Breaking the iron triangle of faster better cheaper

The iron triangle of faster better cheaper can be broken.

ImageEngineers have an old saying of "faster better cheaper: pick any two" sometimes known as the iron triangle. That is to say that it is an ironclad rule that if you make it faster and better it's not going to be cheaper; or faster and cheaper it's not going to be better; and so on.

That "iron triangle" is true only for a single transaction, such as a project.

It is not true for a flow of value, of recurring work transactions.

If you make the flow of work faster and better it will inherently be cheaper.

If it is faster, then the same number of people can get more work done in a given period. If it is better then people spend less time on unplanned work and rework.

Notice that we are not focusing on making the work cheaper. We all know how destructive that can be. By focusing on greater throughput and better quality we inherently get cost improvements.

Here's a deeper discussion by Mark Smalley

I got this insight originally from Damon Edwards.

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