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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."
Dilbert: Thank you all for coming to our engineering quality team meeting. Dilbert: Today we'll try to identify the root cause of our slow design process. Wally: Let me take some wild guesses here. Management keeps increasing our work and cutting our staff. Wally: we spend all out time giving status reports to unnecessary layers of management!! Wally: ow we're having all -day meetings to talk about our efficiency!! Dilbert: I was kinda hoping for some thing that inst anybody fault. Our computers are too slow. we need new ones, Dilbert: now we're getting someplace.
The Boss, Wally and Dilbert sit at a conference table. The Boss says, "The employee survey showed that 95% of the company believes we have no consistent strategy." The Boss continues, "So the executives formed a 'quality team' to determine the root cause of the problem." A man points to a chart and says to three people seated at a table, "We've narrowed it down to either 'employees are ninnies' or 'we deserve more stock options.'"
Wally sits in his cubicle talking on the phone. He says, "Hello, is this the mountain resort where all our executives are having a retreat?" Wally asks, "Is is true that loud noises can cause avalanches?" Wally continues, "If you see my boss, tell him I said . . ." Wally screams into the phone, "HI!!"
Dilbert sits on his couch and Dogbert perches on the backrest. Dilbert tells Dogbert, "Our new dress policy at work allows casual clothes on Fridays." Dogbert responds, "That's good, because studies have shown that Fridays are the ONLY safe day to dress casually; any other day would cause a stock plunge." Dilbert asks, "Is it just me or is that policy stupid?" Dogbert says, "That's not an 'or' question."
Dogbert, Wally, Dilbert, Alice and the Boss sit at a conference table. Dogbert says, "I have discovered the cause of your project delays." Dogbert continues, "Somebody in this room is a piece of deadwood pretending to be a contributor!" Dogbert points his tail at a piece of wood in a dress and shouts, "It is you!" The deadwood says, "Hey, I made some calls and I'm waiting for information!"
Dilbert, Wally and Alice sit at a conference table. The Boss points to a diagram created with an overhead projector and says, "This 3-D colored pie chart shows an unexplained rise in expenses." The Boss continues, "You each get a binder of colored pie charts so you can help find the cause of our rising expenses." Wally asks Dilbert and Alice, "How much do color copies cost?" Dilbert looks at the binder and says, "I think I see it!" Alice says, "It's not the 'magic eye,' Doofus."
The caption says, "The Budget Trap." The Boss says, "I need a quick estimate for how much your next project will cost, Wally." Wally replies, "How should I know? You haven't even told me what my next project is." The Boss says, "That's okay. I only need a rough estimate for planning purposes." Wally says, "I see where this is going. You're going to turn my wild guess into a budget. Later I'll be blamed when it's wrong." The Boss replies, "No, no. I won't hold you to these numbers." Wally says, "Well . . . Okay, let's say two million dollars." The Boss says as he walks away, "Ooh . . . Can't afford that. I'll put you down for twenty thousand dollars." The caption says, "One year later . . ." The Boss sits at his desk and says to Wally, "You're way over budget. Can you show me the cause?" Wally replies, "It depends. Can mirrors reflect your image?"
The Boss and Dogbert sit at a conference table. Dogbert says, "When the year 2000 comes, your computers will think it's the year '00' and cause major problems." Dogbert continues, "The Dogbert Consulting Company can fix the problem for only ten million dollars. Our work is guaranteed for one full year, starting today." The Boss says, "But why would I care? The year '00' is before I'm born." Dogbert says, "Amazing . . . You'd actually have to be SMARTER to do something STUPID."
The Boss says, "Alice, I'd like your input on something." Alice thinks, "Uh-oh . . . My intuition is activating the fist of death. Must . . . Control . . ." They sit at a conference table and the Boss says, "Our corporate culture is bad." The Boss continues, "I'm trying to find the cause." Alice replies, "Well, obviously the problem isn't caused by managers who have no self-awareness . . . So what could it be?" Alice continues, "The culture problem must be coming from the other direction. Some EMPLOYEE must be causing this problem!" Alice continues, "I think it's the guy in the mail room. His bad culture is infecting the rest of us." The Boss stands in the mail room. A man says, "If this is about that conference room full of mail, I don't know how it got there."