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Faster, better and cheaper

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1 Author(s)

The phrase: “faster, better, and cheaper” is quickly creeping into the vocabulary of software engineers, software publishers, and (as a result of the recent e-business craze) all of the IT industry. After all, if you wanted to be the first company to get on the Internet selling automobile tires in the 1990s, you had serious time constraints for getting there. Therefore the author discusses his beliefs on whether this phrase has any real utility for the software industry, or whether this is simply wishful thinking given our current technologies. To begin, let's define what these three terms mean. Faster simply refers to the speed at which a process can produce a product. If it produces the product more quickly, it satisfies the goal of faster. Better, of course, refers to the product's quality. If the quality improves, for example, higher reliability, then you've satisfied this target. And cheaper simply refers to the cost to produce the product. If that is lower, you've satisfied cheaper. The goal, then, of most mass-production manufacturing is to quickly produce quality products at a reduced cost per product unit. But the question becomes whether we can have faster, better, and cheaper software development or should only expect to have one or two of the three

Published in:

IEEE Software  (Volume:18 ,  Issue: 3 )