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The Good-Quick-Cheap Project Rule

Craig Buckler

There are 3 ideal outcomes when delivering a web project or any other type of project for your client:

1. It’s good
The application does what it’s supposed to do in an efficient, logical and time-saving manner.

2. It’s delivered quickly
The project is delivered on-time or ahead of schedule.

3. It’s delivered cheaply
The project is delivered at a reasonable cost. Or the benefits outweigh the price by a considerable margin and the client is completely satisfied.

As you would expect, most clients demand all three outcomes. However, in almost all cases, only two can ever be achieved. It doesn’t matter which approach you take, one objective will slip:

If a great project is delivered on-time, it won’t be cheap.

If a good project is completed for a reasonable cost, the delivery date will slip.

If the project is delivered on time at a cheap cost, it won’t be a great system.

It’s an easy ‘rule’ to remember, explain and understand so it could help when you’re faced with unreasonable client expectations. You could ask your client to choose whether good, quick and cheap is their top priority — it may help them focus on what’s really important and provide you with useful scheduling and budgeting information.

Educating clients and managing expectations is one of the hidden costs of the web design and development industry. Simple explanations such as this may help you deal with awkward situations.