Mongolian hordes
n. A large number of workers hired to help complete a big or complex project, particularly one that is running behind schedule.
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The business sponsor of the project wanted the system to be able to support dental when the system went live. "We looked at it and said there was no way," he recalls. "We held to our guns. We knew if we bent and said yes, we really were not going to be successful. You couldn't use the Mongolian horde theory—bring in more people—because we were dealing with all the same modules."
—Robert Regis Hyle, “Pain Relievers,” Technology Decisions, June 01, 2006
Everbody in software knows the "Mongolian hordes" technique. It implies throwing people at the problem to cut a few months off the development schedule.
—Alan Cane, “Simplicity In Software Creation,” Financial Times, January 01, 1997
1996 (earliest)
Mongolian Hordes technique n. Development by gang bang. lmplies that large numbers of inexperienced programmers are being put on a job better performed by a few skilled ones. Also called Chinese Anny technique.
—Eric Raymond, The New Hacker's Dictionary, MIT Press, September 01, 1996