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Jason Shick

Anyone who knows me knows I am a Star Wars geek. I spend way more time than I care to admit obsessing about the Star Wars films, collecting random star wars toys, and musing about the «what ifs» in the Star Wars universe. The other day, it occurred to me, «What if The Empire had implemented a Quality Management System on the Death Star?» So I thought a bit on this, and here’s what I think might have helped The Empire in their endeavor to rule the galaxy if they only had put Quality Management as a strategic initiative.

Project Management: From the time that the death star plan were conceived, it took The Empire almost 20 years to complete the Death star. A project this large requires multiple roles involved, and delegation of activities. The Death Star project management team consisted of three key people — Grand Moff Tarkin, Darth Vader, and Emperor Palpatine. These are not the more flexible managers, and are not above taking employee errors or missed deadlines with the aid of a lightsaber, force lightning or a death ray.

Perhaps if The Empire implemented a Quality-Based Project Management System, they would be able to clearly define the roles involved in the project, assign tasks to those roles, and manage the project from an aggregate level. Workflow keeps the project deliverables on track, and perhaps this level of visibility would enable them to maintain control, without having to resort to the Dark Side as their only means of clairvoyance.

Document Management: Let’s be honest — even The Empire could’ve used a strong document management system. Given the sheer size of the Death Star, with the thousands of «employees» that worked there, there would have been tens of thousands of records that would need to be controlled — Work Instructions, Job Descriptions, Procedures, Floor Plans, and the like. You would think that with this «technological terror» The Empire constructed, there would be secure Document Management System in place.