project management. Could such an icon/symbol have as powerful and enduring influence as the “iron triangle?

In 2006 the IPMA published version 3 of its Competence Baseline which was characterised by its Eye of Competence logo. The Eye represents clarity and vision of the requisite Technical, Behavioural and Contextual competences required by an effective project manager.


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Editor’s note: This is the 10th in a series of articles provided by the IPMA Education and Training (E&T) Board on the subject of project management education, training, careers and related topics.  More information about the IPMA E&T can be found at http://ipma.ch/education. 

About the Author

flag-irelandpmwj17-dec2013-naughton-AUTHOR IMAGEED NAUGHTON 

Institute of Project Management 

Dublin, Ireland

Ed Naughton, BE, C. Eng., F.I.E.I, FIPMA, IPMA-a, PMP, is the founder and current Director General of the Institute of Project Management of Ireland, the leading authority on the PM profession in Ireland.  On the international front, Ed was responsible for initiating cooperation agreements with both the PMI (Project Management Institute) USA and the IPMA (International Project Management Association). He is Ireland’s representative on the IPMA council of delegates, and a former Vice President-Marketing for the IPMA. He was also the first PMP registered in Ireland.  Ed has researched, published and presented many articles and papers on project management and is the author of the Irish Project Management Competence Baseline. During his thirty year career, Ed has worked as a project manager and/or project management consultant on a large variety of high profile domestic and international assignments. Ed Naughton is a graduate of University College Dublin (BE, civil), a Fellow of the Institute of Engineers of Ireland, a Chartered Engineer (Ireland), a Professional Engineer in Canada, and holds an IPMA Level A certification.  He is former founder and editor of the quarterly international publication “Project Management Practice”. One of Ireland’s most respected experts on the topic of modern project management, Ed is an executive advisor to PM World in Ireland.  Ed Naughton was named a Fellow of IPMA in 2013.  Ed lives in Dublin and can be contacted at [email protected].