This is a jacobmoorman.com article on: User Experience, Risk Management, and Value Optimization

It's a series! This is article #3 in Getting Started in Web Design.

Cost

This article has been optimized for Grade Level 9, to make it useful for both high schoolers and adults.

1 Time

Time is the invisible force that guides us. With time we may learn, work, and sleep.

Time is Money. Even when not paid, your time is worth something.

Any plan implemented has a cost in time and money. Any plan we don't choose has an opportunity cost, the value lost by not implementing that plan.

2 Teams

It is more complex to manage projects that involve teams of people.

The complexity is worth the effort. All projects benefit from collaboration with other people.

A RASCI matrix helps to clearly show the roles different people have on the project.

RASCI stands for Responsible, Approver, Supporters, Consulted and Informed.

You are responsible for good use of time on your project. A RASCI matrix helps focus time in project teams.

3 Vendors

If every builder needed to make their own bricks, electrical wire and windows, every building would have very high cost in time and money.

Project teams may save time and money by using existing solutions such as technologies, Open Source software, and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platforms.

The "build versus buy" decision is made by comparing the costs of building a solution to the costs of buying a solution.

Look beyond dollars and time by comparing opportunity costs of build versus buy decisions: What unique benefits would we lose? How would we use saved time and money? Would things we build ever be sold or given to others?

4 Safety

Some things can't be done more cheaply or more quickly.

It is important to understand legal requirements, like the privacy of user data, and business requirements. Even in simple and temporary projects, solutions must meet these needs.

A reasonable pace must be set for work. When individuals and teams work too many hours, mistakes become more likely and people may suffer health problems.

The safety of our team, our customers, and the public must be made a priority, even if it means additional cost.

5 Value and Efficiency

Not every task and every project is worth doing. How much cost is reasonable?

Value tells us the benefit of a project. Businesses help avoid expensive projects without sufficient value by setting a cost-to-benefit ratio target. For example, a business may decide that no project should advance unless it provides three times more benefit than it costs.

Efficiency tells us how well we build value using time. Reasonable project pace, safety, clearly-defined responsibilities, people with the right skills for the job, reasonable vendors and technologies, and understanding of requirements all help us work with efficiency.

When we consider ways to improve efficiency, we can produce more value with lower cost.