Cheap, Good, Fast: Choose Two

Conflicting goals or purposes is a theme commonly encountered in technology planning. There is a well-established heuristic that originated in project management that is used by technology leaders to describe computer and network system design and purchase options for the organizational leaders. It is frequently with humor that technology leaders will say, “Cheap, good, fast, you can pick two.” According to the heuristic, there are three relevant dimensions that influence the installation technology systems: cost, quality, and completion time. Clearly, leaders hope for inexpensive systems that function well and that can be installed quickly; such systems are not possible according to the heuristic and the heuristic is validated by experience.