September 20, 2018

# Legos in the basement

Let’s say there are Legos all over your basement floor and you want them picked up so you can safely walk to the mini fridge in the dark with no shoes on. (This is totally hypothetical, of course 😉 )

You estimate that there are 10,000 Legos. So you hand a big empty box to your kids and instruct them to fill it with 10,000 legos.

For hours and hours, you hear them diligently counting Legos as they place them in the box. Periodically, you call down the stairs to ask for a progress report.

First, they shout back: “721!”

And then later: “1372!”

Still later: “3716!”

Eventually, they come upstairs with a box filled with 10,000 Legos. By now it’s quite late - all that counting takes forever! They go to bed, the lights are out, and you pad downstairs in your jammies to raid the fridge.

OOOOOWWWWWOWOWOWWOWIEOWOW!!!

You flick on the lights and there are still loads of Legos on the floor.

What went wrong?

• The estimate was too low
• The counting increased the duration of the project
• The kids did what they were asked
• You didn’t get what you actually wanted

### Moral of the story

If you want the floor cleaned up, counting the Legos is worse than irrelevant. It actually make the project harder, longer, more tedious, and less likely to succeed.