Decide, Dictate, and Deliver!
You are probably familiar with some form of the ‘Designer’s Trilogy’ regarding rush work: Fast, Cheap, Good; choose two. This premise, also known as the Project Management Triangle or Triple Constraint, is that in combination two of the three fall short. Good and cheap is slow, good and fast is expensive, and fast and cheap is inferior.
This philosophy is apt. But the reality is that clients expect all three. And for those of us who have to cash the checks that our business managers write, there must be a more diplomatic way to navigate the trilogy than proclaiming: ‘Choose two!’
In the Graphic Technology group at Landor, we espouse the alliterative trilogy—Decide, Dictate, and Deliver—as a professional approach to traffic management. Providing managers with clear and concise data about talent utilization allow them to make realistic scheduling decisions.
If we respond to the query ‘Can I have the work today?’ with ‘We’ll see what we can do’ or ‘We’ll do the best we can’ the tendency is to hear ‘Yes’.
Instead, we make informed decisions by performing thorough discovery; what is the scope of the project, what are the quality of the assets, and are the parts and pieces available immediately?
Then, we provide concrete dates and times when the work will be complete considering quality checks, revision activity, and delivery times. We take into account other active work, weekends, holidays, vacations, and a little padding for unexpected surprises.
By communicating our plans quickly and clearly, instead of just informing our client that ‘No, it won’t be done today’ it allows us to assure ‘We understand what is involved in this work and we are dedicated to providing top-notch results by noon this Thursday.’
Only then can a competent business manager plan the rest of her project milestones around this timeline.
Scott Hosa started his career in the graphic arts at 14 years old as a printer’s helper at a local newspaper, and has been in printing and packaging ever since. He studied graphic design at Youngstown State University, industrial design at The Ohio State University and has worked on all aspects of global branding for clients including Bayer, GSK, Hershey Company, Kraft Foods Inc., PepsiCo., Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, SC Johnson and Unilever. Hosa is currently helping clients build agile brands that thrive in today’s dynamic, disruptive marketplace as associate director of technical graphics at Landor, a global leader in brand consulting and design.