Development of generic key performance indicators for PMBOK® using a 3D project integration model

Craig Langston


Since Martin Barnes’ so-called ‘iron triangle’ circa 1969, much debate has occurred over how best to describe the fundamental constraints that underpin project success. This paper develops a 3D project integration model for PMBOK® comprising core constraints of scope, cost, time and risk as a basis to propose six generic key performance indicators (KPIs) that articulate successful project delivery. These KPIs are defined as value, efficiency, speed, innovation, complexity and impact and can each be measured objectively as ratios of the core constraints. An overall KPI (denoted as s3/ctr) is also derived. The aim in this paper is to set out the case for such a model and to demonstrate how it can be employed to assess the performance of project teams in delivering successful outcomes at various stages in the project life cycle. As part of the model’s development, a new PMBOK® knowledge area concerning environmental management is advanced.


Project management; Integration, Tetrahedron; Key performance indicators; Success criteria; PMBOK® knowledge areas

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