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Working with Project Constraints

Working with Project Constraints

A constraint is a boundary or limit based on the project. You’ve dealt with constraints before: a preset budget for your project, an inflexible deadline, limited availability of computer hardware, locating a resource with a specific skill. Constraints are any factors that can limit your options. They must be documented, their risks examined, and then the project manager must plan on how to meet the project objectives with the identified constraints.

When it comes to scheduling activities, you can also create constraints on the relationships you assign between your activities. For example, an FS relationship is constrained by the completion of the predecessor before the successor can begin. This is a natural constraint. This relationship between activities is sometimes called hard logic. Hard logic describes the matter-of-fact order of activities. For example, you must install the operating system before you install the application. On the other hand, soft logic is when the project manager decides to do tasks in a particular order based on experience, conditions in the project, time, or other reasons. This logic is also called discretionary logic. For example, it is a good practice to have completed all the coding before beginning the testing phase. It is not mandatory— you can unit test certain modules that are complete before all the coding is done— but it is preferred to have all the coding complete before any testing begins.

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