Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Fast, good and cheap?

Last week I visited friends I used to work with in Switzerland and had a fascinating conversation with one of them about the Project Management Triangle.  This triangle is basically about designing and delivering a project, and the theory is that you can do 2 of the 3 things but you cannot do all 3 at the same time.  For example you can design something that is a good quality quickly but it will not be cheap.  You can design something quickly and cheaply, but the quality will not be good.  You can design something that is high quality and cheap, but it will take a long time.

I wonder if the Project Management Triangle can also be applied to school improvement?  For example I have seen schools grow very quickly without a lot of investment both in human resources and in infrastructure, but there has been a definite decline in quality/morale.  I've also seen schools develop and become better in a very short time, but it has been at a huge cost in both new buildings and in professional development.  What do you think?  Do you think that schools can improve and focus on all 3 of these at the same time?  Can they improve in a short time without a huge investment?  Could the investment actually be a human one?  Could teachers in a school decide that in a short period - maybe one or two years - that they will take advantage of the amazing amount of free professional development that is available - sometime from within the establishment itself - in order to change mindsets and really move forward?  I think it is possible.  Do you?

The image of the Project Management Triangle is taken from Wikimedia Commons and is licenced with a Creative Commons licence.

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