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Dilbert: Our competitor just bought ten million copies of our software. Boss: Huh? Dilbert: They plan to give it away for free to entice people to buy their own product that has more features. We'll be part of their freemium strategy. Boss: That's just showing off.
Dilbert: We interviewed hundreds of users and turned all of their suggestions into features. As it turns out, every user we talked to was an idiot, and their dumb suggestions ruined our product. In hindsight, we probably should have talked to people who work outside this building.
The Boss, Dilbert, Wally and another employee sit at a conference table. The Boss says, "Okay, the staff meeting is over. Does anybody have any meaningless rambling questions? Johnson?" Johnson asks, "How can we work as a team to achieve total quality without sacrificing customer focus?" The Boss asks, "How many people would like to see me make Johnson fetch this stick?" Everyone raises their hands.
Dilbert sits across from the Boss's desk. The Boss says, "We've got to focus more on the needs of our customers." The Boss points to a man standing next to him and says, "I've hired famous business consultant Tom Peters to follow you around and make passionate criticism." Tom stands behind Dilbert while he works. Tom waves his arms as he asks, "Is this quality? Are you truly focused on the customer?" Dilbert thinks, "Great . . . He's a spitter."
Dilbert sits at his desk. The Boss says, "I'm sending you to our plant in Elbonia. I want you to teach them 'quality.'" The Boss continues, "I selected you because you've been there and you know their language." Dilbert replies, "They speak English." The Boss says, "Oh, then I guess it's because I hate you."
Dilbert says to three Elbonians, "I've been sent to teach you 'Total Quality Management.'" Dilbert points at a visual aid that says "Quality equals good (1950)." Dilbert says, "In the old days, quality was just an empty word meaning 'good.'" Dilbert continues, "Eventually it evolved into a complicated method for transferring your money to business consultants."
Dilbert points to a visual aid and says, "The fishbone diagram helps identify the root cause of problems." Dilbert continues as three Elbonians listen, "In your case, the root problem seems to be that you're a nation of imbeciles . . ." An Elbonian says, "True, but YOU'RE the one who had to draw a dead fish to figure it out." Another man says, "You're in the club! Here's your hat."
An Elbonian says to Dilbert, "Thank you for teaching us 'quality' techniques." The Elbonian continues, "Manufacturing defects are down fifty percent since we all joined 'quality teams.'" The other Elbonian says, "Yes!" The Elbonian asks, "How's our productivity, Yorgi?" Yorgi replies, "Down fifty percent." Dilbert thinks as he walks away, "They're on to me."
The Boss, Dilbert and Wally sit at a conference table. The Boss says, "I came up with a new name for our group." The Boss continues, "From now on we're the 'Engineering Science Research Technology Systems Information Quality and Excellence Center.'" Wally says, "You should throw 'efficiency' in there too." The Boss holds up a long piece of paper and says, "I designed the business cards myself."
As they walk down a corridor, Alice says to Dilbert, "Maybe you shouldn't have told Stan you programmed his DNA through the LAN." Alice continues, "Those marketing guys believe anything. They even believe market research, for heaven's sake." As Stan approaches, Alice says, "There's no telling what the power of suggestion might do." Stan, whose facial features now resemble those of a weasel, says to Dilbert, "Well, thank you very much."