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The Rule of Good/ Fast/ Price

May 2, 2014

I can’t even remember where I heard of this let alone who said it first.  I’m sure you’ve probably heard some variation over the years. But it never ceases to impress me how accurate and consistent the rule of Good/ Fast/ Price really is.  My variation looks like this. It basically says that the three characteristics effect each other.  Whether we’re talking about building a house, or a process, or designing complex systems like sound, video, hvac, or computer networks, this rule inevitably applies. The Rule of Good vs. Fast vs. Cheap Always Remember: You can pick any two but it’s almost impossible to have all three. Good/ Fast/ Cheap

    1. You can have your project/product fast and cheap… but it won’t be good. (always at the expense of good quality)
    2. You can have it cheap and good… but it won’t be completed or able to operate fast. (always at the expense of high performance or fast construction)
    3. You can have it good and fast… but it won’t be cheap. (always at the expense of best price)

For me the biggest of these it time.  The failure to plan and allow adequate time for design, spec’ing, and shopping kills any chance of quality and/or performance and leads to increased costs. Often times as tech directors we’re faced with arbitrary deadlines, budget, and undefined expectations that are not ground in reality and which we have no real control over.   Failure to properly assess expectations, and design/ shop for the best and cost effective options for our application will result in 1 of two outcomes.  We either pay way too much to have something conveniently overnighted and/or we make hasty purchases with our eye on the cost an acquire gear that is not totally compatible, can’t possibly perform well, or won’t last long. (i.e.cheap).  Failing to plan and allow time is a loose/loose when it comes to significant purchases.

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