Good, Cheap, Fast… Pick two.

Life isn’t fair, and a great example of this is working with contractors.

As I have found in my working career, any task you take on in life is constrained by a lot of factors. How long will it take? How much will it cost? How good is the result? Almost always, you end up having to choose good results with regard to two of those factors and expect a bad result for the third one.


I am constantly making this choice with my professional life and the projects and tasks I take on.

The only way I can do something really well and do it quickly, for example, is to hire people to help out, which makes it expensive. Similarly, I can do a task quickly and without help, but it won’t be done with a high level of quality. I can do it myself, cheaply, with a high standard of quality, but it will take a long time. Which do I choose?

Knowing that you’re going to have to make that choice in advance makes it easier to make decisions and plan out your life.

Remember, when it comes to projects it can be only be two of: good, cheap and fast. Your managerial role is to pick which two.

Have you had experiences if this dilemma? Please share them with our readers.