Continuous ImprovementExecution ExcellenceProject Management Office

PMO Learning from ‘Game of Thrones’

Experience is the best teacher, but the bruises of past project mishaps can leave the team with a lasting impact and improved skillset. However tough the learning process would be, project management is a ‘Game of Thrones’ that is unpredictable and tough to play.

In this article at Project Manager, Mike Clayton suggests plenty of project management take aways from the most talked about English TV series ‘Game of Thrones’.

The Correlation

Unlike the world of business, the story of ‘Game of Thrones’ revolves around the struggle for power, politics, and defeat. In many business schools across the globe, the series was used as a case study to teach management lessons to MBA students. Even for project managers or PMOs, it would be a helpful way to prepare for the cut-throat competition in the real corporate world. The author divides the learning lessons into three principal categories:

  1. General Principles: The series suggest ‘Nothing Gets Built When Everyone is at War’. The project managers need to understand that innovation cannot thrive in internal turmoil within the organization. It also says ‘If You Want to Do Something Remarkable, You Need Strong Alliances’ that means big projects need alignment with diverse stakeholders. The stakeholders have strong retention power that is helpful in winning their trust. Therefore, remain vigilant and leave no room for doubt or duplication of work.
  2. Lessons Buried: In the TV series, each house in ‘Westeros’ has its own motto which is referred to as the ‘House Words’. Now, the learnings for PMOs here is— ‘Winter is Coming’ that means always be ready for risk management, ‘Hear Me Roar’ means the team needs strong determination to deliver desired outcomes.’ Similarly, ‘Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken’ explains the value of flexibility for the project managers and ‘We Do Not Sow’ explains the value of the right investment in project management that can bring rewards.
  3. Valuable Insights: In this part, the author mentions some inspiring quotations from the leaders in the series. For instance, ‘A mind needs books like a sword needs a whetstone’ said by Tyrion Lannister suggests that a good project manager should be in the constant process of learning. He also said in the series, ‘Most men would rather deny a hard truth than face it’. This means, deal with the hard truths before they shatter your project and your career growth.

Click on the following link to read the original article and some interesting facts about the series:

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