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Better, Faster, and Cheaper


Better, Faster, and Cheaper

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bedmett 9
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I'm sure Andy misapplied the triangle analogy.
The triangle analogy could have been applied to how long it took to get to 2014 and the kind of computers available these days..

I think it's fair to estimate that the start date for the laptop that Andy mentioned was around 1950 or so.
Andy we're you born then? Anyway, it's definitely evolved and improved, at someone's great expense.

So I think it has taken about 64 years to finally arrive at the point where we can by a better faster cheaper laptop.
HighPlainsDBA
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I think you can poke a hole in almost any rule if you try hard enough, except in the hard sciences probably. Especially these kind of rules, but I think that it generally holds up in most cases so there is value in it as a guiding principle. It acknowledges the reality that we live in a world of finite resources and that tough and mutually exclusive decisions are sometimes necessary.
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bedmett 9 (5/6/2014)
I'm sure Andy misapplied the triangle analogy.
The triangle analogy could have been applied to how long it took to get to 2014 and the kind of computers available these days..

I think it's fair to estimate that the start date for the laptop that Andy mentioned was around 1950 or so.
Andy we're you born then? Anyway, it's definitely evolved and improved, at someone's great expense.

So I think it has taken about 64 years to finally arrive at the point where we can by a better faster cheaper laptop.


The requirements of people and businesses are not the same, they have grown. One could argue that in simplified terms such as using a primitive Pythagorean triple ( a2 + b2 = c2 ), its the c!
Hence, you can go faster but you have to go further!
Cool
bedmett 9
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Saying that there are exceptions to a general rule only implies that the general rule really is true most of the time.

A software developer often has to manage customer expectations.

If your customer expects you to develop something that is good and cheap and can be developed quickly then you already have a customer expectation problem. I think it’s probably a mistake to just assure a customer that you can deliver on his expectations.

I think the triangle analogy is a good tool. You need to think of a nice way to tell the customer (or the boss), “There is good, fast and cheap. Pick two”.
Tom Thomson
Tom Thomson
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As a number of people have said, the article applies the triangle to a process for which it was never intended. The triangle is about research and development processes, not about the manufacturing process for a known product with a working production line.
So the cost measurement is the wrong one: for a laptop (which is the example used in the article) the cost that is involved in the triangle is the cost of designing the product, working out how to manufacture it, and setting up the production line. It's already been pointed out pretty clearly that "fast" doesn't refer to the end product but to the development, validation, and mandufacturing setup process. The cost of the final product and its speed of operation are both part of "good", not the "cheap" and "fast" of the triangle.

The cause of the triangle is quite straightforward. There are various ways of doing research, development, and manufacturing setup. Some of these ways are "right" in the sense that they work well. Othere are wrong in that they don't work well, indeed don't really work at all. For any given project with a given set of aims, doing it right is essential. If that implies unacceptable timescale or unacceptable development cost or both, there are two options: (i) scrap the project and (ii) relax the requirements on the end product. Doing it wrong in an attempt to reduce costs and/or timescale is a fools game, the effect will be to increase both timescale and cost (or lead to the project being scrapped after a lot of effort has been wasted on it). Of course it may be possible to make trades between cost and timescale, but this tends to be more difficult than people expect (although people know that nine-fold bigamy doesn't deliver the 1-month baby they don't believe that that applies to their required miracle); more than 40 years ago the famous "you want it when?" poster was all over the place and clearly indicated that most of the technical community actually understood that management tred to ignore reality and deny the alidity of the triangle, so it's shocking to see today an article that gets it so wrong.

Tom

Tom Thomson
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Jeff Moden (5/5/2014)
The only thing left to do is do it right because neither cheap or fast is possible without doing it right. And, as Tom Thompson said on a similar thread, if you do it right, both cheap and fast are much more likely to happen. :-)

Having read that I next came across this. Jeff, you have almost crippled me by tying my belly muscles up in knots with laughter! w00t:-DLaugh

Tom

Peter E. Kierstead
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Better, Faster, or Cheaper is a euphemism generally applied to a point-in-time analysis of a problem. It really doesn't apply when considered over any technologically relevant time span, as you indicate in your editorial. No matter the skill level of the programmer and/or IT staffer, you will always run up against at least one of these limitations when a system is pushed to capacity!



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