I Want This Project Done Properly, Done Quickly, and Done Cheap

This is the standard requirement that I get from a lot of clients. Sadly those three requests aren’t going to go well together. In IT (and really in anything) you have to pick two:

  • Done Properly
  • Done Fast
  • Done Cheap

If you want something done properly and done fast it isn’t going to be cheap. If you want it done properly and cheaply it won’t be done quickly. If you want it done fast and cheap then odds are it won’t be done properly.

Doing good work takes money to get the right resources to get the project done correctly. Getting the project done quickly requires that you get someone who has done this sort of thing before. When it comes to large complex systems or with cutting edge platforms your pool of potential people to work on the project gets very small very quickly. The smaller the pool of people who can work on something the more those people are going to charge to get the work done. The reason for this is simple, with skill and practice comes higher rates.

When working on projects that require that you bring in outside help from consultants to need to pick the two of those three things above that you want. If you’ve gone through this thought exercise and you still want all three you need to rethink the thought exercise. And to make the whole process worse you’ve only really got two of those items to choose between. Do you want the project done quickly, or do you want it done cheaply. The reason for this is that having the project done incorrectly isn’t an option.

When I say quickly I don’t mean actually quickly based on a calendar. I mean on what ever “short” time schedule the project manager has some up with. If the project takes 6 months and it needs to be done in exactly 6 months no matter what that means it’s getting done quickly. If however the project takes 6 months, but you don’t need it done for the next 18 months you can probably get people who are a little less expensive to work on it because there is extra time built in to the schedule so things can run a little slower.

When putting those projects together keep these things in mind as talking to your consultants so that you are prepared for the answers that they give you.



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