Table of Contents

The Iron Triangle

Scope, Budget, Time and Quality is an antiquated two-dimensional view. AMMERSE provides a more relevant model for ascertaining the best attributes for a system, a project or a product.

The iron triangle is a well-known concept. It provides a mechanism for thinking about a project and balancing these variables for success. Systems are more complicated than this and fall short on describing quality and scope. There is no guidance or common language.

How do you typically use the Iron Triangle?

You think about tradeoffs between Scope, Budget, Time, and Quality. If you have less budget, you have fewer resources and time to spend, which affects the scope. It places quality against time, budget and scope. It is a mental model for thinking about these four attributes of a system.

The flaws in the Triangle

The iron triangle is a basic mental model that places scope, budget and time as three equal parts, which is not necessarily true, nor is there a scale to quality. Time and budget are on equal footing, but we understand that time is, in many respects, an allowance of the budget. Quality is composed of many variables not readily described by these in the iron triangle alone. Quality is a more profound engineering and perhaps philosophical question. It is not described well by the triangle.

If you manage time and budget, and scope, do you, in turn, manage quality?
Do you need to balance all four continuously?
How do you best conduct tradeoffs if you are not good at the technical aspects?
How does this fit with systems thinking?

AMMERSE brings a more profound alternative

AMMERSE brings several different views together in one mental model.

Project Success and Tradeoffs

The iron triangle does not help you measure or record tradeoffs. AMMERSE provides seven elements that cover all the concepts required to strategise, record and measure tradeoffs across the seven elements that matter. In AMMERSE, you can describe the desired level of success.

For example: solving a problem within a reachable budget and time frame is declared as R(1), S(1) . These values explain the maximum effort assigned to Reachable (includes time, resources and budget) to create the Solving effort. But it is also what it leaves out. AMMERSE is Agile, Minimal, Maintainable, Environmental, Reachable, Solvable and Extensible. This example has left out the other five valuable characteristics of quality, long-term, maintainable, and sustainable solutions.

Shared strategy and vision

You can create a strategy of quality and project values for a business, business unit, project, product or feature. You can apply AMMERSE across the enterprise in all capacities.
This easy-to-read language can align departments and designs across an enterprise. Whether a marketing department, software architect, or team, an AMMERSE Set conveys a large amount of vision.

Measurements and goals

You need to understand where you are going, what you need to get there, and a means of discovering and talking about capabilities, learnings, vision and goals. One great tool is assessing gaps. AMMERSE can easily be used to create goals that matter and is a method of measuring gaps. Whether it is market gaps, competition, product features, or capability models, AMMERSE provides clear language across all these methods.


The quality of a business or a product needs a better measure of success. AMMERSE provides the seven essential principles for success. Quality attributes consist of tradeoffs between a minimal, maintainable, solving solution built as reachable goals, with agility and extensibility to drive growth, all in an environmentally sustainable way.

This site is constantly evolving.
Treat everything as a DRAFT as it is LIVE working documentation.



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Level 1

7 Principles: Agile, Minimal, Maintainable, Environmental, Reachable, Solvable, Extensible.

Level 2

The AMMERSE Set has weights assigned to 7 Principles. eg. “Enterprise Strategy”.

Level 3

AMMERSE Sets in a grouping that work together for a purpose. eg. Modes.

Level 3.1

You can extend AMMERSE by creating your own Sets and Frameworks.

Our goal is to enable business strategy, implementation and the reaching of objectives by giving you the tools to design your own methods. 

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