In the magic triangle of project management are three sides that will influence each other:

  • Time
  • Money
  • Quality


If you have no time and want quality, you need to raise money.
If you have no time and not so much money, do not expect quality.
If you don’t have money but a lot of time, you may still get quality.

Here’s the problem for people who are passionate in their field:

How can quality be a resource that’s negotiable like the other two, time and money?

For most the answer is: It’s not.

We cannot create low-quality work, just because there’s not enough time (in comparison to the budget).

We will always try to deliver the best work we can, because this is why we do the work in the first place.

If we are faced with a low-budget project (or better: a project with a not-so-healthy time/money relation), suddenly there will be a voice in our head saying “damn, if this will not bring money, then at least this should be something I can be proud of and put in my portfolio, so let’s file this under ‘promotional investment’”, and off we go, working overtime and underpaid – again.

The outcome: Even if this project will end up in the portfolio (and/or gets recognized by the client’s peers, for all the awesomeness we created), sooner or later the price paid gets public (and the odds are that it’ll be the client who was asked), and we’ll have a hard time raising a realistic budget for the next job. And so on, and so forth.

Welcome to Catch 22.

Any Conclusion? – Leave me a comment.

Illustration: wondertom