Fast, Good, or Cheap: Pick Two

GyrusAIM, LMS  By: Mike Babcock

Early in my career when I suggested a laundry list of useful product features to our Engineering Manager that “just had to be” in the next release he said, “Fast, Good, or Cheap: Pick Two!”  That was the first the first time I heard the phrase, however I’ve been in the business long enough now to appreciate the value of such a simple statement as it relates to product development.  The phrase is common enough, however its value is that it describes, quite succinctly, the relationship between these three important qualities of product development and that if two are selected, then achieving the third is at best, challenging.  

That Engineering Manager is now retired, however I’ve adopted the phrase and used it myself with customers when discussing the development of Gyrus Systems’ Learning Management System product, GyrusAim.  The “Fast, Good, or Cheap” concept quickly allows our customers to “Get It” and understand the challenge we face as a LMS software company to maximize features within a specified time frame while not pricing our product out of our desired market.  In a perfect world all three goals would always be fully achievable, however in the real world each must be weighed and prioritized to create products that best meet the needs of current and prospective customers.

As with previous generations of GyrusAim, a requirement for our latest 5th generation revision was to keep it “Good.” Thus the two remaining qualities are “Cheap” and “Fast.”  I really don’t like the word “Cheap,” so I’ll replace it with “Price Competitive.”  GyrusAim is truly one of the most price competitive, enterprise level, skill-centric LMSs in today’s marketplace, with a very low price-per-learner that minimizes our client's software costs.

So we're left with “Fast.”  While we would love to release every feature on our product roadmap tomorrow, we simply can’t guarantee the “Good” or “Price-Competitive” aspects if we did.  Therefore we take the required time to fully develop and test our new features and release them only when we can guarantee they’ll fully meet our customers’ needs.

In summary, the promise that Gyrus Systems makes to our customers is that the software is good and will meet their learning and development needs now and in the future.  We also strive to keep the price of our LMS solution extremely competitive.  To meet our goals of “Good” and “Price-Competitive” software, we take the time required to analyze our customer needs and prioritize the release of these new features.  Using this philosophy, since January, 2014, we have exceeded our goal of four releases per year.  In fact, we’ve published eleven new releases that allow our customers to leverage hundreds of new features that improve their learning and development programs, a proven track history that we’d love to discuss.  Give us a call!

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