The curse of dependency

The municipal corporation issued a tender to plant 10000 trees. Tom, Dick & Harry won the contract fair and square. They planned to complete the project in 100 days.

Tom was in charge of digging the holes, Dick will plant the trees and Harry would then fill up the holes. Perfect plan, 100 iterations a day and in 100 days they would have planted all the ten thousand trees. In order to make it target/goal oriented. They decided that they will pay themselves in proportion to the work they completed each day.

Unfortunately, Dick fell sick on the last 10 days. But work did not stop. Tom and Harry continued digging and filling the holes, as well as paying themselves. But the trees couldn’t be planted as Dick was not there do his part of the work!

Though 66.66% of the team did the work they were supposed to do, their efforts were in vain. There was no meaningful output that could be delivered in the last 10 days!

When Dick comes back, he cannot plant the trees on his own. Tom and Harry have already paid themselves for the work they did. At the end of 100 days, the project is not completed and they will need additional funding to compensate Tom and Harry for thier “additional” efforts in order to help Dick to complete his work.

Have you encountered such situation in your career?


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