10 Reasons the Death Star Project Failed

The Death Star is a fictional project that most reading this will have heard of at some point in their life. It was first featured in the first of the Star Wars movie releases back in 1977; even though it was actually the fourth episode in George Lucas’s ultimate entertainment gift to mankind. In later years, the epic failed moon-sized space station has been featured in other releases such as the recent Rogue One, and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.

The intent of this weapon was to create a planet-sized laser generating station capable of destroying anything in its path with immediacy and precision. Regardless of it’s fictional nature, the failure of the Death Star project offers a lot of cautionary-tale-type lessons to offer business owners.

Let’s take a look at some real world business lessons that can be learned from Lucas’s tale — so long s the destruction of the planet isn’t part of your long-term game plan!

10 Reasons the Death Star Project Failed
Infographic brought to you by Wrike online task management tool

Feeling intrigued? The following is a summary of the insights to be gleaned from the infographic.

Lack of foresight

The first problem mentioned in the infographic points to lack of foresight as a prime reason the project failed. Those planning the Death Star project thought they had designed the perfect weapon. Just one flaw — they left just one small opening for the Force’s starfighters to get through and destroy everything the dark side had worked so hard to achieve.

Real world business owners need to consider every minute possibility that could affect how a product, service, or initiative will function upon release or implementation. Think of every problem that can take place and how to avoid, or fix it.

Recognition of risk and risk management

Few business owners can foresee every possible risk to their brand. However, few actually sit down and think of risk before launching an idea. A “rush it out and fix it while you go” mentality will lead to many avoidable road blocks. Points number two and three in the graphic delve into risk and how to plan for and deal with it.

Sit down and think of every possible risk you can, and either figure out ways to avoid them, or, as mentioned before; develop a game plan to fix issues as they come up. Some problems are unavoidable, despite smart awareness and planning. Don’t be slow to take action when things happen or they’ll get out-of-control quick.

Leadership issues

Several points on the Wrike infographic point to leadership problems that led to the destruction of the Death Star. Reading through the graphic, common problems such as insisting everyone follow the game plan, discouraging innovation with the threat of death (or firing in the real world), and to just “get the job done” without thinking of better ways to successfully complete a project.

Other issues such as creating unreasonable deadlines, not providing the essential resources to get the job done, forcing employees to multitask beyond what’s considered reasonable, allowing distractions to take over, eliminating key team players for speaking the truth, and other poor leadership problems all lead to the eventual failure of the Death Star project.

Moral issues

The need for good morale is the responsibility of everyone on the team. Morale on the Death Star was clearly due to Darth Vader and the Emperor. In the real world, everyone from the CEO, to management, to those who work at the lowest level need to work toward a positive and healthy work environment.

Death Star assault
photo credit: PopSci

While the Death Star is a fictional weapon based in a fictional world, the lessons from it’s failure can be used by any business that wishes to avoid as many problems as possible, ensuring faster and more continuous growth.