2 Minutes 2 Launch Video Series - Episode 7: The Manufacturing Triangle: Cost, Schedule, and Quality... Pick 4?

Welcome back to Two Minutes To Launch. My name is Terry and today I'll be talking about the manufacturing triangle.

The question I am going to answer today is, "How do you choose between cost, schedule, and quality when you can only pick two?"

Let's jump right into the variables.

I am going to start with cost because everyone starts with cost. And almost everyone chooses cost as one of their top one or two items here in this selection. It's the easiest thing to compare and measure. And if you're selling hardware, it's really what the whole business model is built off of. So you've got to have a great understanding and handle on your product costs.

The second variable is schedule. It's the second easiest thing to measure next to cost. There is almost always an event, a tradeshow, a Christmas selling season. There is always some date or event driving that schedule that you just got to hit.

So, cost and schedule. We've already picked two, that should be the end of the discussion, right? What about quality?

Now, quality, it turns out, is really just a given. From any customer that selects a manufacturing partner, they really expect them to build and ship a quality product. Yes, they've already chosen cost and schedule, but quality is a given.

Now where does that leave us? So now we're balancing all three of these variables, no one really ever picks two, even though the old saying is so common.

And, it turns out, customers also like to order off menu and add another item which is flexibility.

When I'm talking about flexibility, throughout any product development process, some changes are going to be required. Almost no product ends up the way it started out.

When you are making these choices between competing priorities, it is important for you to understand the timing and impact of these changes. Earlier in the process is easier to absorb and implement changes than later in the process.

When I say flexibility, it's things like: maybe you can reduce your product cost but you'll have to push your launch date back a bit. Or, you can make really huge improvements in quality but you're going to have to absorb a little bit of cost adder.

Now we're balancing cost, schedule, quality and flexibility throughout a product development process.

If you ask me, what is the most important thing to consider? I'm actually going to go off menu as well and I'm going to say communication.

Communication, while you're making all these agile changes, is really key to keep all stakeholders aligned and make sure that everybody very clearly understands the impact of this agile decision-making on cost, schedule, and quality.

That's been Two Minutes Two Launch for today, thanks again for watching. Please like and share this post and follow SEACOMP here on LinkedIn.