Understand Project Comic Strips
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"I need a description of your project and its projected cost." "That's impossible." "The project uncertainty principle says that if you understand a project, you won't know its cost, and vice versa." "You just made that up." "That doesn't make it wrong."
The Boss: I put together a time line for your project. I started by reasoning that anything I don't understand is easy to do. Phase one: design a client-server architecture for our world wide operations time: six minutes.
Tags #being a jerk, #big picture, #breaking up tasks, #emotionally gutted, #engineer, #engineers, #individual tasks, #losing will to live, #meetings, #personal life, #project plan, #rational plan, #sense of purpose, #engineering
Boss: Any comments on the project plan? Dilbert: When you consider all of the tasks together, they form a rational plan. But our individual tasks are so far removed from the big picture that they are stripped of meaning. You've managed to remove all sense of purpose from my life. On an intellectual level, I understand the benefits of breaking tasks into small chunks. But you've left me emotionally gutted. As I read your plan, I'm losing my will to live. Boss: Can't you find meaning in your personal life? Tina: He's an engineer. Dilbert: Now you're just being a jerk.
"If I start the project today and work nights and weekends it will take...oh, six months." "It has to be done in ONE month so we can show it to our VP on her annual visit." "I have to know; does it even cross your mind to handle this differently?" "I'll need daily status reports on why you're so behind."
The Boss: "I just had my annual meeting with our Vice President." "We decided to combine your project with Project 'Bigfoot' because they're basically the same." Dilbert: "They're not the same! It only seems like it to you because you don't understand either project!" "Oh, well. It's too late to do anything. I told him they were the same." Dilbert: "Just call him and say you were wrong." The Boss: "I can see why you're not in management." "The logical solution is to wait for the next budget cut and eliminate your project, thus solving two problems." Dilbert: "There's nothing more dangerous than a resourceful idiot."
Tags #project time line, #work portion, #meet with people, #competitive bids, #predictable behavior, #randomly reorganize, #department, #cut funding, #final phase, #death, #bitter and broken, #leaving building, #medical
Dilbert and the Boss sit at a conference table. Dilbert works on a laptop connected to an overhead projector. Dilbert says, "Here's my project time line." Dilbert points to a diagram and says, "The 'work' portion will take one week." Dilbert continues, "I'll spend three weeks meeting with people whom you send to me because you don't feel like talking to them yourself." Dilbert continues, "I'll spend eight weeks getting competitive bids from companies that I know I won't select." Dilbert continues, ". . . Six weeks to get the wisdom and approval of executives who are too busy to understand the issues." Dilbert says, "During that time you will randomly reorganize the department and cut my funding." Dilbert points to a picture of a man jumping out of a building window. Dilbert continues, "In the final phase I leap to my death, a bitter and broken shell of a man." The Boss asks, "Is there some sort of manager thing I should be doing now?" Dilbert replies, "If I time my leap right you'll just be leaving the building."
wally: "I've never been a project manager before." "I understand I'm supposed to direct your natural talents and energies toward a common goal." Wally: "Carol, did you make copies of the agenda?" Carol: "No, it sounded hard."
Boss: Wally, I need you to head up our artificial intelligence project. You will have no budget and no hope of success. I just like saying we're working on AI. And you're completely useless, so it's a good match. Wally: I won't let you down.