NQ Logic

Technology | Strategy | Consulting

How Much Will It Cost?

The number one question that is asked in IT, or asked of IT, is how much it would cost to build a couple of system pages with a logo on top, three fields in the middle and two buttons at the bottom. My answer has always been loud, clear and simple every time: “it depends

I knew that each time I was creating more frustration than solution but it is not possible to come up with a better answer than that one above.
It’s not only true but also relevant.

Cost (C) is just one component of a complex equation with three variables. The other major variables being the Scope (S) and the Timeline (T).

High Level Equation build
with LaTeX online Texify

I know that the above equation is too simplistic and should incorporate more intangible parameters, but my message is that it’s not that simple to give a cost without knowing everything else for that moment.

My argument goes beyond: cost in reality should come last and should only be given at the end of a long back and forth understanding or negotiation process where different parameters and challenges have been discussed. In almost all cases, these three variables are changing at all times, even at the last minute of implementation. And there is a very wide range and mix of technology options and the scope, time and finally, cost considerations must have an informed rationale.

So next time when you approach any executive, whether from business or technology, with that quick question, please be prepared to not only have a clear quantitative answer but also hopefully a very fruitful and lengthy conversation to get it.

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