This is a tool we use to fine tune projects toward the most commercially successful outcome. It works by highlighting the 3 competing priorities in every project. These are:
- Performance – how good does the product have to be
- Cost – how much will it cost to make
- Time – how quickly will it be available
The easiest way to understand this is to look at some examples. Firstly, here is a visual perspective.
So you can see that each competing priority is at one of the corners of a triangle. If either Time, Cost or Performance is critical, then you can trade off the other two and get what you want. Simple.
Life is usually a bit less simple. The impulse is to say, “I want maximum performance at the minimum price and I want it now”. You can only get this if someone else has already designed it and built it and you are buying it as a mass produced commodity product. Mobile phones and portable media players are examples of this. But then they are already doing it and you are a consumer, not a profit maker.
For a niche product opportunity, the point is that no-one else has done it; or if they have, no-one knows about it. The difference here is arbitrary since the outcome is the same. The old saying goes, “Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door”. But time and marketing has shown this to be untrue. If no-one knows, then no-one is beating a path regardless of how good your product is.
So the project will either have to buy technology to save time or increase performance, spend time to save cost or increase performance, or reduce performance to save time or cost.
An alternative view is obtained using a mind map. Here is one possible way of representing this.
Over the next three posts I will explore how these trade offs work for each of these scenarios and how the Project Priorities Perspective helps to identify these trade offs.
Ray Keefe has been developing high quality and market leading electronics products in Australia for nearly 30 years. For more information go to his LinkedIn profile. This post is Copyright © Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.