Project Management

When Should You Kill a Project?

Projects have the tendency to become the “darlings” of any project manager. They strive to plan them correctly, to get the right people on board and to set up all the necessary “what-if” resolutions to make sure it moves forward. But sometimes no amount of planning is going to save a project, and project managers have to decide that it's time to end the effort. In brief, the list is:

 

 

 

 

 

  • There is no return on investment from the project
  • The project isn't good enough
  • A more important project is now ready
  • The business plan changed
  • The original benefit of the project no longer exists

But determining when a project should be ended isn't easy, so Rosanne Lim has created a cheat sheet of reasons why a project should be “killed”. At the bottom of the list is one of the most successful measurements of project validity: Initial benefit of the project no longer holds true: There may be a variety of reasons for this. In the IT environment, for example, someone might have come up with the same idea and have already launched the product in the market. The same is true in all industries. Changes in the business environment may mean that it would no longer be cost-effective to continue the work when the benefits aren't the same anymore. While it can seem like a poor idea to end any project once it has begun, the truth is any project is only as good as the reasons behind it. The best way to know when to end a project is before it has ever begun: with proper planning, requirements gathering and alignment to the business goal, it's possible to avoid many of the problems listed in this article.

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