The 5 Essentials of Project Management

Posted by Stephanie Hollingsworth | May 23, 2019

Project Management can be quite a nebulous term for a lot of people. The assumption that an individual will be basically managing a project is correct, but oversimplification can cause issues. There are five essentials that structure the framework of project management and remembering these essentials (pillars) will lead to ever improving project management.

Project management hinges on the first of the five essentials, The Iron Triangle. Not the Iron Cross, but the Iron Triangle.


As you can see above, the Iron Triangle is made up of three portions, as the name suggests. Schedule, cost, and quality prop up the rest of your essentials. Over time, the discussion of the Iron Triangle developed more intensely to include quality, but we will go over that later. All three corners, or points, need to be in complete harmony or the project will fail to be properly managed. If the quality is demanding, it will require more cost and more time. Keeping this in balance will make anyone a Project Management expert in a short time.

Quality dictates whether you as a project manager get references and follow up, more important, projects. The quality is always measured based on the expectation of the client/stakeholder. The old mantra “The Customer Is Always Right,” is how quality is determined. They are always right, not you. Poor quality can be a bevy of things. Your project can appear rushed and not neat despite the amount of detail put into the project. If a project manager starts to judge based on individual quality and not that of the customer, the project may certainly fail.

Project managers can keep a few items in mind to stay on par with quality anticipated by the client. There are several common quality characteristics on how to judge quality:

  1. Performance
  2. Functionality
  3. Reliability
  4. Consistency
  5. Suitability

For more about Project Management

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