Scope x Quality = Budget

Scope x Quality = Budget. This is a formula you’ll never want to forget as you develop your next building project.

Many times, a project owner gets into trouble by believing that he can control all three variables of this formula. However, you will save yourself a lot of time and frustration by understanding that you only control two of the three variables for any one project.  For example, here is what I mean. Suppose you go into a car dealership and tell them you want the scope of a six seater, the quality of a Mercedes and only have $10,000 to spend. You will probably find out very quickly that one of your components will have to give! As with any building project, you can only control two of the three components and your design team will serve up a “reality check” on the third.

How can you make sure that “Scope x Quality = Budget” becomes a formula for success? Here are two tips:

  • Break up your project into smaller pieces. Once you’ve broken a project into smaller components, you can apply this formula to each part and control the two variables you believe are most critical to the success of that particular project component. For instance, the mechanical system has its own scope, quality and budget. You may want to control the scope and quality because you know that there are performance and maintenance issues involved. On the other hand, you may decide to control the scope and budget of the floor coverings and allow the design team to determine the quality.
  • Remember that the delivery method is secondary in importance to a good plan. A firm can successfully deliver your project by using the design-bid-build, negotiated contract, or design/build methods as long as you and your design team conduct proper planning up front and understand the desired scope, quality and budget for your project. It all boils down to planning, designing the plan and implementing the plan. Anyone can implement a good plan!

The PDMi team has been implementing the “Scope x Quality = Budget” formula for over 25 years. We have found that it really does help make our clients’ project a success. Contact us to learn more.


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