Project Management

Faster, Cheaper, Better

Doug Cretsinger

Project managers must constantly clarify the requirements behind the faster-cheaper-better mandate, and negotiate their relative importance to the project. Here is a framework of inquiry, applied to three seemingly straightforward initiatives, that calls out the non-obvious contradictions in this ubiquitous mandate. On your real-world projects, this exercise could prove to be a "better" way to meet expectations.

This article is one in an ongoing series that invites project professionals to share practical advice, personal insights and pet peeves based on their experiences in the field. Anonymity, if desired, is assured. To submit an article for consideration, contact the editor.
Faster, cheaper, better. Is it possible to deliver project results that contain all three attributes? We all know that these are summary terms meant to qualify, not describe, the end result, so when a project sponsor asks you to deliver something “faster, cheaper and better,” what does it really mean? It takes a good discovery process to clarify the needs behind this hazy, passé statement.
Let’s look at three project scenarios to qualify and quantify the vague requirements of faster, cheaper, better. In each scenario, a discovery process can be used to help define which of the three qualifiers is most important and achievable. While every project…

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