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Project Management Lessons from Star Trek | Video

Project Management Lessons from Star Trek

7 lessons from Star Trek that do not demand you are a big Star Trek fan, Trekkie, Trekker or whatever. All you’ll need is a glancing familiarity with one of the main shows or films.

In Star Trek, the leading characters represent valuable ideals that read across into good Project Management.

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In Star Trek, the leading characters represent valuable ideals that read across into good Project Management.

7 Project Management Lessons from Star Trek

  1. Moral dimension. The resolution of stories is often about choosing the right course of action. There is a strong ethical thread through the choices that the leading characters make.
  2. The stories often take the characters into the unknown. It’s a choice most of them have deliberately made. But they still feel fear. So, they must remain calm and bring all of their learning and experience to bear.
  3. The starships in Star Trek are filled with a wildly diverse crew, who work together to solve the problems they face. This diversity was one of the hallmarks of the original 1960s Star Trek series TOS). A diverse team is also one hallmark of a high performing team in the real world.
  4. The lead characters are a mix of generalists and specialists. When the situation demands them, the stories add additional, specialist resources. That’s an important principle in constructing real project teams.
  5. The first writing team came up with the brilliant idea of a Universal Translator. Don’t you wish…? Not just for dealing with virtual teams spread across the globe. But also, so we could really understand what our stakeholders are trying to tell us!
  6. In many episodes, the Captain does not come up with the solution. They ask for ideas, take advice from anyone, listen hard to that advice, and assess it rapidly. But it is the Captain who makes the decisions.
  7. We constantly see a willingness to be creative, take risks, and even break rules. But it’s all in the service of doing the right thing. Rule-breaking is not something to take lightly. But, equally, never let the rules constrain you in making the ethical choices.

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If you like Star Trek, you may also like our series of Project Management Lessons from Game of Thrones…

  1. The Storyline
  2. Words of our Characters
  3. Words of the Great Houses

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About the Author Mike Clayton

Dr Mike Clayton is one of the most successful and in-demand project management trainers in the UK. He is author of 14 best-selling books, including four about project management. He is also a prolific blogger and contributor to ProjectManager.com and Project, the journal of the Association for Project Management. Between 1990 and 2002, Mike was a successful project manager, leading large project teams and delivering complex projects. In 2016, Mike launched OnlinePMCourses.

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