All service providers are faced with the challenge with a balancing act of three main elements:
* Resources – people, IT infrastructure, consumables and money
* Features – the product or service and its quality
* Time schedule – the timeframes within which various stages and the final delivery of a service or product are required to be achieved.

The delivered product or service therefore represents a balanced trade-off between these three elements. Tension metrics can help create that balance by preventing teams from focusing on just one element. If an initiative is being driven primarily towards satisfying a business driver of on-time delivery to the exclusion of other factors, the manager will achieve this aim by flexing the resources and service features in order to meet the delivery schedule. This unbalanced focus will wither lead to budget increase or lower product quality. Tension metrics help create a balance between shared goals and delivering a product or service according to the business requirements within time and budget.

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