Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Project Management Triangle - and some history

The Compromise - Good, Fast, Cheap

The Project Management Triangle - Good, Fast, Cheap. The compromise you have to develop and deliver something combining cost, quality and delivery time.

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What goes without saying, is that if you also are not paying for Project Management on a non trivial project, you have NO control over which 2, and it most likely changes randomly on a daily basis till the time or money runs out.

I have had a "customer" do exactly that in development of a Device. She did not want to pay for the Project Management time required.  So in effect she was not a customer of mine, as I was not on the project, as they were not paying for me to be on it.

I now get worried when an accountant takes over control of a technology development project.  On the two different projects it has occurred, they did exactly the opposite of what they should have, and hurt the project delivery in time and quality. AND it cost them more than it should!

Should mention at this point that 95+% of the world economies  are controlled by banks and financial institutions. 

Which brings us to the Dunning- Kruger Effect. This also has a huge impact in Project Management, and just getting things done.  You could also call it the "How hard could it be?" effect.  On Topgear (a BBC TV car show) they have a running gag where they completely underestimate making/modifying something so the results are rubbish, and can be very funny.

Another example that is almost funny too:
    Years ago I talked with a research company that was all about patents and had no real experience in producing and delivering real products. (I had to design a video graphics card to replace one of these failures previously by the founder, and knew all the big talk and poor or no delivery.. corresponds to the red peak in the diagram...)
I was stunned in the second meeting to be told all the normal management processes were not required in their organization.  I said straight back that is BS, and they wouldn't get anything finished. They didn't give me the job, which was probably a very good thing, even though the money was above standard.

Years later in early 2012 the story and history of events was in the papers and I could see why they didn't want someone who wasn't possibly so "flexible with reality" in management.  On the documented timeline in the press, I had talked with them shortly after their second investor had demanded they improve their processes, after an obvious lack of progress for the money used. The press shows investor insistence on proper management grew over the years. After something like 14 years, and this second investor, and 610 million dollars, their funding was cut off and they were being sued for alleged fraud and "feathering their own nest".

It is just amazing how fundamentals can just be ignored.... Good, Fast or Cheap AND you need real relevant management doing the right thing. The Dunning- Kruger Effect is so very real too, and that can mean the voice of experience can get ignored.

Really, how hard could it be?

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