The Dictionary: What Engineers Say and What They Mean by It

Major Technological Breakthrough
* Back to the drawing board.

Developed after years of intensive research
* It was discovered by accident.

The designs are well within allowable limits
* We just made it, stretching a point or two.

Test results were extremely gratifying
* It works, and are we surprised!

Customer satisfaction is believed assured
* We are so far behind schedule that the customer was happy to get anything at all.

Close project coordination
* We should have asked someone else; or, let's spread the responsibility for this.

Project slightly behind original schedule due to unforeseen difficulties
* We are working on something else.

The design will be finalized in the next reporting period
* We haven't started this job yet, but we've got to say something.

A number of different approaches are being tried
* We don't know where we're going, but we're moving.

Extensive effort is being applied on a fresh approach to the problem
* We just hired three new guys; we'll let them kick it around for a while.

Preliminary operational tests are inconclusive
* The darn thing blew up when we threw the switch.

The entire concept will have to be abandoned
* The only guy who understood the thing quit.

Modifications are underway to correct certain minor difficulties
* We threw the whole thing out and are starting from scratch.

Essentially complete.
* Half done.

We predict...
* We hope to God!

Drawing release is lagging.
* Not a single drawing exists.

Risk is high, but acceptable.
* 100 to 1 odds, or with 10 times the budget and 10 times the manpower, we may
* have a 50/50 chance.

Serious, but not insurmountables, problems.
* It will take a miracle. God should be the program manager.

Not well defined.
* Nobody has thought about it.

Requires further analysis and management attention.
* Totally out of control.

The project is designed for high availability.
* Malfunctions will be blamed on the operators mistakes.

This project has low maintenance requirements.
* We wouldn't let the technicians change a light bulb, much less fool around with our baby.

The software is being developed without excessive process overhead.
* The documentation will be written in clear and lucid Chinese.

The delivery is scheduled for the last quater of next year.
* This leaves us plenty of time to decide who to blame for it being late.

Sent by: Joke Labs posted on 17 January 2007