The Art of War for Project Managers


Dave Prior explains how to use the teachings in Sun Tzu's masterpiece for success at work. While this presentation is geared towards in your role as a project manager, many of the lessons can be applied in other facets of day-to-day life to help you subtly manipulate a situation towards a desired outcome.

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Comments (25)

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I found this to be one of the more interesting presentations I've seen/listened to on project management techniques. It was well-spoken at a good pace, concise, practical and thought-provoking.


Very nice presentation especially on the 10 key concepts and tools , very practical


Very nice presentations ! The links to daily activities are fantastic and very useful.
Knowing the environment and everything as much as possible is most useful. Master Sun Tzu said correctly, 'Know your enemy and know yourself and 100 battles you will never be in peril'.

Thank you Dave !


Dave Prior did a fantastic job delivering the information in this video. Even though it is time stamped 2008 it is still very relevant. As I was watching it, I could identify with some of the steps he walked through, then learned things I didn't intuitively know on my own. For those of who work in VERY political environments, the content is practical and useful. I'm so glad this video wasn't shelved in an archive and is made accessible to those of us in 2015! I even downloaded a translation of the Art of War and will read it on an upcoming trip.


Good presentation and good documento to use for PM.


Nice presentation and very clear. Interesting point of view connecting AOW to PM.

Thanks for posting it.


Good idea to relate Projects Management with the art of war


wow, this makes total sense in its application to project management. well done. what reference do we use to try this out?


Good information. Thank you


Awesome presentation. like it when he says that if your analysis indicates you will loose the battle, don't engage. Kill the project, killing the project can sometimes be good project management."


Excellent presentation. As an introduction, it peaks the curiousity and increases the desire to learn more about this subject and how to apply it to project management. Well done.


very good information. Thank you


Wow!! How simply he conveyed the message. Nice presentation. Hope to apply in real life job


Excellent techniques leading you to state harmony in project context or even in daily human settings..


Rather than an "armed conflict" war could be seen as a "contest of wills." The goal is to assert one's will and thwart that of another. Planning is hence the rehearsal of various conceivable scenarios. The secret lies in the ability of the respective participants to draw insights from their rehearsals. In this context Edge of Tomorrow with Tom Cruise provides good lessons on learning and improving performance through a number of iterations (rehearsal).

"Manipulation" is a win-lose approach. In contrast, 'incentive" is win-win. As long as you're making sure that your counterparts enjoy benefits from going along with your intentions, you're incentivizing, not manipulating.

The most important rule is probably to know your counterpart and know yourself. This is the area where most people will be weak.

For further research recommend studying "social physics." Although this is conceptually a fairly ancient field, it is enjoying a renaissance with the advent of "big data" as we devise tools to take advantage of this resource.


Good stage presence. Well rehearsed and presented lecture. Thanks for the inspiration.


Well presented. Contains very useful points for help improve project delivery success.


Great presentation. i'll buy the book definitively!


Simply a great presentation. I liked the example "Be like Water", when Dave played with his water bottle and mapped the idea with the projects.


Great presentation!


Excellent presentation, good job.


widely applicable to life as well as project management.


Excellent presentation. It gives good knowledge to PMs


Dave does a great job of applying Sun Tzu's tools and techniques into practical ways to improve project management. Mapping the terminology to the business environment and project management perspective really opened my eyes. I will definitely be thinking through these principles, and using them, from now on.


War:document, communicate and administ key project management processes within the project team and across the company...


Great presentation, with excellent principles which open your mind and can be used in every day life aswell as project management


"If you must play, decide on three things at the start: the rules of the game, the stakes and the quitting time."

- Chinese Proverb