Warning: Movie descriptions may contain spoilers.
Although the goal is clear, there is not enough time to achieve it all.
The team is ready to go but disorganization is keeping them back.
The stakes are high. This project could have a major impact on a career, a product, or a person’s life.
Only one type of person can save the day.
You’re right if you think the above setup sounds like something you see on a lot of TV and movie shows. A project manager might not immediately think about John McClane or James Bond, but they might think about last Friday, when Jim from the development team didn’t complete his work for the sprint and held back the entire team.
Many of Hollywood’s best movies are about project management. You don’t have to be a PMP or know how to use project software to recognize when a great plan is realized. To celebrate the greatest project managers in cinema, I have compiled a list of the top project management movies.
These are the qualifications I used to select:
These are the top movies project managers should see!
Action and Adventure
1. Back to the Future (1985).
Rotten tomatoes score: 96%
The film’s premise: Marty McFly is a high schooler in the 80s. This isn’t very helpful when he suddenly finds himself back in the 1950s. Marty accidentally stops his teenage parents from falling in love and meeting. He risks his life. Marty must help these unlikely lovers to connect while trying to find a way back to 1985.
Be sequential: Marty struggles throughout the film with a time-travel paradox. If he doesn’t rekindle the affection of his parents, he will never be born in the future. He will never be able to return to the future. Marty devises a risky plan to return home. It involves lightning striking a specific spot at a precise time. But Marty’s father convinces him to be brave by the end.
2. Casino Royale (2006)
Rotten tomatoes score: 95%
Premise of the film: James Bond travels to Madagascar to spy upon Mollaka, a terrorist freelancer, after he has been granted his license to kill. He discovers a link between Le Chiffre, an terrorist financier, and a terrorist cell. Bond learns that Le Chiffre is trying to recover money he has lost on a stock-short. Bond, under the guidance of MI6, believes that he alone can overthrow Le Chiffre’s organisation.
Laughter is better then sarcasm: Le Chiffre straps a nude James Bond into a chairless chair and proceeds beating him with a thick rope. Bond decides to laugh at the torture and instructs Le Chiffre how to beat him properly. It was only a matter of time before the situation got worse. This is true for project management as well. Even if your project is not perfect, put a smile on your face. It’ll benefit everyone around you.
3. Chicken Run (2000)
Rotten tomatoes score: 97%
Premise of the film – Ginger the chicken and Rocky the Rooster don’t want to be dinner. They both know they are certain to die so they rally their chicken friends to escape the Tweedy compound, before they become pies.
Inspire: Ginger points beyond the Tweedy compound and says, “There’s a better spot out there, somewhere else!” Some people aren’t convinced. Rocky, however, laughs and says, “There’s only a one-in-a million chance of escape from this place.” Ginger ends the conversation by saying, “Then there’s still hope.”
Sometimes projects seem impossible. If your team doesn’t buy in, your project won’t succeed. Believe that the impossible can be done. Then, find the nuggets of potential and craft your project.