Purpose: Political management is about getting things done in campaigns, parties and government. Political organizations can use management concepts such as strategic planning, human resources and organizational design to help them achieve their goals. Research into specifically how management is used by political practitioners – political staffers and politicians – in government is limited. This study aims to fill that gap. Design/methodology/approach: The authors review the limited literature on political management, outline interview methodology, results and conclude with overall lessons drawn out using the qualitative data analysis software NVivo. Findings: This study identifies the aspects of political management that political practitioners saw as the most important, the difference between managing in business and politics, and why. Research limitations/implications: This study provides suggestions for what future empirical research should focus on, noting a focus on informal behavior that relate to people and power that are not seen from outside the organization. Originality/value: The perspectives of high-level practitioners help give a view to what political management really is.