During the project’s life cycle, we hear many times about project assumptions and constraints. They are essential terms in project planning, according to the PMP certification course. They are also important in the definition of scope. This is because the project scope is finalized. The project scope is what defines the project’s end deliverables. These terms will be included in Project Scope Statement, which is the main output from the Define Scope process.
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We will be discussing these terms in this article: project assumptions, and constraints. We will also provide examples to help you understand them better. You can learn more about the PMP Project Management course and prepare for the PMP Certification exam.
What are the project constraints
We will first discuss constraints. Project constraints are factors that limit a project team’s options. There are seven main constraints that affect project teams: Cost, Scope Quality, Customer Satisfaction and Resources. Planning a project must take into consideration constraints. These constraints could be about project dependencies or the schedule, cost and quality of human resources, etc.
This is an example of a project schedule constraint. Or, “Existing system cannot be interrupted between 12 am and 6 am.” This is an example a technical constraint. This constraint means that you must not touch the existing system during 6 hours, from 12 am to 6 am. This means that there should be no activity scheduled for these slots within a project plan.
What are your project assumptions?
According to the dictionary, assumption can be defined as “a thing that is accepted to be true or as certain to occur, without proof.” Project assumptions can also be assumed to be true. These assumptions could be rewritten during project execution. Planning is actually forecasting future activities using the information available today. Planning cannot be done without making assumptions about the future.
One example of project assumptions is “A dedicated team member from the marketing team will support it” However, during execution, a dedicated marketing team member might not be available or be available only 1-2 days per week. This will impact your project.
Or, “Bugfix effort per developed screen will not exceed 20%” is a common assumption in software project estimations. In reality, however, if there are many bugs after software is developed, bugfix effort can exceed 20%. This can lead to project delays and/or exceed budget.
We have provided examples and gone through project constraints. These terms should be kept in mind by project managers during project planning and execution. Because constraints are factors that limit the options they have during the project’s life cycle. The project may be affected if assumptions are not proven true.
Project AssumptionsReview By: Gabriel Stevens5/5 stars