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Agile Project management Triangle: A “Golden Product” in Organizations

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Last updated on
27th Aug, 2019
31st Aug, 2017
Agile Project management Triangle: A “Golden Product” in Organizations

Prior to the advent of Agile methodology, the software development teams used to work within the fringes of the software ‘Iron triangle’. The three edges, rather, the three components of the (traditional) Iron triangle are- Scope, Schedule, and Cost. For any project to succeed, Agile considers quality as a vital factor, which is always placed in the middle of the triangle. So most Agile teams vary the scope and follow Cost, Schedule, and Quality as the three sides (aspects) of the triangle. 

●    Project delivery must be cost-effective
●    Project must be delivered within time
●    Project must meet the scope
●    Project must meet all the quality requirements raised by the customers

Jim Highsmith pioneered the concept of ‘Agile Triangles’. Agile Triangle is an antidote to the Iron Triangle. According to him, the Iron Triangle was leading to a lot of constraints in the operations of the Agile teams and suggested an Agile Triangle. The Agile Triangle attempts to balance development between values, quality, and constraints, instead of cost, schedule, and scope. 

Traingle 1

According to Jim, “Many agile teams are now caught in a dilemma. On one hand, they are told to be agile, flexible, and adaptable, but on the other, they are told to conform to pre-planned traditional Iron Triangle framework of scope, schedule, and cost. In essence, they are being told ‘be flexible in a very small box’ Agile teams are striving to meet one set of goals and managers and executives are measuring against another set.”

Also, he suggested that when Agile is applied to the Iron Triangle, it should follow the below points:

●    Value- to the end user in terms of a deliverable product
●    Quality- continuous delivery of value according to the customer’s requirements
●    Constraints- a traditional scope, schedule and scope

According to him, though the constraints are considered as the important measurable factors of Agile project management, they are not the goals of the project. Further, he said, 
“Value and Quality are the goals and constraints may need to be adjusted as the project moves forward to increase customer value. The schedule might still be a fixed constraint, but then scope could be adjusted to deliver the highest value within the schedule constraint.”

Today, with the new wave of innovations in the IT sector, the Waterfall model is not the exact answer to all the prevailing issues. So, other frameworks like Agile has emerged. The Agile Triangle, also called the Agile Golden Triangle has come into the picture soon after. The Agile Golden Triangle consists of three vertices:

Product traingle

1. Product Owner (PO)- 

The Product Owner is the person who is accountable for the overall business processes and provides the user requirements to the teams. PO is much concerned about the business than teams. PO can push user stories to the teams during the sprint cycle. The user stories might be unplanned during sprint planning meeting or they might be ‘out of queue’.  

2. Scrum Master (SM)-

Scrum Master is the person who ensures that the team is following the Agile practices in the right manner. The SM acts as a facilitator between the Product Owner and the team. Also, SM makes sure that the PO is not compelling the team members to manage the ‘out of the queue’ stories. The SM solves the issues raised by the team members.

3. Team

The team consists of the developers, testers, UX/UI, Database Architects, System Architects etc. The team is responsible for coding, reviewing, designing, testing and deploying the product. They understand the requirements from the Product Owner, prepare the stories and give the timeline for completing these stories.  

If these vertices (components) of the Golden Triangle (PO, SM, and Team) work with each other, then according to Jim Highsmith the value, quality, and constraints of the Agile Triangle can be maintained and the outcome can be a ‘Golden’ product.


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