The Value Triangle

Have you ever had a prospective client or customer say this?

“I’d like you to have you do my project, but I’m on a tight budget, I need to have several custom features, and I’m really in a hurry to have it finished.”

If so, I’m sure those are not the projects you eagerly jump at.

Several years ago I heard someone talk about the “Value Triangle,” and it has been very helpful when deciding if a client will be a good fit for my business. It has also been a great tool for explaining “how things work” when hashing out project details.

Here’s how it works…

The value of any transaction has 3 primary factors

  • Speed
  • Quality
  • Cost

The bottom line is that you have to choose between these factors. You can’t have them all simultaneously. They need to be prioritized.

As you rotate the triangle around, you can see how as one point moves to the top, signifying prioritization, the others must move down.

In practice, an easy way to communicate this to clients is to explain the 3 factors and tell them to choose two.

This helps them to see that they can’t have it all. At that point, you are left with two factors that you can prioritize.

Let’s look at a couple of situations to illustrate how this would work in the “real world.”

Situation #1 – Web Design Project

A client comes to a web designer and says he wants a customized website done quickly on a tight budget.

  • If he wants it customized and fast, it will cost him more.
  • If he wants it fast and cheap, then he will need to accept standard features.
  • If he really wants the customization and doesn’t have much wiggle room on price, then you might consider taking the project and working on it during your slow times.

Situation #2 – Marketing a New Product

You’ve just finished creating an online course on “How to Make Money with Social Media.” Keeping the Value Triangle in mind can help you with how you word your marketing materials.

  • Is this program going to get people making money fast with precision tactics? Then it likely won’t be a low priced offer.
  • Are you positioning it as a budget-friendly offer? Then promising quick results with top-quality information may not be realistic.

With every project remember to ask yourself which of the 3 features of speed, quality and cost are your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd priorities.  I hope the Value Triangle serves you well during the planning and implementation stages of your next project.

Cheri Plett
"I have a genuine love for learning and a passion for helping others learn and grow. Using the online environment to connect like-minded people is a field that I continue to explore. I guess that is one of the reasons that I love designing websites for organizations, helping business owners and creating E-learning environments." Cheri holds a Masters degree in Educational Technology as well as a Bachelors in General Business and is the owner and lead project manager for ArtSci Designs, a company that specializes in WordPress website design, E-commerce services, and online learning environments. She does corporate leadership training and serves as an Adjunct Professor teaching computer classes. In addition, she has done consulting work for the National Science Foundation and was a contributing author for a book on learning strategies in an information society. Recently she spent 3+ years co-founding a membership-based, integrated health webinar company. She currently works for a 12 branch Credit Union as their E-Marketing Specialist. “Learn something new every day! Then share it with someone else. After years of doing teaching and training, I’ve come to appreciate the value in just being one step ahead and then turning to help someone else learn what you know.”

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