Good, Fast, Cheap: The Modern Project Management Triangle

Every process or project your team works on takes time and incurs a "cost" - the cost could be in the form of material, staff, or other investment. The quality of the result is directly dependent on the time and cost you allow.

When examining a process or beginning a new project, it's important to keep this reality in mind. In business school, this reality is called the "project management triangle" and is represented like this:


You can also represent this mathematically: Scope = Time × Resources

Our team prefers a more modern take on the triangle - one that you may have heard before...

Pick any two: Good, Fast, or Cheap 


The diagram reminds us that every project we take on for a client, or process we use for our team, requires a decision.

Are we okay taking longer on a project to get it done right? Can we skimp on fancy embossing in order to receive our new business cards faster?

The Good, Fast, Cheap model is a useful tool to determine if a project or process is inline with your mission statement. If you're stated mission is to connect with each family in your organization, it wouldn't make sense to use a Fast & Cheap model when it comes to the initial application or interview. Alternatively, when reviewing a process, you might need to defend why a step takes longer or costs more than others would like.