3 Planning Tips From the Galactic Empire

Community Manager

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In celebration of May the 4th (be with you!), we’re analyzing some planning-based highlights from arguably the most famous Star Wars film of them all, “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope.”

In this special dual blog post, we’re analyzing what worked, what didn’t work, and what can be learned from the planning successes and failures of the Rebel Alliance and Galactic Empire throughout Episode IV. Please note, if you haven’t yet caught up with this 1977 classic, this post does contain spoilers, so readers beware.

So, without further ado, welcome to the dark side!

Galactic Empire Tip #1: Don’t Go Changing

The inciting incident in Episode IV happens when Darth Vader and the Galactic Empire capture and board the Tantive IV ship to secure the stolen Death Star plans from Princess Leia and the Rebel Alliance. Their plan to recapture the blueprints does work (to begin with) but could be considered a grand waste of time. They know the Rebels have the plans for their Death Star, and later admit that those plans may be used to find flaws and weaknesses that could be exploited, but never act on that information aside from continuing to chase the Rebels. Instead of taking time to self-assess their own flaws and practice some business agility, such as that provided by Connected Planning, they choose to focus on chasing their competition’s efforts, which (SPOILER ALERT) ends with the destruction of the Death Star. Strike 1, Galactic Empire.

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Galactic Empire Tip #2: Don’t Listen to Your People (You Always Know Best)

Throughout multiple scenes in the film, lower grade members of the Empire attempt to inform superiors of the potential weaknesses in their Death Star space station. Even Darth Vader himself mentions to Empire leadership that they, the Empire, are overestimating the security of the Death Star.

So, what’s the problem with this? No one truly listens to the technicians and front-line team that helped to build the space station when they’re sharing significant threats to the Death Star with leadership. In the world of Connected Planning, the Empire is completely ignoring the People pillar, which creates a very disconnected and, in the case of the Death Star, destructive experience. Strike 2, Mr. Vader!

Galactic Empire Tip #3: You’re Too Big to Fail, Right?

Finally, the Empire falls into the same mindset trap that many modern-day businesses have fallen into themselves: “Don’t worry, we’re simply too big to fail.” In the third act of the film, the Empire stopped worrying about what their competitors were doing, did not adjust to changing (business/marketplace) conditions, were too slow to make decisions and appropriate moves, and, as a result, witnessed the demise of their (business) Death Star as they simply couldn’t keep up. The Empire’s legacy approach to maintaining their course of action and unwillingness to change are again great examples of how not to practice Connected Planning. Strike 3 and you’re out of here!

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Better Luck Next Time

Though the Empire struck out as a bad example in “A New Hope,” there were some valuable lessons to be learned. Interested in how the Rebel Alliance faired? Then check out the 3 Planning Tips From the Rebel Alliance post to catch up with the Rebel scum.


Galactic disclaimer: This post is intended to be a parody of planning efforts found in “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope” (1977). The advice and the opinions of the Galactic Empire, and the author’s sarcasm, do not reflect the opinions of Anaplan (and should not reflect yours either). But, may the force be with you, always.