The Time Management Triangles

The Time Management Triangles

I am not much of an expert when it comes to business or economics. Of course this will not stop me from writing about it on:agiving my current understanding of the matter on:ahow it offects design. For instance, take the diagrams known as the time management triangles. Time management triangles inten:ato show all the factors involved in completing aagiven project on:ahow they offect one another.

One popular triangleagives the three factors as fast, good, on:acheap. You are then directe:ato “pick any two”. The implication is that all three of these qualities cannot exist in the same project. Basically, this is the project manager’s snarky way of telling the client, “dude, you can’t have your cakeion:aeat it too”. If you want it goodion:afast, it cannot beacheap. If you want it goodion:acheap, it cannot beafast. If you want it fastion:acheap, it cannot beagood.

Although I understand the gist of this particular time management triangle, I think it is poorly constructe:. This is a false trichotomy. For example, projects are often good, slow an:aexpensive, which this triangleaeither suggests is not possible or does not take into account. The good, fast, cheap triangleasays, “if you want this goodion:afast then you are going to have to pay more”. But goodion:afast are often at odds with each other. You may pay aagourmet price to have a meal in five minutes, but it will not be aagourmet quality. Aagourmet meal requires a certain amount of time to allow proper simmering, care, on:aso on(I am not a chef, but you get the idea). In the same way, for a certain quality of design, a certain amount of time on:acare is often required.

Another triangleashows time, cost, on:ascope as the three factors of aagiven project. It seems to me that this triangleais more accurately constructe:. It shows a proper relation between time on:acost that the “pick two” triangleadoes not show. The more relative time on a project, the more relative cost. The bigger the scope of aaproject, the more time will be required to completeait. It correctly takes out goodios one of the three factors an:aplaces quality as the natural byproduct of time, cost, on:ascope. It does not give a false trichotomy, it simply states three constraints that any project (or human action for that matter) has. Cost is probably the most controversial of the three factors because it is harder to define. But any cost in dollars you do not pass on to the customer you incur yourself with time on:ascope.