5 Project Management Lessons Chewbacca can Learn Playing StarCraft 2

Co-op mode is one of the best things to come with StarCraft 2’s Legacy of the Void expansion pack. It’s a lot of fun, has a lot of replayability, and adds that extra dimension StarCraft’s multiplayer needed. If Chewbacca were to play this game, he’d learn a few things about managing the Millennium Falcon and would do well if he applied these five key lessons:

1. Understand the objective and plan accordingly

The key difference between co-op mode and traditional ladder matches is that you aren’t just trying to kill the other player. There are unique objectives for each map, and fulfilling them is key to a successful game. Sometimes you’re supposed to hunt and destroy trains, or maybe you’re supposed to defend a temple. If you don’t plan around the map’s objectives your project will go up in smoke because you’re chasing the wrong goals.

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Likewise, Chewie needs to identify his objectives. Do they need to escape a Star Destroyer’s tractor beam, or smuggle rebel spies out of Tatooine? Understanding the key goal of each mission is crucial to its success.

2. Communication is key

Missions like Lock & Load and Chain of Ascension really require the two commanders to work closely with each other. Without communication, a commander could be parking his troops at a Celestial Lock without affecting anything because his partner hasn’t committed any of his forces to this lock. Speak to your partner and say hi. Let each other know when you’re planning a key assault or if you need help defending a position. If you don’t communicate, you’re just working by yourself.

This is actually a lesson Chewie is quite familiar with. Rarely is there silence in the Millennium Falcon as you’ll hear Chewie and Han yelling at each other. In this case, noise is good because noise means communication.

Constantly update each other so everyone is in sync

3. Plan that schedule

Certain missions always have set timings which you can use to your advantage. Build orders have always been important in StarCraft, but co-op missions have a tempo to it that you can exploit. In Void Launch for example, you know that while anti-air is going to be crucial later on, it won’t be necessary until the shuttles arrive approximately 6 minutes into the game.

Until then, you can adjust your build order to concentrate on teching up and building up your resource collectors as long as you have enough defenses to repel the first two waves of ground units.

Chewie can use this lesson to plan ahead for his Falcon repairs. If they’re not planning to jump to lightspeed, he can put hyperdrive repairs lower down on his to-do list. If he knows that Imperial TIE Fighters are waiting to ambush them on the far side of Yavin, then now would be a good time to get those deflector shields working.

4. Manage your manpower

This is a lesson that applies to all StarCraft game modes in general, but an important nonetheless. If you’re low on minerals and need to pump out some low-level troops in a hurry, pull your gas collectors and send them to the mineral nodes instead. If you’re in the beginning stages of Temple of the Past and you know that the enemy will come from the lower-left corner, put all your troops there to meet them head-on. There’s no point for someone to be off somewhere doing something unnecessary when there are critical tasks to be completed.

There are many parts of the Millennium Falcon and usually too small a crew to work it all, so Chewie will have to assign the right tasks for his crew to get the right job done. TIE Interceptors on your tail? Pull those two idiots from the holo-game table and send them to the turrets instead.

Put your resources in the right places for optimal results

5. Match the right personnel with the right job

Let’s face it, the world is full of specialists and nobody can do everything. Swann might have powerful units, but they’re slow and lumbering and you cannot possibly expect a Swann player to send his Thors and Goliaths off to defend those research vessels at a moment’s notice. That’s a job better suited for Zagara and her swarms of zerglings. Match a commander’s strengths to the required tasks, and relax as the plan falls into place.

The crew on the Falcon are also specialists. R2-D2 is great at putting out electrical fires, but he’s terrible at piloting. Han is a good pilot, but things always go wrong when you ask him to repair some circuitry. Chewie will need to understand the strengths and weaknesses of his team members, and then assign them the tasks that they are naturally suited for.

Know the strengths of your team and task them accordingly

This article was originally posted on LinkedIn. It wasn’t really meant to be helpful at all (like all those other click bait listicles written by self-professed thought leaders on LinkedIn), but if you found it useful, good for you.