As all good project managers know, there are three dimensions to any engineering effort:
- The features of the product: What does the product do and how does it look? (For sake of simplicity, let’s include “quality” as a product feature.)
- The schedule on which the product is produced: How fast does it get to market?
- The cost of producing the product: How much money does your company have to invest in bringing the product to market?
Before we started Cardinal Peak, my partners and I had all spent many years as engineering managers inside of various companies. To me, it always seemed that I was most visibly measured on the first two dimensions: features and schedule.
To the extent that I was measured on the cost axis, the companies I worked for would normally use “number of heads” as a loose proxy for “dollars spent to bring this product to market”.