Any element or factor that prevents a system from achieving a higher level of performance relative to its goal. Constraints can be physical/logistical, managerial/procedural or behavioral/psychological.

(http://www.rbvollum.com/resource.htm)

(see also Restraint)

Other Definitions

Constraint – Anything that limits a system from achieving higher performance, or throughput. Alternate: That bottleneck which most severely limit the organization’s ability to achieve higher performance relative its purpose/goal. (Glossary – VMEC Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center)

Constraint – TOC claims that a change to most of the variables in an organization will have only a small impact on the global performance – on the bottom line. There are very few variables, perhaps only one, where a significant change in local performance causes a significant change in global performance. Such a variable is called a constraint. (http://www.ciras.iastate.edu/toc/)

Constraint – Anything that limits a system from achieving higher performance, or throughput. Alternate: That bottleneck which most severely limit the organization’s ability to achieve higher performance relative its purpose/goal. (The SearchManufacturing.com Glossary)

Constraint – A restriction that must be balanced with all other constraints to achieve project success. The four primary and universal project constraints are scope, quality grade, time and resources. (Wideman Comparative Glossary of Common Project Management Terms v2.1 )

Constraint – Applicable restriction which will affect the scope. Any factor which affects when an activity can be scheduled.  (Wideman Comparative Glossary of Common Project Management Terms v2.1 )

(see also Restraint)

J. Jerrald Hayes
I am ex-architectural woodworker and general contractor turned IT, Business and Project Management consultant, software developer wannabe senior division triathlete and ski racer, Yankee fan and founder of Paradigm-360.com, 360 Difference Mac4Construction.com,iOS4Construction.com and now TheBuildingAndRemodelingWiki.com too.
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