Project Management in La casa de papel

Fabio Camatari is a PM Specialist in Brazil.

The Netflix series La casa de papel (Money Heist) has garnered fans across the world because of its captivating story line: A team plans a highly elaborate plot to invade the Royal Mint of Spain. The limited series shows how the team prepares, executes, monitors and completes the complex and audacious plan to break in and then print out its own unmarked and untraceable Euro banknotes.

With the recent release of the last nine episodes, we can finally evaluate the lessons learned as they relate to project management. Spoiler alert! If you have not watched the series so far, the text from this point on introduces plot points and can compromise part of the fun.

This analysis is not intended to be a critique or review on the series, but to draw a parallel with the concepts and practices of project management (note: Don’t try this at home!). Thus, we list the following parallels, divided by groups of PM processes:

1. Characterization

  1. "A project is a temporary effort undertaken to create a unique product, service or result." [A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide)—Sixth Edition (page 4)] The audacious plan followed this definition. It had a date and time for a beginning and end, with a unique result as its goal.
  2. "Project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to project …

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