Effective project managers solicit input on possible constraints when planning a project, and plan work-arounds in advance. Here are a few examples –
- Schedule – A manufacturing team implementing a new shop floor layout must have the equipment repositioned before seasonal demand picks up on September 1.
- Legal / Compliance – A project team implementing a new IT technology must work around three existing patents when considering solutions.
- Technical – A hardware design team must use an already-purchased microprocessor as part of its design, limiting available processing speed.
- Budgetary – The budget for external consulting on a given project is limited to a fixed dollar amount.
- Resources – A critical project team member is only available for 4 hours per week, and can only meet on Monday.
Constraint input can come from many sources, including but not limited to the project team, stakeholders, external vendors, and possibly legal/human resources advisors, depending on the project.