“The decision you reach here today will determine how we will regard this creation of our genius. It will reveal the kind of people we are; what he is destined to be.” Jean-Luc Picard, Star Trek TNG, Measure of a Man
Organizations of any size, shape, and maturity must install overall guidance and objectives and then monitor the implementation and success for themselves. Leaders who represent the varied interests within that group will gather in a governance council to contribute to the overall administration through discussions and decisions. Project Governance is the management of internal and external factors through a management framework where a response from the governing group is required.
In the Star Wars universe, the Jedi Council is a governance council which manages the Jedi Order. As the authority for all matters relating to the Jedi they review the requests of its membership and either accept or reject those requests – which cascades the priorities, objectives, and tasks to the individual Jedi across the galaxy. The Council is also responsible for the maintenance of their own organizational charter, code of conduct, advancement, and resources.
Early in the prequel trilogy, the Jedi Council accepts the task to function as peaceful negotiations requested by Chancellor Velorum, thereby sending Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi to the planet Naboo in Star Wars – Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Through their project framework principles, the council accepted the request from the Chancellor to send their own resources to complete a simple project.
Later in the same film, we see Qui-Gon request that he be allowed to take Anakin Skywalker as an apprentice. The Council is again approached for a decision, but this time they reject the request by citing the Jedi Code forbidding anyone have more than one apprentice. The council reviews the request and according to their own framework and established methodologies are able to reject the request of their organization.
Almost in the same moment, Qui-Gon petitions the Council to allow Obi-Wan to take the trials for advancement. The Council rejects the second request; this time citing the Council is the only authority to determine who is ready to take the Jedi advancement trials.
During Star Wars – Episode II: Attack of the Clones, the Jedi Council operates as the governance council again – taking in the available information about the assassination attempt on Senator Amidala, and dispatching the Jedi to investigate and eliminate the threat. All governance councils intake the available information and then provide a methodology to facilitate a successful completion of the objective.
In Star Wars – Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, again we see the governing body in action as they review their own affairs. Chancellor Palpatine appoints Skywalker to be his liaison and sit on the Jedi Council. While allowing Skywalker to sit with them, the Council members do not grant the title of “Master” to Skywalker. Again, in managing the tradition of the Jedi Order the governing body is allowed to maintain its own station and decision.
Management of large and complex groups such as corporations or governments often consist of large numbers of representatives. Both internal and external circumstances will test a governance body, and it is through the collaborative decision making process, to either allow or not allow those forces cause action. Just as it is important for the Jedi Council to set the course for the Jedi Order, the governance council for any organization sets the course and maintains it for everyone in that organization.