Project Management

Managing Projects Sun Tzu's Way

Topics: Strategy, Work Breakdown Structures (WBS), Knowledge Shelf

This article digs into the ancient text of the Art of War written by the ancient Chinese war strategist, Sun Tzu, and how we can use the philosophy in today’s age to manage our projects.

This article will only cover the three core chapters of the 13 chapters of the text. It covers the following strategies:

  • Laying Plans
  • Waging War
  • Attack by Stratagem

Interpretation of this war strategy is explained in a very practical and pragmatic approach on how we manage a project. Laying Plans covers the five elements that we need to watch when we do our project planning, such as the values, internal and external factors, project manager, etc. Waging War stresses the importance of detailed planning, hence enabling a project manager to make hard decisions. Attack by Stratagem highlights the importance of a clear and focused project objective.

By using this ancient analogy, it is expected that reader will not only get better insight into project management, but also can learn from it in a more amusing way.

Why would you want to use an ancient Chinese war strategy to manage a project? There are at least two or three reasons:

1. It gives you a different perspective and angle on how to manage a project.
2. If you are going to manage a cross-cultural project with Asians, it could help you to translate the communication into their culture …

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