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Requirements Simplified: Cheap - Fast - Good; you can have any 2

 
#1 Requirements Simplified: Cheap - Fast - Good; you can have any 2
06/11/2013 13:36

Anon MCs

while munching on lunch. Gobble gobble gobble

Hi Guys,

Have been thinking of this over the last few weeks due to a programme I was on and trying to get my key stakeholders to nail down which of these were truly important to them:

Fast

Cheap

Good

Choose any 2. I meant it. Choose 2 and stick with it. Not surprisingly, refused and wanted all 3.

I'm surprised at how yet again:

- "cheap" ones turn out to cost treble original budget

- "fast" ones finish 6-24mths later than planned

- "good" ones end up with users that hate the system/app, or the pretty powerpoint which never gets implemented, or a new structure that gets changed to the old ways of working 1-2years later

Is the root problem that in fact they tried to pick all 3 and ended up getting none? If you were truly ruthless at picking 2, you might have had a much better chance of winning?

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#2 RE: Requirements Simplified: Cheap - Fast - Good; you can have any 2
06/11/2013 16:26

Arby the Manager to Anon MCs (#1)

:)

I'm sure you know that "Fast, Cheap, Good - you can have any 2" is a well-circulated maxim in the Consulting industry for what "used" to be the client options.

Nowadays clients expect all 3 and Consulting firms try hard to show they can deliver on all 3.

Honestly speaking, stakeholders need to show they "expect" all 3, Consulting firms need to "offer" all 3...

I am not sure anyone really labours under the delusion that each and every project will be like this. There are too many variables, too many stakeholders to really make this statement an applied truism...

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#3 RE: Requirements Simplified: Cheap - Fast - Good; you can have any 2
07/11/2013 09:09

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to Arby the Manager (#2)

The conventional approach to dealing with a situation whereby the client wants all 3 is to offer them all 3, but to make sure that you don't actually commit to that in writing. So make sure they go with your standard terms and conditions - no milestone-based deliverables or anything. Then, rotate the team frequently and get everyone talking to everyone so that you completely break down any traceable points of accountability. Or, accept internally that your unstated plan will be to do 80% of the job, bill 80% of the fees, then sort of drift away from it and leave the other 20% on the table. It's not just clients that can cherry-pick, you know! At least, this is what I see many other firms of consultants doing... I don't condone it, but it seems to work for them (sadly).

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