Product Introduction & Constraints triangle

In Uncategorized on December 5, 2009 at 8:21 pm

For any work you do, there are always constraints. In an ideal world, free of constraints, you can create anything you want because you have all it takes to get the job done. However, we do not live in an ideal world. There is always budget limitations, priorities, time to market, minimum features needed for a product to be introduced to the market, nice to have features, qualified resources, etc.

Constraints can be broadly categorized into: Scope, Time, and Budget. If one of these change, one or both of the remaining constraints must change. Think of the constraints as the three vertices of a triangle. When you move one vertex, the shape of the triangle changes. To balance the triangle, the other vertices must be adjusted.

For instance, if there is a threat of the competition entering the market first and if time to market is key, then your triangle has shifted. There is always a minimum set of features (scope) needed for a product to be successful. You cannot sell a pen that wont write. However, you can introduce the pen in one color for starters and add other colors later, assuming you are not selling a multicolored ink pen. Another approach is to add more resources and money into the project to speed-up the time-line. You can do one or both in this situation to be the first to market. A little bit of creative thinking can also help you to get the job done. For instance, if you have a resource constraint, see if there is someone who wants to volunteer on the project to gain these skills within your company. You have a free part-time resource for your product now!


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