One Year Project Comic Strips
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Dilbert follows the Boss into his office and says, "I told you this project would take a year. But on my objectives you say I must have it done in three months." Dilbert continues, "Which of these reasons best describes why: A. You have great confidence in me. B. You think I padded my estimate. C. You hate my guts." The Boss responds, "We don't really need the project. It's just a way to keep raises low." Dilbert says, "I just felt a little dip in my motivation."
Alice is sitting at her computer. The Boss approaches from behind with a package in his hand and says, "Happy service anniversary, Alice." The Boss continues, "We're out of twenty-year pins so I got twenty of the one- year pins." The Boss hands Alice the package and says, "You can pin these babies all over your blouse... or fishing hat if you prefer." The Boss continues, "The card says, 'To Kathy' but it was never opened. For some reason she quit the day she got her twenty pins." The Boss continues, "Incidentally, I have to charge you $262 for the pins. The company doesn't pay for them." Alice holds the box angrily. Alice responds, "First of all, I've only worked here for about six years.." The Boss interrupts, "Wow, you look older. Anyway, just give me the $262 and throw away eight pins and we'll call it good." Alice rolls up her sleeve and shakes with anger. She holds one arm back with the other. The Boss asks, "Why are you rolling up your sleeve? Are you going to pin them to your arm?
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 sits at his desk and hands a piece of paper to Alice. The Boss says, "Get my approval at each phase. Finish in one month." Alice looks at the paper and says, "Let's see.. You're on vacation next week. Then you're traveling, then there's an executive retreat..." Alice continues while the Boss appears to listen, "It takes three weeks to get on your calendar... and the project has six phases..." Alice says, "What we have here is guaranteed failure." Alice says, "You've left nothing to chance on this one." Alice says, "I mean, normally there's a bit of uncertainty, but you've..oh." Alice says, "You've slipped into the "Boss Zone" where you can't see or hear employee input." The Boss is a zombie and Alice waves her hand in front of his eyes to no effect. The Boss says to Carol, his secretary, "It's weird. I lost ten minutes, and when I woke up, my doughnuts were gone." A doughnut is stuck on each of The Boss's tufts of hair.
Dilbert hands The Boss a piece of paper and says, "I completed the feasibility analysis." Dilbert continues, "It would take us two years to build a product that will be obsolete one year from now." The Boss replies, "Okay, let's get started." Dilbert says, "Um.. No, the point is project can't succeed." The Boss responds, "We want people to think we're developing this sort of product, so we'll be credible in the market." Dilbert says, "So our plan is to do stupid things until we appear credible?" The Boss replies, "Exactly!" Dilbert walks away and exclaims, "Gaaa!! My life is a complete waste!!" The Boss says to Catbert, "Tomorrow I'll ask him why he's behind schedule." Catbert responds, "Very evil. Nicely done."
Dilbert: Once again, none of you responded to my emails this past week. So I put together a project time line that reflects neither consensus nor reality. Wally: Can I have a copy so I can mock it? Dilbert: No, I'm still enjoying the illusion of progress.
"Your project deadline is next month, and I can't imagine you finishing on time." "So I dinged you on your annual performance review." "But... I will finish on time." "Well, let's agree to disagree."<r>"What?!" "You're basing my raise on what you IMAGINE I won't do in the furture!" "Relax. If you do finish the project on time, I'll factor it into your next annual review." "Well... Okay. I guess it all averages out." One Year Later "Remember the project that I finished last year?" "No. But the new one looks like it will be late."
Dilbert is giving a presentation. He says, "The original schedule looked like this..." Dilbert points to a slide and says, "One month for a management decision and one year to do the project." The Boss, Wally, and Alice listen as Dilbert continues, "The revised schedule is this..." Dilbert continues, "One year of indecision followed by intense pressure to do the impossible before the deadline." Dilbert passes a box of 3-D glasses and says, "Now if you'll each take a pair of 3-D glasses..." Dilbert continues, "You can see the layers of management incompetence practically jump out at you." Dilbert hands out cards and says, "Now scratch one of these scented cards to sniff the unmistakable odor of doom." Wally and Alice are suffering from the smell. The Boss says, "I don't smell anything. Is mine broken?"
"Dogbert: Ethics Advisor" "We mail our product to people and tell them it's free for one year." "Then we start nailing them with high fees because they'll forget the procedure for returning the product. They're trapped." "So, did you have some ethics advice?" "No. I asked you here so I can return your stupid product."
Tags #protects webs prodcuts, #engineer, #pads schedule, #six months, #build prodcut, #play doom, #computer, #add people, #tiny empire, #eighteen months, #sales people, #irrational desire, #beta test, #technology, #engineering
Dogbert holds a pointer and stands next to the caption, "How Nature Protects Weak Products." The caption says, "First, the engineer pads his schedule." Dilbert and the Boss sit at a conference table. The Boss asks, "Six months?" Dilbert replies, "At least." Dilbert thinks, "One month to build the product and five months to play 'Doom' on my computer." The caption says, "Then the manager pads the schedule as a clever negotiating ploy." The Boss tells an executive, "One year . . . Unless you add people to my tiny empire." The caption says, "Then the vice president pads the schedule to avoid looking bad to the president." The VP kisses the president's toes and says, "Eighteen months." The caption says, "Meanwhile, the sales people are making up numbers because nobody tells them anything." A man tells a woman, "Two months . . . And it solves every problem you have!" The caption says, "This causes the customers to develop irrational desire for the product." A woman says into the phone, "Give me the 'beta' test version in one month." The caption says, "Thus nature disguises weak products as 'beta.'" The woman looks at a device and says, "Cardboard? That's stupid." Dilbert replies, "Oh . . . Then it's beta."