“Game of Thrones” is a phenomenon due to the astounding character and world building both in the books and show. Every character and house has such complex strengths and weaknesses that it’s hard to choose just one that deserves to rule Westeros.
That got our team at Wrike thinking. Playing the game of thrones is like launching a massive project with countless phases, stakeholders, resources, and more. Wouldn’t it be interesting to examine the project management strengths and weaknesses of each of the great houses?
First, take this quick quiz to learn which great house best matches your project management style.
What “Game of Thrones” house aligns with your project management style?
- What are the top reasons for project delays on your team?
- Team members have different goals or projects that sometimes conflict.
- Issues with resource and workload allocation.
- Team members don’t complete tasks on time or within budget.
- Siloed communication tools that make collaboration hard.
- Scope creep due to changing stakeholder demands.
- Trying to integrate with other teams and tools.
- Which of the following most closely matches your team’s motto when it comes to project management?
- “Winter is coming.” The lone wolf dies but the pack survives.
- “Fire and blood.” No matter how much a project heats up, fire cannot harm a true dragon.
- “Hear me roar!” Communication and collaboration, if you do something for me I’ll always pay my debts.
- “Ours is the fury!” Passion will take our projects to victory.
- “Growing strong!” When we work together, we all win.
- “We do not sow!” We just get the work done.
- What aspect of a project is the most important to ensuring success?
- Having consistent and reliable project processes.
- Setting up workflows that makes collaborating with others easier.
- Fully detailing out project plans from the beginning.
- Having a strong vision to lead the team through each task.
- Having visibility to easily adjust resources and stay agile.
- Having a motivated team that powers through anything thrown their way.
- Which house of characters would be the hardest team for you to collaborate with on a project?
- The Lannisters
- The Baratheons
- The Starks
- The Targaryens
- The Greyjoys
- The Tyrells
When you're ready, scroll to the bottom of this to reveal your house and we’ll reveal the strengths, opportunities, and skills you’ll need to conquer Westeros — or your next big project. Needless to say, there are spoilers ahead, so you’ve been warned.
How to bring your House to project victory
Strengths: Consistent and reliable processes
Need to work on: Setting and aligning goals
When it comes to running your own projects, you are a king with a plan and a process and understand the value of working as a pack. Your consistency and reliability has helped you build strong brand integrity. People know they can count on you and are willing to support you when you call your banners.
But when projects get more complex, you quickly lose your footing. Whether you’re working internally within your team or cross-functionally, it seems like you never quite have the full picture to make the most informed decisions.
The Starks live and die by their honor and codes. We’ve seen characters like Ned, Robb, Cat, Sansa, Arya, and Jon all take on incredibly tough projects. They are highly collaborative across distances and are almost always able to pull in bannermen or other houses to help their projects succeed.
While they each have incredible strengths, they all fall prey at some point to more cunning opponents. The challenge the Starks have faced from the beginning is that each of them are siloed in the projects they’re working on and don’t have visibility into one another’s goals, to-do lists, (or Kill List, if you’re Arya), motivations, or loyalties.
Now that Sansa, Bran, Arya, and Jon are back together, there’s a notable gap. They want to collaborate, but it’s almost like they’re each using a different style of project management that matches their skills but keeps them from truly communicating or having visibility into what’s going on with one another.
In order for you and your projects to be victorious, you’ll need to get your project plans and processes into one centralized tool. Although you may have solid projects, plans, and processes, you need to align your goals with your larger team in order for your house to succeed. Bring your teams together and set common goals and OKRs. Wrangle project management into one platform tool so that all stakeholders are aligned as they tackle their projects.
Strengths: Strong plans and workflows
Need to work on: Visibility to manage and prioritize resources
You are strong and determined and boast so much charisma that some might think you have a touch of magic — or madness. People admire you and love your leadership because you always do your best to raise up others as you fly to the top. You know your plan and you’ve got processes to help others work with you, but sometimes you’re so focused on your goals that it gets in your way. When pieces of the puzzle don’t fit together the way you want, you can get frustrated and let your emotions cloud your judgment.
Daenerys has some pretty formidable forces behind her — Dothraki, Unsullied, dragons, Yara and Theon Greyjoy, and now the North. Although she’s defeated multiple kingdoms, her mission to conquer the 7 kingdoms has consistently clouded her ability to optimize her resources and alliances.
With their dragons, House Targaryen has the resources to rule Westeros for centuries. But their legacy seems to consist of constantly losing precious resources — like the dragons. And sometimes the actions they take to preserve their resources aren’t the smartest. See Mad King Aerys or Viserys.
When projects heat up, stress or frustration can cause you to lose visibility and be short-sighted with your resources. Having dashboards and project views to easily see progress, resources, and team workloads helps you take a step back to get the full picture before making your moves. This means you can better manage your resources as your claim victory over your enemies — I mean, projects.
Strengths: Strategic and ambitious planners
Need to work on: Assigning roles and responsibilities
As a project manager, you are a master. You have plans and processes and collaborate just fine when it suits your needs. You have visibility into potential bottlenecks, roadblocks, and delays so you can strategically maneuver your way to victory.
But when it comes to key stakeholders, it seems like there’s a gap between people and the tasks you assign them. Although you think you have a lock on human nature, your confidence can catch you off guard when you’re wrong and thwart your ability to complete your projects.
Cersei tasked Joffrey with pardoning Ned Stark. Tywin tasked Cersie with marrying for his power gain instead of seeing her ability to rule. Cersei tasked the High Septon with taking down Margaery. Jamie and Tyrion trusted Cersei to send her army to help the North against the Night King. You see where we’re going.
The entire Lannister family is fascinating and complex. They are arguably the most pragmatic and tactical characters on the show, and yet they consistently have one major universal stumbling blog — they have a hard time assigning the right person to the right task to get the results they want.
When it comes to carrying out complex projects, you need to know who you can rely on to see a project to the end. Assign one person to oversee a project from start to finish, even if other team members are responsible for tasks along the way. Set clear expectations, define roles, and assign team members explicit tasks. Instead of working from a simple to-do list, add context and subtasks into your overarching tasks with detailed information to help assignees complete their projects on time. This will help you maintain your status as King/Queen of the Iron Projects.
Strengths: Strong vision and management
Need to work on: Centralizing collaboration
You are fiercely passionate and have a strong vision for your projects. People admire and believe in your leadership. Your relentless dedication and persistence help you power through the toughest situations. But collaboration can be one of your biggest challenges and opportunities. Even though it can seem like collaboration and communication can slow you down or steer everyone off course, they can help you avoid costly project mistakes. You just need the right tools to increase collaboration while maintaining momentum.
Robert, Stannis, and Renly were all strong players, but they were so focused on powering through with their vision that they didn’t stop to listen to those around them. While charisma and friendship inspired fierce loyalty from the leaders, each one had a hard time truly collaborating with their stakeholders because of secrets, pride, and other character traits. If you look at House Baratheon as a team and the throne as a project, the three major stakeholders were so misaligned with one another, their allies, and their advisors that it led to their downfall. What could these three brothers have been capable of if they were unified? Maybe we’ll see with Gendry.
One of the best ways to better collaborate in your projects is to have a centralized place to communicate. Between emails, IMs, ravens, and whispers, the workplace can often feel like too much talk, too little action. However, having one place where the conversation takes place will help you maintain momentum while ensuring that you take into account everyone’s vision. The result? Victory for everyone.
Strengths: Resourceful and agile
Need to work on: Defining workflows
No one deals better with scope creep better than a Tyrell. You’re agile when it comes to readjusting your game plans as speed bumps, new stakeholders, or delays impact your projects. Incredibly smart and resourceful, you collaborate well by seeing different points of view. Your team is like your family, but despite your best efforts to make friends and influence people, always trying to adapt to other people’s workflows often leaves your team with the short end of the stick.
Throughout the show, we see the Tyrells as excellent collaborators. They are generous with the common folk and put up a good-natured front. Their house motto is “Growing Strong.” Margaery is clever and quick-witted and adjusts her personality to best collaborate with those around her. She adapts to best complement her key stakeholders. She takes after her grandmother, Olenna, who stops at nothing to see her family succeed.
When it comes to the game of thrones, though, they had a fatal flaw. Between Renly, Geoffrey, Tommen, and the High Septon, the Tyrells did a lot of maneuvering trying to get Margaery onto the throne. In the end, always adjusting to others and not setting up clear workflows led to their downfall.
While trying to stay agile with other teams or clients, your team often suffers. If you try to adapt to everyone else’s workflow, it can be hard to manage your workload, priorities, and goals. Even though you’re resourceful and agile, try defining a team workflow that’s built so that other teams can easily adjust to you too. Flexible request forms are a great example of that. Defining your barriers doesn’t limit your collaboration — it helps! When other teams or clients understand and respect how you run projects, you’ll find that you’re able to take on more and work together for greater victory.
Strengths: Motivated and dedicated
Need to work on: Getting integrated
You’re loyal and passionate about your project work and will fight fiercely to accomplish your tasks. When it comes to projects, you have a fleet very powerful skills. You’re able to withstand the rolling waves of project change, but you sometimes feel like you’re on your own little island. It can be hard to mesh the tools you use with others. You like to be free, take what you need, and explore.
The House Greyjoy motto is “We do not sow.” In the show, Balon, Euron, and House Greyjoy are fierce fighters and strong but don’t play well with others. For example, Balon telling Theon to murder Rickon and Bran to take over Winterfell. Or Euron killing his brother and stealing the Iron fleet from Yara and Theon.
They’re on an island both literally and figuratively, separate from other Houses, which limits resources and collaboration. However, Yara and Theon are great examples of House Greyjoy tiptoeing into the waters of integrating with other houses, and that can lead to success.
You can have the biggest fleet of skills and tools in the world to conquer your projects, but when it comes to working with others, you need work management tools that can integrate with other teams. This allows you to better plan, collaborate, and communicate your way to more success.
Ready to win the Game of Projects?
In order to see victory over every project, you need to have visibility, manage your resources, get the right people working together, collaborate, define your workflows, and easily integrate with other teams.
A collaborative work management tool, like Wrike, can turn your team’s opportunities into your biggest strengths. Ready to get started on your journey to conquering Westeros — or maybe just your next project? Get a free two-week trial of Wrike and get started today.
Mostly A: You’re House Stark!
Mostly B: You’re House Targaryen!
Mostly C: You’re House Lannister!
Mostly D: You’re House Baratheon!
Mostly E: You’re House Tyrell!
Mostly F: You’re House Greyjoy!