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What Sci-Fi Movies Teach Us About Project Management Skills 186

Posted by samzenpus
from the I'm-afraid-I-can't-accept-that-proposal-dave dept.
Esther Schindler writes "It's certainly fun to pretend to find work inspiration from our favorite SF films. That's what Carol Pinchefsky does in two posts, one about positive business lessons you can take away from SF films (such as 'agile thinking can save many a project (and project manager) in a crisis' from Robocop and team motivation lessons from Buffy), and the other, 5 Project Management Horror Stories Found in Sci-Fi Movies, with examples of the impact of poor documentation on Captain America."
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What Sci-Fi Movies Teach Us About Project Management Skills

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  • by rossdee (243626) on Thursday December 19, 2013 @11:47PM (#45743053)

    "We shall redouble our efforts"

    The commander of Death Star 2 when Vader told him the Emperor was coming to inspect the project.

  • by DavidClarkeHR (2769805) <david.clarke@hrg ... a ['ner' in gap]> on Thursday December 19, 2013 @11:56PM (#45743079)

    I mean you have Star Wars, Star Trek, Senerity, Farscape (I guess), Dune (maybe). A few movies from the 60's/70's (silent running, 2001, whatever).

    What other sci-fi movies are there? It's all shit.

    Alien. Aliens.

    It's a stunning reminder of the value of human life ... when there's science involved (look at me still talking ...)

  • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Friday December 20, 2013 @01:03AM (#45743349) Homepage Journal

    What other sci-fi movies are there? It's all shit.

    According to TFS, Buffy is Sci-Fi. I knew right then not to read the article.

  • by ScottCooperDotNet (929575) on Friday December 20, 2013 @01:13AM (#45743381)

    Don't let Khan near anything.
    If it breeds, it can take over your ship.
    Sleeping with the test proctor will let you beat the no-win scenario.
    If you have a bad feeling about something, it's a trap.

  • by Greyfox (87712) on Friday December 20, 2013 @02:06AM (#45743561) Homepage Journal
    Should have a prominent big red self destruct button. This button should not do anything, and it should be booby trapped.
  • by DerekLyons (302214) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (retawriaf)> on Friday December 20, 2013 @09:33AM (#45744875) Homepage

    "We shall redouble our efforts"

    I've always wondered... Why didn't he just say quadruple?

    Because redouble doesn't mean quadruple.

  • by TWiTfan (2887093) on Friday December 20, 2013 @09:59AM (#45745011)

    I do always hate it when science fiction and fantasy get mixed in together as "genre films." I have nothing against fantasy, mind you. And I'm aware there is a lot of crossover, especially among genre writers. But the two are very different forms in many ways. Sure, you can intermix them--in the same way you could make a science fiction noir detective story, or a science fiction sports movie. But fantasy generally incorporates implausible or supernatural elements, whereas science fiction stories generally stick to elements that must at least be justified as POSSIBLE in their setting. Not that the lines don't get blurred sometimes.

  • by JDG1980 (2438906) on Friday December 20, 2013 @10:17AM (#45745143)

    How can you write about IT project management failures in sci-fi movies and not mention Jurassic Park?

    For all Malcolm's talk about "chaos theory", the failure of the park was a very predictable result of (1) relying heavily on IT for mission-critical systems, and (2) putting all of this IT infrastructure in the hands of one guy, that the CEO knows is disgruntled! Any project manager with half a brain should have seen it coming. But Hammond, who "spared no expense" on everything else, apparently couldn't be bothered to hire a competent CIO, or spring for a real IT team.

    A general rule of project management, not only in IT but in other fields as well, is that you should never have critical, undocumented knowledge that is in the possession of only one employee. The reason is obvious: if that employee quits, or is fired, or gets hit by a bus, or is eaten by a Dilophosaurus, you're completely screwed. All mission-critical systems should be covered by multiple people and should be properly documented.

From Sharp minds come... pointed heads. -- Bryan Sparrowhawk