Sudoku and management

Of late, I have taken a liking to Sudoku. I spend at least 45 minutes a day playing the game on my cell phone. While playing the game and strategizing, I could not help but make an association between Sudoku and management. Just as in Sudoku, what you do in within your team has repercussions both horizontally and vertically in your organization.


Consider the center block to be the team that you manage in an enterprise. And let us assume that you are in middle management. Upper center block represents the management team that you report to and the lower center one represents the team that report to you. Just like the numbers in Sudoku need to align vertically and horizontally, you and your team need to ensure that enterprise strategy aligns up and down the management chain, and that members of your team work toward executing the strategy. Your team also needs to coordinate with peer teams and this would be the 2 other horizontal blocks in the center. Again, you need to make sure what you do aligns with what other teams do.

Each number in Sudoku belongs to a slot in the block, and similarly each member (number) in the team needs to know what their responsibility (slot) is. There are also others associations – such as the need to rethink strategy and move resources (numbers) around etc.


Of course, I had to google and see how many folks have made this connection and taken it beyond what I was thinking. This article in hindu discusses more about this correlation between sudoku and management. I also found this site that provides Sudoku style puzzles that uses PM knowledge areas instead of numbers.


  1. Anonymous said July 2, 2007, 11:28 pm:

    Wow! Very insightful Ganesh. I didn’t make that connection between Sudoku and management. Everyone in my family is hooked on to Sudoku except me. Btw, your response to the 8 random facts meme is still pending – Sukumar

  2. Anonymous said July 3, 2007, 9:48 am:

    Wow – good connection, Ganesh. I did write about Sudoku earlier – it is definitely addictive. BTW, which is your cellphone?
    Sukumar, you should try this one.

  3. Anonymous said July 3, 2007, 10:16 pm:

    Hi Ganesh, Thats a great analogy. I too play Sudoku regularly, never thought of it in these terms, though.

  4. Anonymous said July 7, 2007, 12:40 pm:


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