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PMO Advice: Risk is the Byproduct of Constraint

An ideal project management framework must include risk management to manage the uncertainties. However, often people make the mistake of mixing constraints with risks in the process of risk analysis.

In this article at, the author clearly defines the difference between risk and constraint. The risk is a potential occurrence of something while constraint makes everything upstream of completion a risk, if not completed on time.

Risk vs. Constraint

The inspection and review of assumptions that may or may not happen in the project process are identified as risks, whereas constraints are identified in advance. Risks are the limitations associated with the project that may impact the end result, either in execution or predictable period. However, constraints are the definite restrictions related to the budget, cost, and appropriate scope of the project.

Robust Realization

In the past few years, the project constraints have evolved from just scope, time, and cost to an integrated set of primary constraints including scope, time, cost, quality, and risk. The project managers cannot afford to ignore the project constraints as it may lead to failure in some way. Their job is to ensure the project processes within limits. They must document each risk in the concert with its associated constraints to understand, manage, and mitigate its impact on the project.

The author suggests that if the project manager clearly understands the need for balancing the primary constraints and aims for producing the fundamental quality outcome of a project, it would be easier to produce effective deliverables. To learn and understand the significance of a proactive risk environment as the equilibrium to the primary project constraints, click on the following links:

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