The Consultant’s Deck of Awful Dragons

Project dragons can be found lurking behind the corners of almost every project!


Teams and leads need to be on the lookout! Dragons are tricky beasts that can cause all sorts of issues; scope creep, timeline and effort variance, misalignment, disengagement, and client dissatisfaction, to name a few. While dragons can’t always be avoided, they can often be curbed and managed. Examining these dragons affords rich learning opportunities, helping us effectively navigate the next encounter.



I made The Consultant’s Deck of Awful Dragons to help teams recognize project dragons, and collaborate on strategies for taming them. Many of the cards are based on situations that I and my colleagues have encountered, with a few more outlandish scenarios peppered throughout, just for fun.


I’ve used these cards to help teams “think around the corners” when scoping complex new projects, and as conversation-starters in team retrospectives.


Artwork credit: Minyan Wang