Can’t buy me love!



If you haven’t heard it before, it’s time to know the shocking truth. You should not care too much for money in your lean projects (sing with me, ‘I don’t care too much for money, for money can’t buy me love’ 🙂 )

We already know that we usually have 4 types of metrics to improve: H (health, environmental) > Q (quality) > D (delivery) > C (cost). Please read ‘>’ as ‘more important than’. This only applies to long-term relationships,of course. It loses it’s power if your business model is mostly short-term oriented (‘one-night-stand style’).

Health is definitely your first option. It’s not just a ‘politically correct’ choice. Even if you don’t have a drop of ethics in your blood, you want your people to be safe and happy. It’s just more efficient. Nobody wants to work in a place where you can get hurt. Healthy people come to work. Happy people go the extra mile. But it’s more important than that, creativity booms, ideas flow. H has big impact and enables Q, D and C. And since of course you do have ethics, you are killing two birds with a stone.

Quality has a limited impact in H, but it is critical to D and C. It makes no sense to make crap quickly. Low quality rates increase reprocessing and this is the worst enemy known for delivery and cost. Even worse, the product credibility can sink and this is a road you don’t want to walk.

Delivery is not simply speed. Nobody has to do any product or service simply quickly. What you need is to have it done at the customer’s rate, not later, not before. Just in time. A good delivery rate is more important than cost, no doubt. A good product/service delivered on time is a much better option that a good product delivered cheap but late. Of course, some customers will be happy to get their product some days later if they are told upfront and the price is better, but in this case you are not being late. You are just in time (and maybe have discovered a new customer segment at the same time)

And cost.

Cost is the beginning and the end of it all. All metrics impact in it, but focusing only in money can be your last decision. In Mike Rother’s words “No matter how much an organization tries to resolve its problems by cost cutting, it makes no real impact and can even negatively affect the customer experience (

If all this sounds coherent to you so far, it’s time to say that it’s not that simple. But that is another story and shall be told another time.

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