Is Your Project Manager A Sith Lord? Three Ways To Find Out. | by Sebastian Carlos | Jul, 2022

3. They constantly ask you if you have heard the Tragedy of Darth Gantt.

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Software engineering is a complex field with many grey areas. But your Sith project manager sees only black and white.

To them, there are only action points and deadlines. This is because they come from a long line of Sith who have been groomed from birth to think in absolutes.

No matter how much you pray, they keep on altering it further. The original specs were defined two months ago, but they keep adding more features “for the good of the project”.

The result? Your team is working overtime, weekends and holidays, just to meet the manager’s unrealistic goals.

If you dare confront them about it, they will look you dead into your eyes and tell you to “do it.” You might as well give up trying to reason with them and just do what they say.

Gannt charts are a project management tool used to visually represent the timeline of a project. But your Sith project manager loves to ask you if you have heard the story of those charts.

If you haven’t, they will tell you the story in great detail, making sure to mention how it’s relevant to the project at hand.

It is a story about a great Sith Lord who was betrayed by his apprentice. It’s not a story a Jedi project manager would tell you.

This author has dabbled with the dark side of the force, so I feel it’s appropriate for me to share the full story here — even if only to prevent you from hearing it from your Sith project manager in a three-hour meeting.

The Tragedy of Darth Gantt.

Once, there was a great Sith Lord named Darth Gantt. He was a master of the dark side of the force, and he was feared by many.

However, Darth Gantt had a secret. He was not really a force user. He was just a regular PowerPoint user who happened to create a clever chart.

A Gannt chart’s source of power is its ability to show the passage of time. And he who controls time controls the universe.

Darth Gantt used his charts to manipulate those around him. He made them believe that a software project can be split into discrete units of work, each with a definite start and end date.

For a while, it worked. The projects he managed seemed to be on time and under budget… until they weren’t. Because at some point, reality would always catch up with him. And when it did, things would unravel quickly.

By then, it would be too late to save the codebase. The damage would be done. And Darth Gantt would always walk away unscathed into a new early-stage startup, while those around him paid the price.

But Darth Gantt made one mistake, he shared his knowledge with his apprentice, Darth Kanban, who used it to create a more powerful tool: The Kanban board.

And so, the cycle continued. As each new Sith management methodology rose and fell, the galaxy was plunged more and more into darkness. And all because of one man’s quest for power: Darth Gantt.

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