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Tree swing cartoon

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Panel 5 of the Tree swing cartoons

A tree swing cartoon or tire swing cartoon is a humorous graphical metaphor that purports to explain communication pitfalls in the division of labor in the development of a product.[1][2] It depicts how different departments implement or describe a tire swing attached to a tree, and how different it is from what the customer actually intended. It has also been used to illustrate the waterfall model of software development.[3]

The origin of this cartoon appears to be from at least the late 60's, and possibly earlier. The original date and author are currently unknown, as is the exact original form.[4][5][6] Many variants of it appeared later in several books on education, software engineering and management.[7]


  1. ^ Eric Brechner (22 July 2011). I. M. Wright's "Hard Code": A Decade of Hard-Won Lessons from Microsoft®. O'Reilly Media, Inc. pp. 127–. ISBN 978-0-7356-6488-3. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
  2. ^ Ouellette & Associates Consulting, Inc (3 October 2008). Leading IT Transformation: The Roadmap for Success. Kendall Hunt Publishing Co. pp. 61–. ISBN 978-0-7575-5833-7. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
  3. ^ Serengul Smith-Atakan (2006). Human-Computer Interaction. Cengage Learning EMEA. pp. 52–. ISBN 978-1-84480-454-2. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
  4. ^ Cindy Dell Clark (16 May 2009). Transactions at Play. University Press of America. pp. 135–. ISBN 978-0-7618-4486-0. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
  5. ^ "The Classic "Tree Swing" Example of Production and Customer Service Gone Awry". Encyclopædia Britannica Blog. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
  6. ^ "Origins of the tree swing pictures". BusinessBalls.com. Archived from the original on 19 July 2013. Retrieved 15 October 2018.
  7. ^ "Origins of the tree swing pictures (new versions)". BusinessBalls.com. Retrieved 19 July 2013.