Saturday, February 24, 2007

Schedule vs. Quality

Many times through the life of a project we are forced to make a decision where we cut corners and add risk to quality or stand firm and say "It's just going to be later than we wanted". These decision are never easy and the pressures to take the fast route are usually pretty intense. When I am faced with a decision such as this it is important for me to step back and scope it from a time to production standpoint, not from a time to tapeout position.

Making a decision based on a near term milestone, such as tapeout can be very deceiving. If the decision to trim a step in the interest of meeting a tapeout adds significant risk to the ability of sampling first silicon, you are really deciding on the possibility of adding another spin in the time to production. This can easily add 2-3 months to the production schedule.

How do you handle these schedule vs. quality decisions and has has it worked or failed for you?