Program Tetrahedron – Further Developing the Concept


By Bob Prieto


In my earlier paper entitled, “The “Program Tetrahedron”: A Changed Baseline Control Basis under Strategic Program Management” (Ref. 1), I made the case that the traditional control of project dynamics described by the project management triangle (Figure 1) is inadequate when we consider longer project durations such as those associated with a facility’s complete life cycle.


In addition, while the traditional project triangle shows the need to balance the competing forces of cost, quality and time, these change significantly in context in large, complex, multi-project programs. Control bases which traditionally included estimate, schedules and various definitions of fit for purpose or quality expand to include new control bases that not only encompass the full facility life cycle but also similar performance along each of the three bottom lines encompassing the triple bottom line associated with true sustainability.

These added control bases were shown to create a program tetrahedron as reflected in Figure 2.


To read entire paper (click here)

About the Author

bob prietoflag-usaBob Prieto

Senior Vice President


Bob Prieto is a senior vice president of Fluor, one of the largest, publicly traded engineering and construction companies in the world. He is responsible for strategy for the firm’s Industrial & Infrastructure group which focuses on the development and delivery of large, complex projects worldwide. The group encompasses three major business lines including Infrastructure, with an emphasis on Public Private Partnerships; Mining; and Manufacturing and Life Sciences. Bob consults with owner’s of large engineering & construction capital construction programs across all market sectors in the development of programmatic delivery strategies encompassing planning, engineering, procurement, construction and financing. He is author of “Strategic Program Management” and “The Giga Factor: Program Management in the Engineering and Construction Industry” published by the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) and “Topics in Strategic Program Management” as well as over 400 other papers and presentations.

Bob is a member of the ASCE Industry Leaders Council, National Academy of Construction and a Fellow of the Construction Management Association of America. Bob served until 2006 as one of three U.S. presidential appointees to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Advisory Council (ABAC), working with U.S. and Asia-Pacific business leaders to shape the framework for trade and economic growth and had previously served as both as Chairman of the Engineering and Construction Governors of the World Economic Forum and co-chair of the infrastructure task force formed after September 11th by the New York City Chamber of Commerce.

Previously, he established a 20-year record of building and sustaining global revenue and earnings growth as Chairman at Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB), one of the world’s leading engineering companies.  Bob Prieto can be contacted at [email protected].