Corporate productivity and the π constant

by Volker Weber

Tried to send a voice recording to someone at IBM yesterday. The BlackBerry (and other mobile phones) use the AMR (Adaptive Multi-Rate) speech encoding format used in GSM telephony for that. Recipient could not read the file (hint: iTunes plays that through Quicktime). Recoded as MP3, which was then removed by the corporate babysitter.

Which leads me to my rule of thumb when estimating the effort to complete a task:

  1. Estimate how long it takes to complete the task and multiply by π.
  2. Multiply by π again if it involves a group of up to 10 people.
  3. Multiply by π again if it involves an organization with more than 100 employees.
  4. Multiply by π again for an "enterprise".
  5. Multiply by π again for an organization which collaborates through telephone conferences.
I charge by the hour (or rather: day). :-)


Comments

Care to tell us the value of n?

Jens-Christian Fischer, 2009-01-27

It is not an n, and the first one is linked.

Volker Weber, 2009-01-27

<Homer>

Mmmmm... Pie

</Homer>

Chris Linfoot, 2009-01-27

I blame it
a) on my colorblindness (can't distinguish red from black in thin fonts)
and
b) on IE7 and Windows that I have to use (π n - almost no difference)

But π sounds like a good factor :)

Jens-Christian Fischer, 2009-01-27

I'd put an additional π in Rule 1: "Estimate how long it takes to complete the task and multiply by π." :-)

Scott Hanson, 2009-01-27

Scott, I forgot to do that. Changed now. :-)

Volker Weber, 2009-01-27

So true. Thanx.

Moritz Petersen, 2009-01-27

Multiply by π again if the press or blogosphere knows about the task.

Richard Schwartz, 2009-01-27

How is that?

Volker Weber, 2009-01-27

Preparing for the questions about the task, answering the questions, correcting the errors in the answers, reviewing the reports based on the corrected answers to the questions, repeat at various phases of the task, and the big one: making reality agree with the answers that were given before you should have been answering questions, or controlling the damage ;-)

Richard Schwartz, 2009-01-28

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.

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