The Hunger Games in Project Management

Kenneth has 14 years of healthcare experience in government and private industry. Over eight years of experience managing healthcare IT projects, operations, contracts, and personnel. His work experience includes project management, contracts and procurements, data analysis, claims adjudication, business writing, and business process modeling. Kenneth was certified in 2006 as a Project Management Professional.

The Hunger Gamesis a movie based on the bestselling novel of the same name. In it, teenagers from 12 districts are forced to compete in the annual competition, wherein they have to stay alive by killing all of the other “contestants”. It is not a pleasant situation for the heroes of the story to find themselves stuck in. Against long odds and after facing fierce opposition [SPOILER ALERT!], the two main characters--Katniss and Peeta--survive the games and in the sequel, they…(well, that would spoil the series, wouldn’t it?).

What lesson can project managers learn from The Hunger Games about surviving in the “game” of project management? Hopefully, there will not be fights to the death, but it can be a struggle at times. The key to survival for the two main characters is the ability to adapt to their situation. Throughout all of the trials and obstacles of the games, they are able to defy the odds by not following the rules; they change and modify their actions according to the different situations they find themselves in.

The humble characters from District 12 first find themselves riding to the capitol in a high-speed train. Despite the sharp contrast between the poverty stricken districts they come from and the wealthy land of abundance in the capitol, they must learn to please the crowds in the capitol. It is the only way that …

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"I have often regretted my speech, never my silence."

- Xenocrates