There once was a man who lived in village with his wife and ten children. This man was also the proud owner of two dogs, a cat, and a goldfish. One day, as the wife was attempting to wash all the children in their one bathroom, she slipped on the excess water and broke her leg. Disgruntled in agonizing pain, the wife pleaded with the man, “We've been saving for years now, can we please buy a bigger house!!!” The man, emotionally distraught from what had happened to his wife, contemplated their financial situation and agreed to buy a bigger house.
The next day the man set out on a mission to find the perfect house for his family. Remembering his wife’s one requirement, “We must live in the same village,” the man thought to himself, “This village is rather small; I should be able to check out every house today.” The man searched and searched until finally he found the house that was perfect for his family. While touring this enormous house, the man began to think that there was no way he could afford this house. When the man asked how much the house costs, he was simply told the total cost, but was also told that the house was not for sale.
After sprinting home, the man informed the wife that he found the perfect house. He explained every room in great detail until the wife was nearly crying. Finally, he informed her that the house was not for sale. As the wife grabbed the nearest blunt object, the man stopped her and explained that the total cost was less than half of what they had saved up. The wife dropped the object and kissed the man.
Too excited to wait another day, the man and his wife hired the construction company, pointed to the perfect house, and said, “Build it exactly the same!” One year later, the house was completed and as the family was moving in, the construction company delivered the bill. The man opened the bill, collapsed, and woke up two days later in his old house. He looked to his wife and said, “What happened?” The wife replied, “That house was built 50 YEARS AGO!!! Your cost estimates were a LITTLE OUT-DATED!!!!” The man and his family live unhappily ever after in their small house.
Moral: Without proper cost estimates, anything can seem feasible.
These stories are adapted examples written in my class, IS 6840 (formerly MSIS 488).
© Vicki L. Sauter. All rights Reserved.