Cost Performance and Time 

By on

 

Cost and Performance in this project
are more important than time
Often us engineers get so bogged down in equations, using software, producing drawings and writing specifications that this becomes the sole focus.   Good engineering design needs to go beyond the technical and look at the full picture.   A good way to measure this is cost, performance and time.

Cost is an important aspect of any project, yet often only considered at a cursory level.  If two designs perform the same, but one costs less than it could be argued that the cheaper design is the better design.  Good engineering should always strive for cost effectiveness. 

Performance is the second measure.  Performance means ensuring the technical and specification requirements of the project are realised.   If something does not perform as expected (or worse not at all), then the engineering has not been up to scratch.   Luckily concentrating on performance is the natural habitat for most of us.

Time is the final measure.   All projects take time to design and things need to happen within a reasonable time frame.   While some projects are more time sensitive than other, all projects will (should) have some form of time constraint. 

 Putting it all together

Each project is different and the easiest way to visualise this is the engineering triangle (see illustration).  The requirements for any particular project are located within the triangle, the position being indicative of the relative importance of the cost, performance and time. Some projects will be more performance centric (a NASA space probe for example).  Others would be more cost centric (a lens for a disposable camera) or time critical (projects where a completion date has been publicly announced).

Knowing how cost, performance and time interrelate on a project should guide the engineering design.  The end result of considering these project measures is always a better engineered design.



Steven McFadyen's avatar Steven McFadyen

Steven has over twenty five years experience working on some of the largest construction projects. He has a deep technical understanding of electrical engineering and is keen to share this knowledge. About the author

myElectrical Engineering

comments powered by Disqus



Surface Treatment – Ladders, Trays and Baskets

Steel ladders, trays and baskets form the backbone of cable containment systems. Often these items need some form of surface treatment to prevent corrosion...

Magicians of Engineering

The other day I was reading 'Night of the New Magicians' by Mary Pope Osborn with my son.  The story is about a young boy and girl who travel back in time...

Cold Fusion (or not?)

Recently I have seen a few interesting articles on viable cold fusion; the combining of atoms at room like temperatures to create boundless energy. Now...

Introduction to Cathodic Protection

If two dissimilar metals are touching and an external conducting path exists, corrosion of one the metals can take place.  Moisture or other materials...

Back to basics - the Watt (or kW)

When thinking about watts (W) or kilowatt (kW = 1000 W) it can be useful too keep in mind the fundamental ideas behind the unit. Watt is not a pure electrical...

Cable Trumps

Bored at work and would rather be playing trump card game with you son. The next best thing (or not) maybe the online cable trump card game from AEI Cables...

Introduction to Lighting

When looking at the design of a lighting scheme it is useful to have an understanding on the nature of light itself and some of the basic theory associated...

Introduction to Current Transformers

Current transformers (CTs) are used to convert high level currents to a smaller more reasonable level for use as inputs to protection relays and metering...

Electrical Engineering

Electrical engineering is a field that covers a wide variety of sub-fields, including electricity and electronics. It is a field that goes back to the...

Low Voltage Fault Tables

The following tables provide quick order of magnitude fault levels for a a range of typical low voltage situations.

Have some knowledge to share

If you have some expert knowledge or experience, why not consider sharing this with our community.  

By writing an electrical note, you will be educating our users and at the same time promoting your expertise within the engineering community.

To get started and understand our policy, you can read our How to Write an Electrical Note