Padded Estimate 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."
CEO: I'd like to address the rumor that I padded my resume. In the strictest sense of the word, I am not technically an "engineer" per se. But to put this in perspective, even The Pope hides his browser history. It's no big deal.
Dilbert sits at his desk. A woman says, "Dilbert, I need you to stop everything and do this emergency budget exercise." The woman explains, "Estimate the budget impact of replacing all the engineers with decorative plants." The woman says, "Later, I'll summarize everybody's inputs into a bullet point, like 'oxygen is good.'" Dilbert asks, "Would these be rented plants?"
The Boss, Dilbert, Wally and Alice sit at a conference table. Wally says, "The status of my action item is 50% done." Wally continues, "Specifically, I finished the item part but not the action." The Boss asks, "Do you have an estimate for when the action will be done?" Wally answers, "Yes, and that estimate is 100% complete!"
Wally follows the Boss and says, "We need to have a little talk . . ." Wally continues, "You told me to finish my project in a week but it's taken two months." Wally continues, "This doesn't look good for your ability to estimate resource requirements." The Boss sits at his desk. Wally continues, "Frankly, it's not much of an endorsement of your leadership either. I was uninspired the whole time." Wally continues, "And don't even get me started about your incompetence at budgeting. I spent WAY more than you predicted!" Wally pretends to strangle himself as he says, "Your incessant demands for status reports were like a rope that strangled my productivity!" Wally continues, "Bottom line, your performance did NOT meet my expectations." Wally's clothes are disheveled and his glasses are bent, Dilbert says, "So, Wally, do you still think the best defense is a good offense?" Wally replies, "It seemed like such a good idea."
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?"
Dilbert approaches a worker sitting at his desk. He is holding a piece of paper and says, "Why did the I.S. department deny my request for a P.C. upgrade?" The worker holds up his arms and shouts, "Because we are evil incarnate! BUWAHAHAHA!!" Dilbert says, "I was looking for something more specific." The worker holds out the paper and says, "You didn't provide a dollar estimate of the benefits." Dilbert says, "That's ridiculous. I can't put a value on every tool I need to do my job." The worker sits back in his chair with his arms folded and says, "If you can't quantify it, then it must not be necessary." Dilbert throws up his hands and says, "Then why does the company give me a chair? I can't quantify that either." Dilbert sits on the floor of his cubicle, without a chair. He thinks, "Here's one more reason why it stinks to be me."
The Boss peers into Dilbert's cubicle and thinks, "It's time to delegate." The Boss says, "Dilbert, I want you to give me a new cash flow estimate for your project." Dilbert replies, "Okay, fine." The Boss asks, "When will I get it?" Dilbert asks, "When do you need it?" The Boss says, "As soon as possible!" Dilbert says, "Okay." The Boss asks, "When do you think that will be?" Dilbert turns and says, "I usually wait a few days to see if you change your mind." Dilbert continues, "Then I'll give you last year's cash flow as a test to see if you read it." The Boss leaves the cubicle and thinks, "The more experience they get, the worse they are."
Dilbert hands a piece of paper to The Boss and says, "I gathered all the padded cost estimates from the liars and scoundrels I'm ashamed to call co-workers." The Boss replies, "That's okay. I usually ignore our cost estimates and make bid proposals that I think will win." Dogbert is sitting on Dilbert's bed. Dilbert says, "I gather inaccurate data for a living. Luckily no one uses it." Dogbert replies, "Your glass is half full."
Asok the Intern and Dilbert sit at a table. The Boss comes in and says, "I need your budget estimate today." Asok replies, "We won't have useful numbers until next week." Dilbert turns and says, "It doesn't work that way, Asok." Asok says, "No?" Asok and Dilbert approach the Boss who stares blankly into space. Dilbert explains, "As soon as he asked the question, he went into 'boss hibernation.'" Dilbert waves his hand in front of his face and says, "He can't see or hear anything until we say a number. Watch." Dilbert says, "Three million dollars." The Boss comes to and says, "Uhn!" The Boss walks away and says, "Three million. Good work." Dilbert says, "The first time I saw it, I panicked and ended up with a budget of $911."