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Historically we have been discussing 3 major constraints of the project that needs to be monitored and controlled. The term we used was “Triple Constraints” i.e. Scope, Time and Cost. PRINCE2 has identified six Constraints or what they call as ‘aspects’ that need to be controlled and managed. They are – scope, time, cost, quality, benefits and risk.

PRINCE2 does not suggest or emphases on any of these aspects over and above the others but it very much suggested to use of tolerance levels (i.e.permissible deviations) for these six aspects in terms of which should be fixed and which ones should vary (or flex).

Whenever any of these tolerances are forecast to be exceeded then an exception will occur. PRINCE2 Agile certification is built upon the concept of Fixing and Flexing what is delivered.

How PRINCE2 Agile views tolerances for the six aspects of a project:

ScopeNot all requirements are of equal importance. They need to be prioritized.Few requirements or Scope items might be Fixed or essential and Few might Flex
TimeZero tolerance for extra timeTime is Mostly fixed
CostZero tolerance for extra CostCost is Mostly fixed
QualityNot all acceptance criteria and quality criteria are of equal importance, so they can be prioritizedFew CQE and acceptance criteria are essential or must few might be Flexible
RiskRisk Tolerance levels or Risk appetites can be set.  Fix and flex
BenefitsZero tolerance for the level that is defined as ‘minimum viability’ in the business case but Tolerances can be setFix and flex

The reasoning behind what to fix and what to flex is not very Simple. We need to consider many project aspects such as Scale of project, Scope of Project etc. It can take significant time to understand the thinking behind it. PRINCE2 suggests the reasoning behind being flexible with what is to be delivered is based around five targets:

The Five Targets are as follows:

Target Description

  • Be on time and hit deadlines

Being on time and hitting deadlines has many very important advantages.

  • Protect the level of quality

Ensuring that the level of quality is considered to be of paramount importance to a project. This will lead to a lower cost of ownership throughout the lifetime of the final product.

  • Embrace change

Change is inevitable. Embracing change has a positive influence on a project allowing to create a more accurate final product.

  • Keep teams stable

Keeping a team stable over the short term removes the temptation to add people to a team in order to catch up with work when in reality it is more likely to have little or no effect. Do not add people to a team in order to try to go faster.

  • Accept that the customer does not need everything

Accepting that everything that is defined in the initial stages of a project is neither necessarily needed by the customer nor it must be delivered.