Nov 29, 2009

Star Wars and Project Management

I think the analogies between Star Wars and project management (PM) work are like the Energizer Bunny. They go on and on and on. =)

I found this article that Phil Bennett wrote about the similarities between Star Wars and project management. His children, when they were still small, asked him what did he do at work. This could have been quite easy to answer if he was a policeman or a doctor or a fireman. Necessity was indeed the mother of invention or if might say, creativity, thus the Star Wars metaphor in describing PM work was born from Phil's head.

I have listed below the salient points of the 3 Star Wars parallels that Phil wrote.

Hans Solo was frozen in Carbonite in The Empire Strikes Back and then Luke and friends came to save him in Return of the Jedi.

PM Work Parallel
To "unfreeze" and save a project from "enemies," a project manager uses status reports, letters of executive support and corporate goals.


"The Force" is one of the most ubiquitous concept in the Star Wars saga that it has become part of the pop culture, especially the phrase, "May the Force be with you."

PM Work Parallel
To bend the will of the people around a project manager much like "The Force," he can use strategic plans and stakeholders' sign-offs and support.


The sequence of the Star Wars saga did not follow a linear path (from 4, 5, 6 first then moving to 1, 2, 3 later).

PM Work Parallel Project always tend to move in a non-linear path even if the Gantt charts are all finished and the critical path has been identified. If I may add here, projects are also susceptible to the Murphy's Law laying waste to even the best laid and organized plans.

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