|Agile Tetrahedron - ver 1|
I want to move beyond the classic three variable problem of the project (scope, schedule & cost) and envision a model that describe the value that a project represents while maintaining the constraint relationship that these classic triangular relationships represent. Enter the Tetrahedron - a platonic solid. The tetrahedron has four faces, each face is a triangle, it is the simplest form of a pyramid with the base in the form of a triangle.
|Highsmith's Agile Triangle|
Discussing this with my colleague Rick Stephenson we envisioned a more physical and tactile model. A model that retained the constraints concept from Highsmith, but added the multiple aspects of value -- business, technical and customer value. We desired to represent these three types of value as separate and independent aspects that must be attended to by the project team while staying within the constraints. Yet it is the desire of the project's sponsors to raise the values as high as possible while minimizing the surface area of the constraint space. When these desires are modeled in the tetrahedron with physical objects one can start to get a gut feeling for the tradeoffs that directors and managers must make in the project. Build upon a small constraint base and the pyramid may become unstable. Imagine the table upon which you are building your model to be the platform for your application - when the platform is shaky and unstable the application needs much more base surface area to attain a sufficient height (values).
In the model of the Agile Tetrahedron I made above I cut the business value face a bit and the technical value face even lower. The idea was to show that those faces may not be completely required to deliver customer value within a given release (constraint). Yet, one can see that extending that idea to an extreme may prove dangerous with a shaky platform.
|Agile Tetrahedron model: print, cut, fold, play...|
PDF of Agile Tetrahedron model ver 2.3 - print, cut, fold, play...
How to make the classic PM Iron triangle out of plastic drinking straws.
Beyond Scope, Schedule, and Cost: The Agile Triangle by Jim Highsmith