Information Systems
College of Business Administration
University of Missouri - St. Louis
Bungee Cord

Mr. Brooks is a very successful businessman who owns many companies in New York City. He is famous for his extravagant parties, parades, etc. Sitting at his desk on the top floor of his building, Mr. Brooks decided to go on trip to South America to view the great rain forest. While there he finds the world’s most talented cliff diver named Tarzan. Tarzan is simply amazing. He can do multiple flips and twists always having a perfect landing. Seeing this display, Mr. Brooks must have him come back with him for one of his shows.

When Mr. Brooks and Tarzan get back to the city, Mr. Brooks starts showing him around the city. Tarzan cannot keep his eyes off the tall buildings. Mr. Brooks thinks it would be a good idea for Tarzan to jump off one of the buildings with a bungee cord since there are not any bodies of water deep enough like the waterfalls back in South America. Mr. Brooks’ engineers set up a simulation and demonstrate it to Tarzan. Everything is set for the big day.

Tarzan not being comfortable with his new surroundings decides to go to the top of the building the day before the big show. He decides to tie dummy doll to the bungee cord and drop him off the top. The bungee cord comes back to the top with a damaged dummy because the dummy smashed against the ground.

Tarzan ran into Mr. Brooks’s office and explained to him what happened. After further examination, it is learned with their simulation the engineers only considered the number of floors for the building to determine the length of the bungee cord. As it turns out the building was built 100 years ago by a superstitious man who thought the number 13 was unlucky. Therefore he left that floor out of the design of the building going from floor 12 to floor 14. This was not taken into the calculation thus a shorter bungee cord was needed.

Moral: There are many forms of testing but nothing can substitute real life testing in the actual environment of the project or activity. The other moral is never assume anything and always check the details (the blue prints in this case) to get the specific details needed (actual height of building).

These stories are adapted examples written in my class, IS 6840 (formerly MSIS 488).
© Vicki L. Sauter. All rights Reserved.

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