Rogue One: The Empire’s 6 Steps to Construction Project Management Success

January 19, 2017 Adam Higgins

Ok -- so you’ve been put in charge of one the most important construction projects in the Empire. Everyone is relying on you to build the most feared weapon in the galaxy -- a Death Star. If your name is Orson Krennic, you’ve been preparing for this opportunity ever since you joined the Republic, and you have all the resources of a vast intergalactic empire at your disposal, so there’s no way this project can fail.

Star Wars Rogue One Construction Project Success


This guaranteed success aside, you’ll still want to get up to speed on the Empire’s tried and true stepped approach to construction project management. After all, we don’t want problems that will inevitably trigger a flurry of Force chokes from the capital projects team.

Construction Project Management...the Empire Way.



Darth Vader Study Construction Project Management Vader has been boning up on his PM basics, thanks to pmoplanet



Design & Documentation


Step 1: Work Smarter — Make Others Work Harder

Design is hard -- and it takes so much time away from blasting rebel scum and destroying planets. It’s much easier to get someone else to do the work for you.

"You know, another thing most beings fail to realize about the Geonosians is that it's in your nature to be industrious." - Orson Krennic, Project Architect

 DO leverage an intergalactic civil war to manipulate those industrious Geonosians to design the plans for you.

DON’T let them build it for you. The Emperor needs to know you are the star of this project, not some insectoid trash. Just take the plans and move the project. Then you’ll be way ahead of schedule at Governor Tarkin’s first inspection.

DARK SIDE PRO-TIP: Don’t leave evidence behind. If you are taking the project over, you should execute the original Geonosian team. Heck, you might as well sterilize their entire planet. The less insectoids in the galaxy, the better.


Star Wars Rogue One Death Star Diagram Construction Project Management Death Star plans, smuggled out of Wookiepedia


Step 2: Delegate to a Flaw (Literally)

The key to delegation success is that you pile it all on one person. One person, one throat for Vader to Force choke -- and it’s not yours!

DO hand off those plans and all the responsibility immediately to your Project Engineer. Let him figure it out. Engineers are smart.

DON’T waste time establishing logical naming conventions before handoff. It’s perfectly fine if your engineer uses a naming convention that only his long lost daughter (the one you essentially exiled) can understand.

DARK SIDE PRO-TIP: Contracting…? Don’t contract this out. Why hire when you can engage Wookie slaves to do the work. The quality will be fine.




Step 3: Viciously Control Your Team


Rogue One Construction Project Management Don't take no for an answer!

The last thing the Emperor wants to hear is that you can’t control your team. If your project engineer runs off, you go hunt him down.

DO find whatever Outer Rim hole he’s been hiding in, take your security force there, kill his wife, and force him back to work. He’ll appreciate the extra effort and, in time, your wisdom in selecting him. So...probability of sabotage is relatively low.

DON’T compile your documentation and search for a suitable alternative. All the plans and models are light years away on Scarif and you have a Death Star to build. Maybe someday the Emperor will approve your request for a cloud-based document management system, providing you with anytime, anywhere access to everything you need...but today is not that day.

DARK SIDE PRO-TIP: Offer incentives to your team. If you execute your project engineer’s wife, let his daughter get away. Having someone he loves out there in the galaxy, ready to be tracked down on a moment’s notice, will motivate him to do quality work.


Step 4: Hurry and Make Up for Lost Time

The Emperor is already complaining to Tarkin about delays, so you need to make up for lost time. Once you’ve secured the project team (again), you’re ready to move into avoiding constructability reviews. Here’s how to do it the Empire way.

DON’T waste time with constructability reviews. Those industrious Geonosians already spent years on the plans, and then Galen made them even better -- and he’s a genius! No sense getting the opinions of morons and slowing things down even more. Let your project engineer do what you kidnapped him for.

DO demonstrate confidence in your PE by allowing him complete autonomy and absolute control over all construction files. Best now to give him a little breathing room, so he grows to believe in your power-hungry mission again.

DARK SIDE PRO-TIP: Isolation = motivation! Instead of keeping your engineering team close-by, ship them off to a remote planet like Eadu. Sure, they won’t be close enough to the project site to monitor progress or manage quality, but it’ll be good team building for them, and after all -- you can send them some droid footage on the next shuttle.


Construction Phase 


Step 5: Store Project Data Without Security

Data breaches are rare and easily controlled when your files are managed in a secure cloud-based platform like BIM 360 Docs. But in the Empire, we do things a little differently. 


Rogue One Death Star Darth Vader Construction Project Management Darth Vader knows how to handle data breaches.


 DON’T maintain construction files in the cloud or secure them with user permissions. This would make it easy to grant role-based access and, likewise, to remove those permissions if someone, say, decided to fly off with unauthorized information. Never happens.

DO store your data in a physical location that is only accessible on a drive that can be manually removed if necessary and carried away by anyone who might be able to gain access. This is critical.

DARK SIDE PRO TIP: Reply All = ALL-ways a good idea. Make it easy to broadcast plan files across an unsecure connection to everybody within range. If an authorized person attempts to use this galactic “reply all” option, they probably won’t know how to align the antenna, so it’s cool.


Step 6: Blame Delays on Team
Rogue One Darth Vader Force Threatens Krennic Construction Project Management Lesson well learned, thanks to Vader (footage via @hardyness)


When you hit the point of the project where it looks like it may fail, take action immediately.

DO prepare for Force chokes. With the Capital Projects Team being led by Lord Vader, the repercussions for delays are obvious.

DON’T demand documentation to identify what went wrong and correct it. If you had good documentation, this would never have happened, so why bother asking for it now?

DARK SIDE PRO TIP: Play the blame game. If there’s a problem and there's a chance to blame someone else on your team, DO IT! Go right to Lord Vader and blame all your problems on Governor Tarkin. He’s sure to be very understanding.


Commissioning & Handover

<< ERROR: File Does Not Exist: Death_Star_Handover_Guide.pdf >>

WHOOPS! It looks like we’ve never actually reached commissioning and handover in the Empire, thanks to our commitment to planting fatal flaws into every design — including the armor we send our troopers into battle in. But we’re sure there’s nothing to it. No need to maintain as-built files or create a secure central database for operations manuals, warranty information, and other important construction documentation.

When the Rebels Come for Your Data (And They Will)...

If you follow all these steps carefully, then inevitably the project engineer whose wife you killed will use his complete control over the project to build a fatal flaw into the designs. He’ll then transmit that fact to his daughter and her band of rebels, who will promptly attempt to steal the plans and exploit the project’s vulnerabilities.


Rogue One Rebels Steal Death Star Plans Construction Document Management Ummmm...are they stealing our tape drive with all the plans? (security footage via Inverse)


 When that happens, you could still delete the files and avert disaster, but only if you were using modern construction project management software. But you’re not, are you?

If only the Empire had access to BIM 360, the story of Rogue One would have gone very differently....

What if you had enforced standard naming conventions and found the plans before Jyn stumbled on “Stardust”?

What if you had engaged in a collaborative constructability review with all the subs, and discovered the fatal flaw before it was built?

What if your data had been in the cloud with appropriate file protections to prevent the rebels ever accessing it?

Well, you would have saved your life’s work, not to mention a few million lives. Read on to see how it all would have happened if the Death Star had been designed and built using today’s best construction apps.

Check out "What If the Death Star Used Construction Apps"


What If the Death Star Used Construction Apps Stormtroopers could've ditched their paper & pencils


Got construction project management advice for the Empire?

Post it in the comments below!!



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