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Get me a rock

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We continue to struggle with the appraisal and inspections which reminds me of a  story.

Get Me a Rock

Reducing the cost of correcting errors is one part of the problem. One reason projects fail is that they do not meet the cusotmers needs. To help ensure a project’s success, we need to mitigate risk. The following story about a manager and his subordinate demonstrates the difficulty of communicating that can lead to failure.

Boss: Get me a rock!
Peon: Yes, sir.
…a little while later…

Peon: Here’s your rock, sir.
Boss: This rock is all wrong. We need a big rock.
…another delay…

Peon: Here ya go, boss.
Boss: We can’t use this rock. It’s not smooth.
…yet another delay…

Peon: [panting] Smooth, big rock, sir.
Boss: The other rocks you brought were black,
but this one’s brown. Get a black one.

And the story goes on and on.

We’ve all been there. Both roles are difficult. It is hard to specify exactly what you want when you’re not sure yourself, or even when you are sure, you may have difficulty explaining to another person what you want. On the flip side, the subordinate probably doesn’t speak the language of rocks, so he can’t elicit what the manager wants in terms the manager understands.

Employees or customers must be given precise instructions (specifications). Customers should not be expected to be mind readers.

From Extreme Perl


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