Have you ever watched a movie and as the credits rolled, you thought to yourself, “Well, that could have gone a lot differently if a project manager had been around.” No? Just us? Anyway, we thought we’d take a look through our DVD collections and pick out the movies that really should have cast a project manager amongst the usual ragtag group of kooky characters, starlets and leading men.  

1. 300 – Really? You’re only going to bring 300 guys to battle 100,000 Persians in the mountain pass of Thermopylae? As a friend put it, the Spartans were “woefully unprepared.”  Classic case of poor resource allocation skills.

2. The Social Network – I think it’s safe to say that Mark Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin had some collaboration issues, especially when Sean Parker stepped on the scene. Also, a good project manager would never throw his team member under the bus:

 

3. Alien – No situation needs “crisis management” like one where an alien baby pops out of your co-worker’s stomach.

4. Jaws – “You’re going to need a bigger boat.” Should have thought of that before you went out in the middle of the ocean on your toy tugboat to chase a monstrosity of a killer shark, Roy Scheider. This project plan would get an F- from me.

 

5. The Wizard of Oz – We love multi-project scheduling at LiquidPlanner, but there were way too many tasks being worked on at one time in this film. Finding a brain, a heart, courage AND a way home? If they had only prioritized a bit, the yellow brick road wouldn’t have seemed so long. I have to give it to Dorothy and crew though: I would never have seen a soporific poppy field as a potential project road block. When in Oz!  

6. Titanic – Call me crazy, but I think a project manager would have considered icebergs to be a bit of a problem while zooming an “unsinkable” ship around the Atlantic Ocean at night. But hey, what do I know?  

7. Toy Story – When Buzz becomes the favorite action figure in the toy box, Woody, the former cowboy in charge, gets upset and chaos ensues. If Andy, the little boy in the story, had read our blog post about change management and put some of those points into action, this conflict could have been completely avoided.  

 

8. Reservoir Dogs – Serious question: who was really in charge here? And would YOU listen to someone who referred to himself as Mr. Pink?

9. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – In this installment of the ‘Arry Pot-tah movies, Hermione uses a Time-Turner to attend more classes than time would usually allow. It’s meant for shorter periods of time travel, naturally. In project management, we unfortunately don’t have Time-Turners (being a Muggle is such a bummer sometimes), but we do have Timers in LiquidPlanner. Project managers, who can be masters when it comes to sticking to schedule, use them to help track (down to the minute) how long things REALLY take. Maybe Hermione should have been studying for her PMP Certification instead of for her Defense for the Dark Arts exam, am I right?

10. Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle – This was the popular pick amongst our Twitter followers when we asked for input for this post. The title of the film explains the basics: two guys named Harold and Kumar try to go to White Castle, and it doesn’t go very well (at one point, Neil Patrick Harris, aka Doogie Howser, M.D., steals their car). As one tweep put it, “Those guys had ONE task to get done and just look what happened!”

We’ve been getting great responses to this post – what movie would you like to see added to the list? Let us know in the comments!

Movies That Could Have Used a Project Manager was last modified: June 28th, 2013 by Alison Clancy