Management Nugget No 13: “9 Women Can’t Make a Baby in a Month”

Nugget 13: “9 Women Can’t Make a Baby in a Month”


When dealing with senior Management its hard to find a good way of saying “No you can’t have this, No matter how many people you throw at it”

However on Saturday night I was finally introduced to the phrase: “9 Women Can’t Make a Baby in a Month” and I love it, even if I’m late to hearing it.

Now there have been many many attempts to gently but firmly say to senior management, that they can’t have something, no matter what they do. Money won’t fix it, People wont fix it, only time doing a job properly we’ll fix it.

When you got a project like this back in my early programming days we used to call them “Death Marches”, and it was very common for management to try and deal with a death march buy hiring lots and lots of people in a short period. This rarely worked because when you threw such people at a project, they needed training, and that was a drain on the people that could fix a project, so in the end, it didn’t work.

However, I was talking to a programme manager in the gaming industry last night, and she introduced me to this phrase, and its perfect, It’s a hard no and it is a good solid biological hard no at that, that not even the most clever or flippant answer can discount. 

I love days I learn something new.

Disclaimer: As always these posts are not aimed at anyone client or employer and are just my personal observations over a lifetime of dealing with both management and frontline associates.

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