10 Reasons the Death Star Project Failed

Reasons the Death Star Project Failed

The use of project management tools like Wrike can lead to project success. However, there are some factors that can lead to project failure like in the case of Death Star.

A project may either be successful or fail based on the inputs put in. Additionally, how the project is handled plays a huge role in the outcome. That was the case when it came to the failure of the Death Star project.

The Death Star was a weapon formed in a moon-sized space station with the amazing ability to destroy an entire planet. However, different reasons led to its failure as the emperor and imperial officers underestimated the tenacity of the rebel alliance who didn't want the technological error.

In this article, we will elaborate on the 10 reasons the Death Star project failed vividly. Ultimately, the failure also led to the fall of the empire in real-time. Interesting? Carry on reading!


1. Incomplete Project Requirements

All project requirements and expectations need to be stipulated earlier before the start of the project. This ensures that all required resources are gotten before the start of the project.

The right task force, capital, equipment, inputs, resources, project management tools acquisition, and other free collaborative tools. However, if project requirements aren’t documented earlier, it can cause project failure like Death Star.

In Death Star, they didn't stipulate all the project requirements to produce a powerful weapon that would destroy the planet in a single blast. Moreover, they didn’t consider having a plan B in case plan A failed.

2. Poor Recognition Of Risks

All projects require a risk assessment and SWOT analysis to evaluate Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.

  • Strengths – The competitive advantage that the project has over others. These are the factors at hand that can lead to project success.
  • Weaknesses – Factors that can deter the achievement of the project, but can still be mitigated.
  • Opportunities – These are the available future opportunities in the market or niche pertaining to the specific project and what will lead to its growth.
  • Threats – These are the circumstances, risks, and issues that can lead to the failure of the project.
  • Risk assessment is required to be doneto check the kind of risks likely to be experienced when doing the project.

Therefore, in every project, the 5 elements need to be checked well to ensure that once the project starts, there won't be any surprises. You can even use Wrike project management tools when working as a team to ensure that all your insights and thoughts are captured.

The Death Star project failed due to a lack of recognizing a risk. No risks had been foreseen until the first Death Star failure. Unfortunately, the project steerers had not foreseen such an occurrence.

3. Lack Of Risk Management

Risk management strategies need to be put in place to ensure the success of a project. However, if there is no one responsible for risk management, then the possibilities of project failure are high.

Additionally, when a risk occurs, the right strategies need to be put in place to prevent further risk damage. However, if the risk is assumed, then it will come to destroy the project later.

Another reason for the Death Star project's failure was the lack of risk management or mitigation. This is seen when the Rebels discovered the Death Star's plans and recognized a weakness.

Contrary to expectations, the empire didn’t do anything to deal with the threat. This was a major risk that even led to its collapse. It would have been better if the risks were worked on to find a viable solution to prevent enemies from using it to their advantage.

4. Poor Leadership

Poor Leadership

Leadership is crucial in any project, if there is poor leadership, then project failure is likely. The project manager needs to take the lead like an exceptional leader. However, a leader shouldn’t just be a dictator, instead, they need to be flexible enough and listen to the other team players since a project team consists of different professionals.

Poor leadership was one of the reasons why the Death Star project failed. Vader and Tarkini were unreasonable, rigid, and unwelcoming. They also didn't welcome any new ideas or collaboration.

Leaders ought to listen to the other team players since brainstorming can help avoid many errors. However, if the leadership is too rigid, the project may not turn out as successful as expected.

5. Ignoring Alternative Solutions

At the start of any project, the requirements are often well stipulated. However, along the way, something might happen that requires a change. Immediate change management strategies should be put in place and documented in the project charter.

Therefore, the team can look for alternative solutions to deal with the issue at hand. A project shouldn’t be rigid to the prior requirement, changes can be made. It isn’t reasonable to just choose the first idea of the easiest path.

Initially, the Death Star's objective or aim was to scare the local system to cooperate. However, instead of the team intimidating them to submission, they got more members to join the rebellion.

6. Not Learning From Mistakes

When working in an organization or project, it is important to analyze the successes and failures of a project to know how best to handle future projects. However, that wasn't the case when it came to Death Star II.

Mistakes tend to happen, but how we strive to avoid repeating them twice makes a major difference. After the first Death Star’s destruction, no analysis was done to ensure the second one was a success. If things were done differently the impact would have been different.

A proper project analysis would have been a game changer.

7. Difficult Stakeholder

Stakeholders are key when working on any project. Their inputs and resources are crucial since they play an important role in the project. Proper rapport should be made between the project team and stakeholders.

Regardless of the stakeholder's demands, you can provide reasonable alternatives and even list additional resources needed to ensure your team works comfortably.

In Death Star II, the emperor wanted fast results even with the fast-reaching deadline which impacted how the team worked.

In as much as projects need to be done on time, it is better to delay to finish at a later date and provide good output rather than hurry and repeat the same mistakes as in Death Star’s project. Project management tools like Wrike can even be used to track how far the project is.

8. Insufficient Resources

Resources like labor, capital, equipment, and other items are crucial for the success of a project. They should be closely stipulated in the project plan for timely acquisition to ensure the project is done perfectly and not substandardly.

Stakeholders are always ready to provide the right inputs for the sake of the success of the team. Death Star project also faced the issue when Jerjerrod didn’t have enough manpower to get the Death Star operational on time.

When he requested additional resources he was threatened instead. Therefore, everything needs to be taken into consideration at the start of a project to prevent such kind of issues.

9. Team Morale

Team Morale

Team motivation is important in any project. Proper incentives should be given to the team to ensure that they are motivated to perform the assigned tasks. However, team morale may be affected by poor leadership, lack of enough resources, lack of project management tools, unrealistic expectations, poor listening techniques, and insufficient communication.

There was poor team morale in the Death Star project since Vader only believed that the team players' survival only relied on good performance and meeting expectations.

However, when he killed the captains, he instead made the team feel bad which led to progress stagnation. Since the team players were scared and in bad moods, they couldn't function as required.

10. Distractions

Distractions can lead to a work backlog. Therefore, it is important to be keen when working on projects. The distractions can lead to a lot of issues that can cause project failure. The team needs to focus on the goal and stick to it unless some changes need to be made

In the Death Star project Vader was really destructed by unrelated issues that interfered with the set schedule. If the focus was on the project, things might have turned out well.

Boost Your Project Performance

Project success is a determinant of leadership, team input & output, team motivation, stakeholder cooperation, proper resource allocation, proper project requirements guidelines, risk assessments, having alternative solutions, learning from mistakes, and preventing distractions from affecting you. Therefore, every team player must have assigned tasks that they should follow to the latter.

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