“How fast can you do this?”
“Can I get a discount?”
“What do I have to do get something awesome?”
These are all super common questions that get bounced around a lot in the design industry. Be honest, you’ve asked at least one of these questions yourself when you engaged with a graphic designer or web developer.
That’s cool, that’s cool. Don’t worry, I’m not being judgey. I’ve also done it myself in certain situations, mostly out of desperation when certain situations became dire. But let’s talk about these questions a little bit more today, as even though it’s 2018, there are still tonnes of people who are unaware of how design projects work.
The Triangle of Death aka ‘Triple Constraint’ aka ‘Project Management Triangle’
The triangle of death, which I like to call it (because it’s easy to remember), actually has nothing to do with death. This diagram is known as the ‘Triple Constraint’ or ‘Project Management Triangle’. I did a quick search on Google to see if I could get a bit of background story behind this famous diagram, and turns out that it’s been around since the 1950s! (Yes, it’s as old as my mum) This little diagram basically depicts the three key factors that define a project, which are: Time, Cost, and Quality.
In an ideal world where unicorns and dinosaurs still exist, one would be able to acquire a high quality project in a fast turnaround time and at a low cost. In reality, this won’t be the case, and you’d only most likely be able to achieve two out of the three factors, with the third factor being compromised. Let’s disect this a little bit.
1. Less Time + High Quality = High Cost
If you want something FAST and AWESOME, you’re going to have to UP the COST. For example, designers may charge you a ‘Rush Fee’, because they would need to drop everything they’re doing and work extra hours in order to get your job done on time.
2. High Quality + Low Cost = Long Time
If you want something AWESOME and CHEAP, you’re going to have to wait a LONG TIME. Why? Simple. Because people who don’t value time can wait. Unless a rush fee has been requested, the project itself becomes a low priority against other higher paying jobs.
3. Low Cost + Less Time = Low Quality
If you want something CHEAP and FAST, don’t be surprised if your project comes out crappy and NOT AWESOME. I’m sure you’ve heard of the saying ‘You get what you pay for’, especially when you’re rushing something. Kinda like my diagram above.
Okay, I get it, but what do you want me to do?
I get it, we are all busy, there’s never enough time, sometimes we simply just don’t have any extra cash lying around to invest in the services of others, and sometimes we just expect a lot for little. We are only human after all.
As a designer and project manager, I always strive for quality in order to provide my clients with an excellent user experience. So as a client who is requesting for a design service, remember the little triangle of death above and think about how you want the outcome of your next design project to be.
A little bit of planning and a litte bit of extra cash could make a big positive difference!