A Lot – Fast – Cheap – Good’ is a set of expectations that can never be achieved simultaneously. These expectations are the result of the customer’s (completely understandable) lack of understanding regarding the realistic efforts required to achieve the project’s goals, as well as lack of trust regarding the estimates presented at the project’s sale. Why is this? Well, most projects deviate—often quite significantly—from their original timetables, the resources assigned to them, the budget and even the content that was to be delivered within the project’s framework. Therefore, in order to create a solid basis for the project, it is important that its premise be ambitious but at the same time realistic, as well as fully understood and agreed to by the client.
‘It is the responsibility of the project manager to help the client understand the implications of project execution. A client who does not understand is a client who will make bad decisions in the project. The first bad decision (especially for him) that a client might make in a project, is to push the project manager to promise and commit to the infamous triangle that is not achievable. Such a project will end in a sure failure, in disappointment, and the whole process will be full of friction and great frustration – there won’t be any satisfaction what so ever in such a project!
The client often explains that everything is important (all the content of the project, fast, cheap and good), however, one must find out right from the start what is more important to the client in order to understand where to focus and where the client will be flexible. For example, if the completion date of the project is the most important to the client, its acceleration can be offered by allocating additional resources. When one or more of the project constraints is particularly important to the client, it should be identified as a critical factor for the success of the project.