HR Empathy: "I Understand Why You Took the Money From the Company Safe"...
Friday's Happy Term: "Pulse Zone"

Good, Fast and Cheap: Tell Me Which Two of the Three You Want...

Short thought today - but a meaningful one.  If you're in the depths of depression regarding the expectations on you or your team and don't think the expectations are fair, ask yourself the following question:

"Are the expectations on me or my team related to delivering quality, speed and affordability, or two out of the three factors?"Fast-good-cheap

It's the classic project management triangle of constraints.  You can have it good and cheap (which means it will take longer/be slow), good and fast (which means it won't be cheap) or cheap and fast (which means it won't be as good as other projects/'performance/results).

Some proposed related examples from the real world:

  • College: Work, Sleep, Play – Pick two.
  • Men: Handsome, High-Earner, Faithful – Pick two.
  • Women: Single, Sane, Sexy, Smart – Pick any three. (also called The four S's of dating)
  • Operating System: Fast, Efficient, Stable - Choose two.
  • Bicycle Parts: Strong, Light, Cheap - Pick any two.
  • Opensource Software Development: Speed/Time, Inclusiveness/Openness, Quality
  • Schedule, Scope, Resources – Pick two.
  • Nation's populace: Ignorant, Free, Civil - Pick two

So, if you think you're being held to unrealistic expectations at work, break down your triangle to see if you're being held accountable for quality, speed and affordability.

If you're being held accountable for two out of three: shut up and deliver. If you're being held accountable for all three, you've got a choice: either be a victim or re-frame the expectations by engaging who you work for. WARNING: Expectations may be evaluated differently by different humans.  Wear a helmet.

PS: Hit me with your triangle examples from the real world while you're at it...


Elizabeth Borton

Benefits communications: need to know, nice to know, benefit geek (pick two)

Seth McColley

Here's a few real world examples...

Hotel Accommodations: location, price, safety (pick two)

Car Purchase: price, reliability, safety (pick two)

LV Collection Beach Sale

He is fond of worldly enjoyments.

Fruta Planta Diet Pills

I like your article very much, keep it!

The comments to this entry are closed.