A good mantra to follow when discussing projects with clients is to offer three three types of service. Fast, Cheap, & Good.

I came across this phrase while listening to a webinar the other day and have subsequently created this print (which is now up in my studio as quiet reminder). It’s a fairly basic principle where all clients have access to three services, but can only pick two of them.

Apparently a Dr. Martin Barnes created this “project management” triangle and the phrase fast cheap good back in the 1970s.

I think it’s a fair and realistic principle in any project-related undertaking. And something that illustrators, designers and clients, should bare in mind.

Fast + Good = Expensive

This is a “drop everything” scenario, burning the midnight oil and working after hours to deliver your work to a high standard with the tightest of deadlines.

Good + Cheap = Slow

Most cases, work needs to be done ASAP but if you are constrained by budget, perhaps you can save money by planning ahead? With a longer timeframe, more thought and options can be given to a brief that might not have a need it now budget.

Fast + Cheap = Quality Suffers

As the rule says, you can’t have it all. If you don’t want to pay for first class seats, you shouldn’t be surprised if the hostess politely moves you back to economy. Something has to give, and a rushed, cheap job is the worse scenario out of the three.

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Read more about the Project Triangle

By On November 18, 2011 · 3 Comments · In Inspiration

3 Responses to Fast Cheap Good – Studio motivation

  1. Thanks Matt. Very useful. Liked/Tweeted/+1d

  2. Oliver says:

    Slipping “sustainable” always seems to be just as much of a sticking point! Defiantly a good one for a quiet little wall space!

  3. kristina says:

    oh i like this!! need to keep this handy somewhere, thx matt! i need to tweet this too!

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