The above cartoon was first created nearly 20 years ago. It’s incredible how appropriate it still is. Since its creation in 2003, several websites have expanded on the story.
See http://www.projectcartoon.com/create/ if you want to create your very own version.
What’s great about the cartoon and has made it last as long as it has is that it still represents a perceived reality. It still means what many people think of when they think of acquiring new software.
The documentation will be absent.
The support will be insufficient.
I’ll be billed an astronomical amount.
The salesperson will sell me a future that doesn’t seem accurate.
And all I want is a damn tire swing.
In a previous post, we spoke about the importance of having a shared vision to ensure implementation success.
What was not mentioned is that to have that shared vision, you have to find a way to identify your own biases going into the implementation. And that includes the expectation that any of the above will happen. Eventually.
It is common to work with people going through an implementation just waiting for, even sometimes wanting, something to go wrong. This goes beyond Murphy’s Law – the idea that what can go wrong will go wrong. No, this concept is a lot closer to wrong-spotting – the active search for something to go wrong or be wrong.
So – Change your narrative.
Use the above graphic to remind you what can be, but leave it there. It does not belong in your current or any future implementation. So how can you, the team, support, and sales all drive towards the same damn tire swing? That’s the question everyone should be obsessed with.
It is still hilarious, though.
References and Resources
The original cartoon made its first online appearance on September 9th, 2003, in an English-language blog post titled “Typical Project Life.” Earlier versions of the “tree swing” reference date back to 1973.
Originally Posted April 5, 2018