Project Management

4 Signs to Pull Over and Stop a Project

Avoid the “Crash and Burn” of a Project

Imagine putting all your hard work and dedication into a project, only to have the project crash and burn. If some of you have been through this, the feeling is pretty crushing. However, there are a few signs that can be taken into account to make sure whether or not a project is actually worth going through with. This will help in the long run with saving time, money, work, and refrain from you pulling out any more of your precious hair.

In 4 Signs to Pull Over and Stop a Project, author Kevin Korterud discusses how projects are just like racecars. Projects and racecars are complicated and there are many factors that go into play when maneuvering them, which is why you have to play the cards right and know when to put the brakes on a project. Korterud says that there are four warning signs to consider when determining this.

  1. Accumulated issues with no path to resolution
  2. Unstaffed key or multiple roles
  3. Lack of sponsorship
  4. Unclear or fluctuating success criteria

Risk is Always a Factor

Remember that risks are a big part of project management. If you analyze risks and plan on how your team is going to handle them, you’re one step in the right direction to making your project successful. However, notice when issues are building up and that there aren’t clear or helpful solutions. If a number of key roles aren’t filled with the people that have the right kind of skill sets for the project or if there is no key decision-maker to guide the project, it might be time to pull the plug.

Don’t worry about pulling over and stopping. It just may be the smart thing to do. Remember these words said by the author:

We are typically judged by the amount of progress we make as well as the outcomes from our projects. But we should also be judged on our ability to cease projects when the level of risk is too high. Although it might seem like a sign of weakness, stopping and re-directing a project incurring too much risk can reduce the potential overall cost and preserve its value proposition.

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