The Art of Project Management: Expert advice from experienced project managers in Silicon Valley, and around the world

Similarities Between Parenting a Newborn and Project Management

crazy-baby-milk.JPG(Posted anonymously on behalf of a program engineering manager at a fine, upstanding organization where it would be best if his name was not used.)
Things are going well on the home front. I am beginning to draw a lot of correlations between parenting a newborn and succeeding at work. A few examples:

1) Works well under pressure

HOME = able to change explosively poopy diaper on a screaming, flailing infant

WORK = able to update really crappy presentations and analyses under ridiculously short deadlines while being yelled at by upper management

2) Understands and satisfies demands of customers

HOME = At slightest squeak or cry, dash through the house to the infant and use parental decryption algorithm to decipher and then satisfy their needs.

WORK = At the smallest of complaints, jump on phone/car/plane to listen to customer and then work extensive hours to temporarily pacify their needs until the next crisis.

Maybe there’s some book material here? Nah, probably should stick to engineering….


About the Author

Kimberly Wiefling is the author of one of the top project management books in the US, "Scrappy Project Management - The 12 Predictable and Avoidable Pitfalls Every Project Faces", and the founder of Wiefling Consulting, LLC, a scrappy global consulting enterprise committed to enabling her clients to achieve highly unlikely or darn near impossible results, predictably and repeatedly. Her work focuses on keynote speaking and workshops on practical and sensible business leadership and project/program management scaled for the size of the company and the project. She has worked with companies of all sizes, including one-person ventures and those in the Fortune 500, and she has helped to launch and grow more than half a dozen startups, a few of which are reaping excellent profits at this very moment. She spends about half of her time working with Japan-based companies that are committed to developing truly global leaders. Kimberly holds a B.S. in Chemistry and Physics from Wright State University and a M.S. in Physics from Case Institute. She spent 10 years at HP working in product development project management and engineering leadership. She worked with several startups, including a Xerox Parc spinoff where she was the VP of Program Management. In 2001 she launched her consulting practice and never looked back. She holds a certificate in project management through UC Santa Cruz Extension, where she is an instructor in the Project and Program Management Certificate Program. Kimberly spends about half of her time facilitating leadership, communication and execution excellence workshops for leaders of Japanese companies committed to becoming truly global. Thousands of people have viewed the hysterical video documenting the final phase of completing her book at You can reach her via email at
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