Quick? Cheap? Good? – Pick Two!

It’s your choice. You can have a system installed quickly and cheaply, but if you do it won’t likely be good. OR, you can get a GREAT system and try to install it quickly, but it certainly won’t be cheap. OR, you can get a good system and want to pay the least for the install, please know that it will take a long time to install it.  You can run the choices BUT you cannot have all three together.

So, you don’t need a whole new system, you just want a new report out of the system, (or a new research profile, a strategic plan, or…) the adage is equally applicable.

The time to do the work, the cost of the resources that you can apply to it, and the quality of the result CANNOT all be in the direction that you’d like them.  If you want the best product at a reasonable cost, it’s going to take a while to get it. If you cannot afford to pay much but still want it quickly, DO NOT expect good quality/results.

I wrote an article for the CASE book on Advancement Services on Project Management ( see CASE Project Mgmt Chapter.) It starts off with this quote. You may wish to read the whole article about these choices.

Another adage of Project Management is that the role of a good project manager is to “minimally annoy all constituencies.” This is a result of the “Quick, Cheap, Good? – Pick two!” Think about it.

Please note that the “Pick two!” concept is not unique to Project Management. In Investing, the adage is “Safety, Liquidity, Return – Pick Two.” I expect that many other fields have mutually exclusive or difficult to achieve/balance goals.

I’d welcome any comments/questions via e-mail at CharliesBlog@riarlington.com  And please sign up for my periodic blog posts in the space in the column on the right!

 SDG, Charlie Hunsaker
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