Resource Management Tips from Military History

A perennial struggle for organizations is how to balance resource capacity with ever-increasing demand. Yet companies still do the same things:

  • Holding ENDLESS meetings to review CLUNKY spreadsheets of OVERLOADED project portfolios
  • Trying to figure out why half the projects are delayed or in trouble; and…
  • Coming to the conclusion that everyone just has to work more or work harder, or some projects just aren’t going to get done.

Then, in Groundhog Day fashion, the process is repeated each week (or sometimes, each day).

I’ll be the first one to admit that business is not military, and many business-as-war analogies are a stretch, to say the least. But the fact is, military history contains thousands of years of lessons and strategies, all geared toward making the most effective and efficient use of limited resources. Some are surprisingly applicable to non-military organizations.

Here’s a link to a blog I wrote on the topic for Portfolio Perspectives, which also links to my white paper on the topic, 10 Proven Military Strategies for Better Resource Planning.


About the Author

Jerry Manas is an internationally best-selling author and researcher, and Senior Writer/Editor at Planview, the leading Enterprise Portfolio Management software company. His books Napoleon on Project Management, cited by management guru Tom Peters for its timeless principles, and Managing the Gray Areas, touted by Orlando Magic founder Pat Williams as "a new path for leaders," were critically acclaimed, with the former being translated into 8 languages. More recently, he co-authored 42 Rules for Creating WE, which was hailed by Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts as "today's greatest guide for team success." His latest book, released January 2010, is Project Lessons from the Roman Empire. Jerry is a founding member of The Creating We Institute (, an international thought leadership community dedicated to fostering WE-centric practices. He is also co-founder of PMThink! and a founding member of the Project Management Institute's New Media Council. Visit his website at