Ellen says, "I need a budget estimate for my project, but I don't have a scope or a design for it yet." Dilbert says, "Okay, my estimate is $3,583,729." Ellen says, "You don't know anything about my project." Dilbert says, "That makes two of us."
"Your project came in 10% over budget." "Actually, it came in at exactly what I estimated." "You cut my budget by 10% because you wanted to feel like a leader." "I assume you'll give me a huge raise to reward my excellent estimating ability." "Why can't you be like Wally? His project budget was $10,000,000 and he only spent $147." "If you're so smart, explain that!" "That's hard to explain without using the phrase 'You gullible toad.'" "I'm next. What kind of mood is he in?" "Not so good."
Boss: I'm having trouble managing our web developer because I don't know how long things are supposed to take. Does it really take nine months to change the font on the home page? Developer: How much do I owe you? Dilbert: Tell him my project normally takes two years.
Boss: When will the next version of the software be done? Dilbert: That's like asking me to estimate how long it takes a salamander to evolve into a horse. Boss: So... what should I tell our CEO? Dilbert: Try the salamander analogy. It worked on you.