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Time, cost or quality - which two do you want?

Whatever project you are working on, good planning is essential to avoid budget blowouts and missed deadlines. It all starts with the project management triangle, Time-Cost-Quality. The concept is simple - you can have any two.

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It all starts with the 'golden' triangle of project management, Time-Quality-Cost.

The concept is simple - you can only have two.

Time + Cost = a project done quickly and cheaply ... but the Quality may suffer

Quality + Time = an outstanding project delivered quickly ... but it will Cost more

Cost + Quality = great work at a reasonable cost ... but leave plenty of Time to complete it

There is no right or wrong approach; it depends on what is important for a particular project.

For example, for a feedback form to be handed out at an event in a few days, Time is the first priority and Cost (budget) may be more important than quality.

For an annual report that can be planned well in advance, Cost and Quality should be the dominant factors.

The above is taken from a talk Anne Burgi gave at an Australian Science Communicators Forum.