I hate it when technical people try to impress others with words like "logical", and the creme-de-la-creme: "impossible."
The statement is patently false.
ALL scheduling deals with unknowns… and yet they seem to work fine for me.
Further, there’s a part of me that bets that someone ELSE has the experience I need, so that this part of their job would NOT be unknown.
The answer to this is to give them one after they refuse.
For those who would say I’m being dictatorial, I would say something polite like, "our customers tend to vote with their pocketbooks, and we don’t want to lose the next election."
And I don’t even feel terribly motivated to answer those issues anyway.
The organization has deadlines, welcome to the modern world.
Set some deadlines, listen to them complain, and then hold them accountable.
The ones who are good will comply more often than not. Give lots of feedback, affirming and adjusting, about all deadlines made and missed.
Those who repeatedly complain and suggest that scheduling is impossible get low grades for teamwork and professionalism on their reviews, and low bonuses/raises, and they decide to go elsewhere.
You’re going to be wrong some, and so are they.
But being wrong on both accounts is NO reason to ignore the fundamental reality of being in a time-based business.
If you have to do some homework to figure out what’s reasonable, do so.
if you need to ask a peer/boss for some sense of the scope of work/timeline, do so… but I’d bet that you’re already constrained.
The fact that this is a Dilbert reply to a pointy haired boss question just makes it sad, to me.