Monday, August 3, 2009

Two Minute Project Management Seminar

A particularly insightful manager of mine once explained that every project has three basic goals: The end result, whatever the project's purpose, should be of a high quality, it should be completed quickly and at minimum expense. More succinctly, it should be good, fast and cheap.

Pretty self-evident, yes? He then added something that's perhaps not quite as obvious. "Pick any two," he said, "but you won't get the third."

If you want it to be done fast and done right, it won't be cheap. If you want it to be done right without spending a lot of money, it will take some time. If you insist on having it done both cheaply and quickly, you can bet the end result won't be good. Sadly, it's been my experience that this third option is the one that many organizations often end up choosing.

What my discerning manager didn't add is that sacrificing any one of the three doesn't necessarily guarantee that you'll get the other two, although I'm sure he understood that too.

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